Dietary supplements supply vitamins and minerals good for the body when your nutritional intake cannot give you everything you need to maintain health. Unfortunately, our busy lifestyles and supermarket shelves lined with processed foods mean that most of us should at least keep a few dietary supplements on hand to make up for any nutrient shortfall.
You would probably rather not have kitchen cupboards lined with row after row of supplements, and in truth, most of us don’t need that many. Here are three of the most critical supplements containing essential vitamins and minerals good for the body that are often sorely lacking in our diets: Omega-3, Vitamin D3, and Coenzyme Q10.
Health Benefits of Omega-3
Omega-3 is an incredible nutrient that supports your overall health and well-being by maintaining several bodily systems, including heart health, brain function, and muscle and joint health. If you can’t or don’t eat fish, then an omega-3 supplement is a great way to ensure you get the recommended daily intake of this critical nutrient.
Heart disease is one of western society’s biggest killers. Studies like the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) [*1] and the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with EPA-Intervention Trial (REDUCE-IT) [*2] both indicated that omega-3 could play a crucial role in improving heart health and preventing heart attacks.
Maintaining a robust immune system is critical now that we have the coronavirus ravaging the globe. An omega-3 supplement may improve the function of immune B cells that help fight off viruses and infections. [*3]
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential building block for the brain. While there is no research to suggest that omega-3 can be used to treat dementia or Alzheimer’s, one study did find a correlation between omega-3 and a lowered risk of dementia. [*4]
Why We Need Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorous, two vital minerals, good for the body because they help with bone density and strength.
The body creates vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. However, constant reminders about sun exposure dangers have led many of us to cover up every square inch of our body or lather on sunscreen before we step outside.
The consequences of these actions can lead to dangerously low levels of vitamin D and an increase in the risk of diseases such as rickets, osteoporosis, and kidney disease.
There are very few foods that contain vitamin D, so sunshine or supplements remain the most efficient methods to obtain it. The body does not need large amounts of vitamin D for good health, making it essential to monitor your intake to ensure you aren’t getting too much. Consulting with your doctor about any dietary supplements is always highly recommended.
The Role of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the Body
Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient that develops naturally in the body and is stored in the cell’s mitochondria to facilitate cellular energy production through a process called ATP [*5]. It’s also found in many of the foods we eat.
Young people probably don’t need a CoQ10 supplement, but the body’s natural supply of the nutrient does diminish with age. A diminishing amount of CoQ10 may contribute to lower levels of energy as we advance in years.
Vitamin D, vitamin K2, and CoQ10 work together in the body to maintain the health of your blood vessel linings, so it’s always a good idea to ensure you are receiving enough of each to get these minerals’ health benefits when considering CoQ10 supplementation.
The best supplements for CoQ10 are in ubiquinol form, which is the reduced form of CoQ10. When the body uses ubiquinol, it is transformed into its oxidized form, ubiquinone.
Vitamins and minerals good for the body are always best when consumed through a balanced diet. However, when an over-abundance of food processing and a busy lifestyle combine to prevent us from getting all the nutrition we need, a supplement is a convenient solution to ensure we receive these minerals’ health benefits.