NEARLY half of us take a daily vitamin or mineral supplement. But do we really need to – and are we taking them in the most effective form?
Nutritionist Kim Pearson picks out the most common nutrient deficiencies and explains how to give yourself a boost without popping pills.
Daily supplements may not be the most effective way to get the nutrients you need[/caption]
Symptoms can include general fatigue, weakness and dizziness.
If you suspect you might be iron-deficient, most GPs will test your level with a routine blood test.
Some of the most common iron supplements can cause digestive problems such as constipation, so it may be worth trying Better You’s new Iron Oral Spray (£9.95, betteryou.com), which has been formulated to be absorbed via the inside of your cheek.
Along with guinea pigs and fruit bats, humans are among the very few animals who can’t make their own vitamin C, so we depend on our diet to provide it.
Broccoli and bell peppers are good sources of this immune-essential nutrient but many of us miss our five-a-day target.
As well as upping your veg intake, it may be worth taking a supplement.
Vitamin C Powder (£6.70 for 60g, highernature.co.uk) can be dropped into water to create a fizzy vitamin C drink – a great alternative to a tablet.
Essential for maintaining nerve and muscle function, it also helps to keep bones strong and support a healthy immune system.
Find it in green, leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, nuts and seeds, bananas and avocados.
A growing number of studies have shown that magnesium is better absorbed through the skin compared to tablet and capsule supplementation, so try Better You’s Magnesium Skin Body Butter (£9.95, betteryou.com).
The essential fatty acids are important for brain and heart health.
You need a balance of omega 3, found mainly in oily fish, and omega 6, found in the vegetable oils commonly present in processed foods, but most of us get too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3.
Many of us could benefit from an omega 3 supplement such as BioMulsion OmegaBerry, a berry-flavoured fish oil (£26.95 for 300ml, biocare.co.uk).
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Common signs of a deficiency include fatigue and low mood.
The condition is such a fast-growing problem that the Government now recommends we all take a supplement during autumn and winter.
Vitamin D is essential for bone and immune health and most of our intake comes from sunlight, so getting outside and exposing our skin to the sunshine for 20 minutes daily is a good idea.
Studies show vitamin D is well absorbed via the inside of the cheek, so try Better You DLux1000 daily oral spray (£5.55, betteryou.com).