The Right Foods Can Counteract Drug Side Effects

At some point in your life, you’ll most likely be taking a prescription medicine. Maybe it’ll be short term; maybe it’ll be long term. Some long term prescriptions can deplete essential nutrients from your body, but a few small dietary changes can help.

  • Statins — drugs that can help lower cholesterol — can deplete levels of coenzyme Q10. This can leave you with sore muscles, elevated liver enzymes, and feelings of fatigue. Adding more lean meat, chicken, and fish to your diet can help boost levels of coenzyme Q10.
  • Medications for high blood pressure, like vasodilators or beta-blockers can deplete levels of vitamin B6 and coenzyme Q10. This can leave you with weak muscles, anemia, and feelings of fatigue. Adding more whole grains, nuts, and lean meats to your diet can help boost vitamin B6 and coenzyme Q10 levels.
  • Diuretics for high blood pressure or congestive heart failure can deplete levels of magnesium, potassium, and zinc. This can leave you with cramps, an irregular heartbeat, and a weakened immune system. Adding more low-fat milk, white beans, and nuts can help boost levels of these important minerals.
  • Hormone therapies like birth control pills can deplete lots of vitamins and minerals from your body — vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, and zinc. This can leave you with insomnia, a weakened immune system, and blood clots. Adding more leafy greens, whole grains, avocado, and bananas to your diet can help boost vitamin and mineral levels.

Your doctor may also suggest a vitamin supplement. Things like coenzyme Q10, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, and zinc are relatively easy to find and safe to take in supplement form. You may need to talk to your doctor about a safe potassium supplement if you need one. But if you can get all the nutrients your body needs from a varied, healthy diet… why not do it that way?

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