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Herbs and supplements have been used in various forms for literally thousands of years. Ancient tribes have relied heavily upon some of the herbs we still used today to cure a variety of conditions from headaches to stomachaches to treating different types of arthritis. With the introduction of what we now consider modern medicine to the Western World, many of the old practices fell by the wayside as antibiotics and prescription medications began to flood the markets. Now, society seems to be coming full circle and turning back to more natural ways of managing health. With that being said, when you walk into a natural grocer or health food store to look for the right supplements, the shelves are flooded with millions of different bottles and vials all claiming to be the best for you. Navigating the different types of supplements can be dizzying, but once you decide what is really essential for your own health and wellness, purchasing supplements won't be so confusing or overwhelming.
1. Assess Your Health. It is easier to determine what supplements you need when you know what your health goals are. Whether you are deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral, or you want to boost your natural immune system, knowing what you are trying to improve will help narrow down the selection. Look carefully at what you are eating so you know where you may need some added help and a boost in the form of a supplement.
2. Do your research. When it comes to supplements, the FDA doesn't regulate supplements the same way it regulates prescription drugs. This often means that manufacturers can make supplements with outlandish health claims which hold no water. Look for companies that have a long track record of good, quality products to purchase your supplements from so you know you are getting something worth spending money on.
3. Read the labels. It is important to not only read the dosage instructions carefully, but also to read the ingredients so there are no problems with reactions to prescription medications or other supplements. If there is something in the supplement which you are unfamiliar with, ask a pharmacist to explain what an ingredient is and what it does.
4. When in doubt, ask your doctor. It is always a good idea to let your doctor know about any medications you are taking, and this includes supplements. Your doctor can refer you to a nutritionist to help point you in the right direction and get everything you need in order to maintain optimal health without causing potentially serious drug interactions.
5. Have realistic expectations. While supplements are designed to be helpful and boost your body's natural abilities, there is no miracle pill which will cure all of your ailments. There is no fountain of youth in a bottle or magic weight loss pill. Supplements are designed to "supplement" your health, not completely transform your body. Keep this in mind when shopping for the right supplements for your body.
Supplements are a great way to help boost your body's natural abilities and enhance your overall health and well being. While they are a wonderful way to help improve your immune system, balance your nutrients and vitamin consumption, and promote overall health and well-being, it can be confusing to try to select the right supplements for you. By following these tips for choosing the right supplements, you can help to improve your overall health without being overwhelmed by all the options out there.
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