Every day we learn of an increasing number of people taking some form of supplement hoping that they will feel healthier. Some take a general vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure against possible deficiency; some take protein supplements to get a good physique or for body building; others take extracts and concentrates of specific plants to treat a particular condition. While a few supplements offer genuine benefits, using large amounts of them, especially when you don't need them, can be harmful. Hence it is always better to have natural sources of these nutrients rather than a supplement; unless it is essential for you or it is prescribed by a health professional. Here is a list of commonly consumed nutrients through supplements and their natural food sources you can choose instead:
Vitamin A - egg yolk, dark green leafy vegetables, yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, dairy products, liver, apricot.
B Vitamins - Whole grains cereals and legumes, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, egg, poultry, nuts.
Vitamin C - Amla, citrus fruits, tomato, melons, berries, kiwi fruit, potato, green and red bell peppers.
Vitamin D - Egg yolk, fish like tuna, salmon and sardine, milk. Vitamin D is also produced by skin when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin E - Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and dark green leafy vegetables.
Calcium - Milk and milk products, soy milk, ragi, fish with bones, green leafy vegetables, and sesame seed.
Phosphorus - Meat, poultry, fish, egg, milk and its products, pulses and whole grains.
Magnesium - Nuts, green leafy vegetables, whole grains cereals & pulses, sesame seed, dried fig.
Iron - Meat, fish, poultry, organ meats, egg yolk, whole grains, and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc - Red meat, seafood, egg, whole grains, peanut, sesame seed, milk and its products.
Protein - Dals and pulses, milk and milk products, meat, fish, poultry, egg and nuts.
Omega 3 fatty acids - Soya bean, tofu, soy bean oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil, walnuts, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, oily fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon.
3.Reader's Digest Foods that Harm Foods that Heal, An A-Z guide to safe and healthy eating, Minerals: Vital Nutrients Essential For life, Published by The Reader's Digest Association Limited, London (1996), Page no. 236-243.
4.Reader's Digest Foods that Harm Foods that Heal, An A-Z guide to safe and healthy eating, Vitamins: Cornerstones of Health, Published by The Reader's Digest Association Limited, London (1996), Page no. 362-369.