Food Supplements as an Alternative Medicine

Also known as dietary supplements, food supplements are substances meant to be consumed by the human body. They come in various forms, and may contain essential substance such as vitamins, minerals, or amino acids. As the name implies, food supplements contain dietary ingredient that “supplement” or add to the diet that an individual takes in. They are, however, never considered as a meal substitute.

People generally take food supplements for health-related reasons, especially if they cannot consume the entire amount of a natural substance on a regular basis. It is important to remember that food supplements should not be used as a substitute for traditional curative medicines.

While food supplements do not provide a “cure all” advantage, they can, however, contribute to health maintenance and well-being. They contain active ingredients that have been used for thousands of years ago to maintain health and help minimize illnesses of our ancestors. Just like other forms of alternative medicines, they are preventive in nature.

Why People Take Food Supplements?

The two primary functions of food supplements are: (1) to prevent diseases from being acquired by the body, and (2) to supplement or add nutrients to what we eat, both of which lead to promotion of good health and achievement of high quality of life.

People take food supplements for many reasons and to accommodate many health conditions. They take in vitamins and minerals food supplements primarily because they are aware of the health benefits they provide for the body. They, not only provide added nutrition to our diet, but also help in preventing diseases. A good example is how vitamin C keeps us from getting a cold and strengthening our immune system. Vitamin E supplement, on the other hand, helps fight aging and gives natural glow to the skin.

Herbal food supplements, similarly, are being consumed by many people because of the benefits they bring in to the body. Historically, people have used herbal medicines to reduce fever, prevent illnesses, cure infections, and heal wounds. Herbal medicines are also known to ease pain, treat constipation, or act as relaxants or stimulants. These are the primary reasons why a lot of people believe in the effect and benefits of herbal food supplement.

In spite of these, however, there are still some people who take food and herbal supplements just because they are recommended by their friends or family, without really convincing themselves of their benefits. Worse, others have no idea or no reason why they are taking such supplements. The problem here lies in proper education of people as to what supplements are, how they benefit the body, and which particular supplements should one take according to his health condition.