Today, people have become engrossed with supplements to help them live a longer, healthier life. Companies are more than willing to mass produce a wide variety of products to meet these ever growing needs. However, not all these supplements are actually necessary. Below are four supplements that for most people are not necessary and only decrease the size of their wallet, not their waistline.
Many companies have taken the concept of “fruits and vegetables = health” way too far. Any one who has ever actually tasted a dragonfruit will know what I mean. A dragonfruit is wonderfully exotic to look at and has run me as much as US $8 for a single bulb; however, it is simply the most bland fruit I have ever tasted. Rarity does not a health food make.
When you pay a premium for these superfruit drinks with the imported fruits, you are not paying for any extra health benefits; you are paying for the cost of shipping those most likely underwhelming fruits to whatever domestic shore you call home. We have never had to add a letter to the alphabet to define the nutrition value of an imported fruit, and as most of these drinks are supplemented with fruits that companies know we will find tasty (apples, grapes), what is the true value of these drinks? You can most definitely forget about any superfood drink that is less than 100% all natural, and even if it is, there is nothing in that expensive drink that you can’t get from your local fruits other than the thrill of eating something from Polynesia or South Africa.
Many of the reputations of these fruits come from their preparation and are based in custom rather than any scientific evidence. Take the noni, for example, a common fruit in Polynesia, but quite exotic anywhere else. The funny thing is that the Polynesian people do not even consider this fruit edible. The few concoctions that include the noni are meant for celebrations and are steeped in tradition, much like chitlands (the feet of a pig) for some families in the Southern United States. They do not in any way taste good.
It is the American companies which are adding a bunch of sugar to exotic fruits like these and selling them as one size fits all health supplements. Don’t believe the hype.
Protein, in all its forms, from soy to hemp to whey, is no less meant to be separated and “refined” on its own than water is from a melon. Especially in developed countries, marketing schemes have been able to create the problem that we somehow do not get enough protein in our every day meals to build a healthy body, especially if we are trying to do something athletic. However, all one has to do is look back to times before there were any supplements – somehow people have always been able to build strong, lean, aesthetically pleasing bodies even before supplements existed. Does that huge intimidating jar sitting in our cupboard meant more for our musculature or for our ego?
Any nutrition authority will tell you that it is not even necessary to eat meat to obtain all the protein you need to build or maintain a healthy, muscular body. It can be obtained solely from vegetables and fruits, if so desired.
Green Drinks or Powders
Green has an association with humans in general as being “of the earth” and therefore healthy. Little wonder then, that many “nutrition” companies go out of their way to color their drinks green, or include lots of things that are colored green to sell a notion of health in a supplement.
Green vegetables, some green algae, and grass can be healthy for us in small doses, with a proper balance of other nutrients. However, we are not cows. We have no need to graze to obtain maxmium health. As a matter of fact, you gain that same nutrition from eating the cow that ate the grass, and is better able to metabolize it into the nutrients that we actually need.
There is a reason that grass and algae do not taste good to us: Different organisms require different things to maintain health. Plants photosynthesize our carbon dioxide into nourishment – oxygen is their waste product. But if you start inhaling pure carbon dioxide instead of oxygen, the results will not impress you.
Green vegetables that taste good to the palette, like spinach, lettuce, celery, and parsley are the green things to focus on putting in your mouth.
Once a Day Multivitamins
Though the multivitamin that you take every day so religiously with the egg whites, plain toast and skim milk breakfast may truthfully say that it contains 1000% of the daily intake value for everything, there is a reason that you do not instantly feel like Superman upon intaking said vitamin. Quite simply, the body is not made to synthesize pure vitamins and minerals, and will only retain from 1 to 10% of the total value of each vitamin inside the tablet.
What is worse, the body tends to synthesize the fattening portions of the multivitamin more readily than the other parts, so taking two will not help. You will only retain the worst parts of anything you intake.
What is the Bottom Line?
When it comes to personal health, realize the difference between a marketing campaign designed to make you think that you are suddenly missing out on some vital nutrient, and a hole in your nutrition that you really need to fix. Every supplement has a natural alternative, and as the body is used to eating FOOD, not synthesizing supplements, natural is usually the way to go. Some supplements have their place, but in moderation.
In this modern world of mobile everything and super efficiency, people are always on the go. However, it is essential that you take time out of life to take care of the most important aspect of your life – your health. It is quite true that you can’t do much of anything without your body.
Author Bio: Angela is a freelance writer for a fitness site. She loves to help other people get into the best shape of their lives. If she is not at the gym, she can be found biking in the woods.