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In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to take vitamins or supplements. All of us would be eating perfect diets that are well-balanced, nutritious and filled with the vitamins and minerals that our 40+ year old bodies need. Additionally, we would be in perfect health and unbothered by any health condition or physical ailment.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and I’m sure that a good percentage of you don’t have a diet that’s well-balanced, nutritious or meets the daily requirements for vitamins and minerals.In fact, most American men are deficient in one vitamin or another.

Despite, the “enriched” food era that we live in, we’re still depriving our bodies of the essential nutrients needed to perform at an optimal level and to prevent a variety of health diseases. This is where vitamins and supplements can play a significant role in your life. However, it’s important to point out that taking vitamins and supplements is not meant to replace a healthy, nutritious diet. It’s meant to complement a well-balanced diet to ensure optimal health.

Vitamins

In humans, there are 13 vitamins: A, D, E, K, C and eight B vitamins. Each vitamin can play a significant role in preventing diseases and improving our overall health. For example B12 can aid in preventing heart disease or stroke, Vitamin D can help improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis, Vitamin C can help treat numerous infections, cancer, scurvy and more.

It should be clear by now, even to some of you men who are fervent naysayers, that vitamins are very important. Unfortunately, the reality is that we don’t get enough of them in our diets. As men, we tend to think less about the foods we consume and more about other things like women, sports, kids and our jobs. So, ensuring that we get enough leafy greens or fruit doesn’t rank high on our priority list. This is where a multivitamin can become your friend.

A general high-quality multivitamin will meet the daily-recommended intake for all vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way for men to ensure that they are getting the proper amounts to prevent diseases and function optimally. Additionally, a multivitamin could help us feel better, improve our physical performance and provide that spark needed to live a healthier, active lifestyle.

Supplements

Supplements, or dietary supplements, are ideally meant to supplement nutrients that our bodies are not getting from the foods we consume. They are not meant to replace food or a healthy diet. With that being said, when was the last time you went to GNC to buy supplements? It’s an overwhelming experience even for well-informed individuals. There are so many supplements and manufacturers that most men walk out of there feeling more confused, defeated or having purchased something they don’t even need.

Let me simplify this for you. There are a small percentage of supplements that men actually need or can use. Most of what’s out there is unessential and a waste of money. So, don’t fall for the pretty packages, aggressive marketing or late-night infomercials.

If you are trying to get in shape and improve your health, the following supplements should be considered:

Probiotics – this good bacteria is a great way to improve your gut health. Additionally, it can also enhance your immune system.

Fish Oil – Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for heart health as they lower triglycerides, help prevent blood clotting and stabilize heart rhythms. Additionally, they reduce inflammation which can help with muscle aches and make your skin look younger. Recently, omega-3 has been linked to improving brain health and function as well.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin – for those of you suffering from joint pain and injuries, these two supplements can aid in improving your overall joint health. Typically, they come together in the same supplement.

CQ10 – Coenzyme 10 has become a great asset to men over 40. It aids in heart health and function by providing energy. It also helps to produce ATP which is the primary source of energy for cells. CQ 10 also functions as an antioxidant.

Protein – This is probably the one supplement that men are the most familiar with. Protein is an important building block within the body. In addition to building and repairing muscle, protein is required for hair and nail growth, to make enzymes or hormones and essential for many other body chemicals and processes.

Choosing the Right Supplement

So, you now have an idea of which supplement to take. But, how do you know which one to choose in the store or online? When choosing supplements, you should consider the following factors before purchasing:

  • Manufacturers that use good manufacturing practices (GMP) or an equivalent set of standards
  • Independent analysis of the ingredients within each supplement
  • Supplements that have a history of being safe
  • Supplements that have support from scientific research
  • Very little to no preservatives or fillers
  • No allergens
  • Reviews by customers and experts

Conclusion

Vitamins and supplements should be considered by all men over 40 especially those of you that are out of shape, trying to get in shape or don’t have a healthy diet. Vitamins and supplements are a great way to improve your health and prevent potential diseases. Before taking multivitamins or supplements, you should consult your doctor to make sure that they are safe for you. And, while you are meeting with your doctor, get a physical if you haven’t gotten one in a while or ever.

Jamie Sene

Resources

Health.Gov: Dietary Guidelines for Americans https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

OrganicFacts.net: Health Benefits of Vitamins https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vitamins

WebMD.com: The Benefits of Protein http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein