Some types of food supplements include antioxidants, vitamins, fats, minerals, and proteins. Recommended types can vary according to what a person's diet might lack. Supplements are also sometimes added to a person's diet because of certain activities they participate in. For example, athletes often require more carbohydrates in their diet because carbohydrates can increase energy.
In Western cultures, diets are usually high in carbohydrates. Compounds of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen are generally elements of carbohydrates. In the body, chemical processes break down carbohydrates into glucose. If the body doesn't maintain healthy levels of glucose, diabetes can occur.
Those who wish to avoid getting colds and flu viruses often look for different types of food supplements, such as antioxidants. Antioxidants are usually made up of plant extracts. These extracts enter the blood stream and, as they circulate, clean up free radicals. Free radicals are unstable compounds that, in an effort to become stable, try to steal electrons from other molecules. As a result, free radicals can cause disease and cell damage.
Vitamins are typically among the most common types of food supplements. Vitamin depletion in soil used to grow fruits and vegetables and excessive food processing have contributed to a variety of vitamin deficiencies that many people experience. Vitamin D is an exception—not only is it found in milk, it is also manufactured by the body when exposed to sunlight. Vitamins also are essential to a person's diet in order to maintain organ functions.
Good fats, also known as fatty acids, are something many people do not get enough of when it comes to the different types of food supplements necessary to their diet. These fats are found in animal products, nuts, seeds, and some plants. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eichosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are two examples of beneficial fatty acids. Specifically, DHA and EPA are very important to nerve and brain function.
Minerals are often considered to be among the most important of the different types of food supplements. They are mostly made up of inorganic compounds and metals. Healthy bones and teeth are generally attributed to a healthy amount of minerals in the diet.
Proteins are used to build muscle and tissue. Healthy hair and nails are two physical indicators that a person might be getting enough protein in their diet. In addition to finding different types of food supplements that contain protein as an ingredient, people can also find protein in foods such as beef, fish, eggs, dairy products, seeds, nuts, and legumes.