Doctors Say These Are the Best Supplements for Your Health

Supplements are under constant debate among health professionals. While they can’t technically claim to treat or cure disease, manufacturers are allowed to list as many possible health benefits as they want. This can make every pill and powder seem absolutely essential — even when it isn’t.

While there are many benefits to certain dietary supplements, you don’t need to — and shouldn’t — take as many as you can afford for the sake of your health. Only a few will do just fine — if you even need them at all.

If you do want to invest in one or several dietary supplements to add an extra layer of protection against certain diseases and conditions, these are the ones doctors recommend you choose.

Vitamin D

Vitamin supplements

Vitamin supplements | areeya_ann/iStock/Getty Images

A vitamin D deficiency isn’t a concern for most people. But it’s still possible you aren’t getting enough of it. Some dairy products and other foods are fortified with the vitamin during processing, If your diet varies considerably from day to day, though, there’s no guarantee you can eat enough to fill your quota.

The best place to get adequate amounts of vitamin D is from the sun. But most of us don’t spend our days working outdoors like we used to. Because only a select number of foods provide this vitamin, it probably doesn’t hurt to take either a vitamin D supplement or a multivitamin containing vitamin D.

Calcium

You need calcium to absorb any kind of vitamin D you consume, even if you get it from a dietary supplement. Many people assume they can’t get enough calcium without dairy products, and turn to a supplement to preserve their bone health.

However, health experts strongly recommend taking a calcium supplement if you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, consume large amounts of protein, or have an inflammatory bowel disease. People with celiac disease may also benefit from supplemental calcium.

Fiber

Multivitamins

Multivitamins | Valentina_G/iStock/Getty Images

Most people don’t get the recommended amount of fiber they need every day. If you don’t eat a diet rich in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, you probably fall into the majority. If you follow the ideal diet, you probably don’t need a fiber supplement. But if you don’t, you could benefit from one as you change up your personal daily menu.

Consuming more fiber, along with diet and exercise, can contribute to weight loss and maintenance, lower cholesterol, and healthy digestion. If you’re concerned about your heart health, a combination of the right supplements and foods could help ease your anxieties.

Fish oil

These supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, known for their heart- and brain-protecting capabilities. Research has shown that consuming moderate amounts of fish oil either in food or supplement form may reduce your risk of both heart disease and the mental decline associated with various types of dementia.

Are fish oil supplements worth the money? It depends on whether or not you’re eating a variety of heart-healthy foods. How often you exercise and how well you manage your stress might also determine whether an extra omega-3 boost can benefit you in the long-term.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!