Is positive thinking REALLY better for you than vitamins?

New research into the nation’s attitude towards health revealed that while 38% of us describe ourselves as ‘fairly health conscious’, our knowledge of what techniques and habits can improve our health is sorely lacking.

The study, conducted by Simply Supplements, asked over 2,000 Brits to identify what improvements they could make to their lives in order to improve their health. The respondents could choose multiple options, 24% chose Increase fresh air intake and 27% picked Thinking positively, this does not compare favourably to the mere 19% who selected taking daily supplements to top up vitamins needed by the body.

This study appears to have exposed a major gap in our knowledge.

This is shown in almost half the population (46%) not understanding that eating healthy balanced meals would improve their overall health, less than a third (29%) realising that decreasing alcohol intake would improve their overall health, and 5% mistakenly believing that Arsenic was something they should be taking daily.
Arsenic occurs naturally in the earth, and at low levels is harmless. However, when consumed over a long period of time, it can lead to adverse effects on the stomach and liver. This pales in comparison to 4% believing that radioactive isotope Polonium would improve health if consumed, when in actual fact would give you metal poisoning, liver damage, followed by death.

If you do want to get healthier, the impact a healthy diet can have on the body is wide-ranging, from increased alertness, improved sleep, and reduced risk of heart disease. Having a balanced diet gives the body all the nutrients it needs, meaning we have enough energy without excess calories being stored as fat. But one of the struggles people face in eating healthier is time.

Unknown to over 80% of the population, one of the fastest easiest ways to improve your overall health is through daily vitamin supplements. It’s now common knowledge that, even with the recent weather, British people do not get enough vitamin D, but there are several other key vitamins and nutrients which can be difficult for us to maintain all-year-round.

Matt Durkin MSc, an expert nutritionist from Simply Supplements, explains what we Brits are lacking the most:

‘According to recent research by the British Nutrition Foundation, almost 25% of adult men and nearly 50% of adult females are believed to have insufficient levels of selenium. Selenium is a crucial nutrient for the creation of glutathione in the body, more commonly known to nutritionists as the ‘master antioxidant’. Similarly, around a third of females between the ages of 11 and 64 have an insufficient intake of iron, which is an important mineral for cognitive function and energy levels. As a result, it is therefore quite worrying that such low numbers of Brits identify supplements as an effective method of supporting good health.’

While all of us should be trying to get healthier, the quickest ways to do so are remarkably simple, and will make a big difference to your daily life.