Food supplements are substances intended to complement a balanced diet and never replace it. Infarmed according to snac describes them as “concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, alone or in combination.”
Why Are They Increasingly Sought After?
Numerous reasons can justify the increasing consumption of food supplements:
- The fast pace of life that has become the norm has numerous consequences for our bodies;
- Stress, anxiety, and fatigue levels increased;
- The time to cook a balanced meal and eat it has decreased significantly. This caused the food to become nutritionally poorer, creating deficits.
However, and paradoxically, there was also a change in mentality regarding the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Thus, there has been more significant concern about compensating for these nutritional deficits and investing in strengthening the immune system.
In addition, there is increased attention to the impact of external factors on our health. For example, there is more excellent care in eating healthy in winter to prevent certain diseases associated with cold weather.
Decreased sun exposure time may be another reason for the need to resort to vitamin supplements. The number of people working in offices or other closed places has been increasing, which has created vitamin D deficits in the body.
What Categories Of Dietary Supplements Are There?
Infarmed considers three broad categories:
- Vitamins And Minerals
These compounds are not produced by the body and must be obtained through food or supplementation. Examples of essential vitamins for health are:
- Vitamin A (important for vision and the immune system);
- Vitamin D (helps strengthen the density of bones and teeth);
- Vitamin C (is an antioxidant, promotes the absorption of iron, and helps to strengthen the immune system).
As for minerals, the best known are iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Derived From Plants And Botanical Extracts
These supplements, as their name implies, are obtained from plants. Aloe vera is famous for its skin-nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginkgo biloba is another example of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Other Substances
The third category includes:
- Essential fatty acids;
- Amino acids;
There is also a hybrid category, called “frontier products” by Infarmed, such as melatonin and glucosamine. These compounds seen at snac can be classified simultaneously as supplements and drugs, depending on the requirements with which they are produced and marketed.