Role of supplements for different lifestages and lifestyles
So many changes happen through our lives, in its various stages – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We keep continuously evolving as a person, coping and adapting to these changes. Our lifestyle changes too.
But over the years, we make several amends to our food habits, activity levels, exercises, and diet plans through these life stage and lifestyle changes. Through all this, do we know if we are providing enough nutrition to our body to cope? Are we fortifying ourselves enough nutritionally in every situation?
And more importantly, what’s the role of supplements? Let’s understand this with a couple of examples. Through Megan and Josh and their real-life case examples, we may be able to answer these questions.
Megan, 33 years old, is an advertising professional who cares about holistic wellness. She eats a balanced diet, practices a few sessions of Pilates and meditation over the weekend, and even makes time for a spa session once a month. Her weekdays, however, are tough. Megan runs a tight schedule managing her job and family that includes an active and demanding 1 year old as well. Her meal times during the week are less than 15-20 mins and, on most days, she cannot fit in any physical activity. Does Megan need any supplements?
Yes, she does. Although she eats a balanced diet and leads an active lifestyle, the fact is, her body has been through various life stage and lifestyle changes. This impacts the body’s need for nutrients and vitamins, which may not get addressed through our “fairly balanced diets.” Megan delivered a year ago and joined work 6 months back from her maternity leave.
Pregnancy is that major life stage for women where so much changes in the body.
During this stage of carrying a child and even after delivery, there are higher chances of developing biotin and iron deficiencies.
Iron deficiency (ID) is the most common micronutrient deficiency worldwide with >20% of women experiencing it during their reproductive lives. Also, nutritional requirements for certain nutrients like DHA tend to go up.
Megan is also a professional and spends almost 6 hours a day staring at her screen between her laptop and mobile phone. The average screen time for an adult is Singapore is 3.7 hours. This increased exposure to blue light adversely impacts both our vision and sleep cycle.
Bilberry extract is one of the most recommended supplements for vision health. The active components of bilberry such as lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to absorb the damaging blue light and improve visual acuity.
Turning 30 is another important life stage with unique requirements of nutrition. Changes happen to the body affecting the skin, bone, and joints as early as 30 years of age in many of us.
The available evidence suggests that calcium taken with vitamin D supplementation leads to a reduction in the risk of a future fracture, and the evidence is most robust for individuals at high risk of deficiency in these nutrients.
Aging also leads to a loss of skin elasticity. Multiple studies have shown that supplementation with collagen can be helpful.
Oral collagen supplementation has been shown to increase skin hydration after only 8 weeks of consumption.
While supplementation cannot totally reverse the age-related changes, it can certainly slow them and also help prevent these from becoming serious health issues.
Megan clearly can benefit from all these supplements. An added dose of iron, calcium, Vitamin D, and lutein can really help her improve her lifestyle.
Let’s now take another contrasting example. Josh, 45 years old, runs his own company, and travels extensively. He tries to eat healthy and finds time for an occasional workout, but his working hours are stretched. Sometimes, there is a lot of stress and, as a result, he does not get enough sleep. This lack of sleep combined with stress causes him to feel low on energy. How can supplements help him?
Josh can greatly benefit from taking either melatonin supplements when he travels or some of the apaptogenic herbs like ginseng and Ashwagandha. Melatonin regulates our sleep cycle. Individuals suffering from disturbed sleep due to low production of melatonin or a disrupted sleep cycle due to jet lag can benefit from melatonin supplementation.
Moreover, herbs like Ashwagandha are beneficial in reducing stress in healthy adults. L Theanine from green tea leaves has been known to act as a relaxing agent and reduce markers of stress. The herbs like Valerian have been used for hundreds of years to improve sleep quality without any side effects. With more recent research, we have found scientific evidence supporting ancient wisdom. Josh can surely get a lot of help from any of these supplements.
The Final Word
As we can see, supplements can play a big role in supporting the body’s requirements brought about by the demands of our life stages and lifestyle.
This is why we all need to be conscious of our specific lifestyle and life stage needs. Sometimes we may want to seek expert advice.
Supplizen provides a breakthrough new technology where knowledge of nutritional science is used to map people of different life stages and lifestyles to the right supplements they may need. Right supplementation can help you be your body best always. And right supplements could help you be your body best at all life stages so that you can make the most always. To get advice on your unique supplements needs fulfilled by the best brands available in Singapore from the comfort of your home, click here to start your assessment