1 in 2 Australians take vitamin and mineral supplements regularly and there’s plenty of evidence to support the benefits when the quality of supplements is high and taken appropriately.
Many factors determine what makes a supplement good quality, however it’s ‘Practitioner Only’ brands that’ll always triumph over the others. And when you take a quality supplement appropriately, you’ll be making the most of the it’s nutritional benefits as well as saving time and money in the long run.
Here are 8 top tips to help make the most of your supplements :
- Fat loves fat. When you take fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamin D, E, beta carotene, Omega fish oils or Coenzyme Q10, it’s best to pair them with foods high in healthy fats; such as fish, avocado, nuts, coconut and olive oils. Combining them means you’re 30% more likely to absorb the fat -soluble nutrients.
- Eat before taking calcium supplements. Most calcium supplements contain calcium carbonate, which relies on the stomach acid produced to digest a meal, for absorption. However, it’s best to avoid iron-rich meals that can inhibit how much calcium you will absorb and to take the supplement in the evenings.
- Folic acid on an empty stomach. When taking folic acid on an empty stomach, you’re likely to absorb up to 15% more*
- Avoid fibre with supplements and medications. Whether you’re eating a high-fibre meal or taking a fibre supplement, its best to avoid taking a vitamin and mineral supplements or medications with it. Fibre can inhibit their absorption and effectiveness.
- Avoid taking your supplements with coffee, tea, soft drinks/sodas and alcohol. These beverages act as diuretics and can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals in foods and supplements.
- Avoid Cows Milk with Magnesium supplements. Cows milk contains phosphorus that can bind to magnesium and inhibit it’s absorption.
- Antibiotics and supplements don’t mix. Especially the immune boosting supplements like zinc. The interaction can inhibit the absorption of both the supplement and the antibiotic, so its best to take an antibiotic 2 hours before or after taking a supplement.
- Pair well for best results. Some vitamins and minerals work more effectively and absorb better when they’re paired, either with food or supplements. Examples include Vitamin C paired with Zinc to boost immunity, Vitamin C with Iron increases iron absorption, and Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
If you’d like more information, please comment or contact me for an appointment.
Yours in good health,
Tracie Connor is an accredited nutritionist & media spokesperson specialising in womens health, allergies, weight management and fertility. Regularly featured in the Sydney Morning Herald, Huffington Post and on ABC Radio. Based in Brisbane, Australia for personal consultations, personal shopping tours and in-home tailored pantry makeovers with health fund rebates available on services.