5 Reasons Why Singaporeans Need Supplements

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5 Reasons Why Singaporeans Should Consider Taking Supplements

5 Reasons Why Singaporeans Should Consider Taking Supplements

By Jay, Paquet's Nutritionist

The demand for nutritional supplements in Singapore has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Popular products, such as probiotics for gut health and fish oil for heart health, have been flying off the shelves. In 2017, $490 million has been spent on vitamins and supplements. Despite the popularity of these products, it is important to note that not everyone needs supplements. 

By definition, supplements are defined as 'things added to something else in order to complete or enhance it'. As with nutritional supplements, they are intended to complement our diet and lifestyle to support or maintain the healthy functions of our human body. While it is true that not everyone requires supplements, most Singaporeans should take some form of supplements for these 5 reasons stated below. Let us explore why!

1) Singaporeans Are Not Taking Proper Care of Their Health

It shouldn't surprise many that Singaporeans have one of the longest working hours in the world - at least going by the number of hours clocked. As a result, a nationwide survey conducted has shown that Singaporeans are not getting sufficient exercises. Instead of exercising, most of us are spending large amount of their time (more than 12 hours daily) on electronic gadgets. The lack of exercises often leads to obesity issues, causing heart-related diseases. While supplements should not be used to substitute exercises completely, various health supplements (such as fish oil and CoQ10) have shown to be effective in helping with such heart-related diseases. 

2) Singaporeans Have Poor Eating Habits

The long working hours often results in an unhealthy diet, as most Singaporeans don't have time to prepare for a wholesome diet.  In fact, according to the national nutrition survey, 9 out of 10 Singaporeans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Most people think that the sliced cucumbers and tomatoes from your plate of chicken rice or that additional vegetable from your noodle soup are enough, but this is not the case. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of nutrients, including vitamins, fibre and phytochemicals. A daily multivitamin would easily help to fill up this nutritional gap.

Furthermore, it is difficult to get all the daily required nutrients from our daily meals. For instance, Osteoporosis, a bone disease that results in brittle and weak bones, is a common problem in Singapore. To prevent this, HPB recommends at least 2-3 cups of milk daily to get the required calcium. Most Singaporeans are unable to do that. That is why we observe older people having pains in their bones/joints and having difficulty climbing stairs. Once you contract such a disease, it is usually too late to do something about it. 

3) Nutrient Absorption Declines with Age

Singapore is faced with an ageing population. As Singaporeans age, they tend to become less active. This lowers their rate of metabolism and their daily energy requirement, which means that they will consume lesser amount of calories. Look at your parents for instance, chances are that they don't eat as much as they used to. While they are taking in lesser calories (and nutrients), recent research has shown that older adults' abilities to absorb and utilize many nutrients become less efficient, increasing their nutrients intake requirements. Lesser intake of food plus the inability to absorb nutrients result in overall lesser nutrients in their body. Thus, it is important to take some form of supplements to fill the nutritional gap, especially as you grow older. 

4) Medical Expenses Are Very Expensive

Health care cost is rapidly increasing in Singapore. In the latest Mercer Report, Singapore's healthcare cost inflation was 10 times the economic inflation in 2018. With concerns of such expensive medical bills (with bills easily surpassing the $1000 mark even in public hospitals), I am certain that no Singaporean would dare to fall sick. As such, prevention is always better than cure. With proper diet, proper exercises and sufficient supplementations, we can take good care of our health. Even with proper exercises and diet in place, we need some form of supplementations to help us fill our nutritional gap.

5) Our Food Is Not As Nutritious 

Due to our limited land space, Singapore imports more than 90% of their food from abroad. In the overseas farm, fertilizers are used to ensure the quality of the crops. This would erode the nutrients found in the food. For instance, high usage of nitrogen fertilizers tends to reduce the vitamin C content in many fruits and vegetable crops. Furthermore, the same food products are often treated with preservatives as a way to lengthen the shelf lives. Such treatment can further erode the nutrients left in the food.  As such, our food is not as nutritious. Proper nutritional supplementation would be able to make up for the nutritional gap.

Conclusion

When it comes to our health, prevention is always better than cure, especially when some illnesses have no cure. It is important for Singaporeans to consider taking some form of supplements. Singaporeans, that are trying supplements for the first time, might find it difficult to choose the right supplements for their needs. Fortunately, Paquet has come up with a proprietary health assessment that can identify the nutritional gap that one might have, as a result of their lifestyle.

To access this health assessment, you can click the link over here! (https://paquet.com.sg/assessment)

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