The term ‘dietary supplement’ can be used to describe any substance you eat or drink, in order to fulfill the nutrition gap left by your diet. They can be in any form such as pills, capsules, tablets or powders. But most importantly, dietary supplements should never be confused as alternatives to food.
A supplement is not a replacement for your diet, but rather it is meant to provide essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins, which your diet does not. So, they safeguard your health, albeit indirectly.
Supplements are nothing new, even though they are packaged and sold on a mass scale these days. Willow bark, was used to make tea for centuries, because it helped cure fever. But now it is used as an important ingredient of aspirin.
Though most supplements are not categorized as medicines, some can actually impact your health directly. For example, vitamin C supplements can help you stay away from cold and flu and also recuperate faster if you are suffering from these ailments.
Dietary supplements can play an important role in keeping you fit. If you are a busy person, and cannot have food on time or have to rely on fast food most of the time, supplements can provide you what your diet cannot. Proper nourishment has no substitutes and supplements have actually become a need in modern times.
But you may want to keep in mind that supplements should be had after consulting a doctor or a dietician. Only they can tell you whether a particular supplement will suit you.
The degree of risk is much higher if you are planning to take a herbal supplement. They are more likely to have side effects such as allergic reactions or may even interact with other medicines you take.
So, it is good idea to take those dietary supplements which are known to have long-term benefits for your body. Vitamin, mineral and protein supplements are your best bets!