Various nutrition products include, but are not limited to, bodybuilding products, meal replacement shakes and drinks, essential fatty acids and dietary oils, vitamin and mineral supplements, dietary enzymes, energy bars and herbal supplements. Some people, including nutritionists and dietitians, believe that nutrition videos and books also should figure on the list of these types of products because they give the public nutrition information. Cosmetics that contain vitamins and minerals, although absorbed through the skin, are not considered to be nutrition products.
Nutrition classes generally are of much benefit to those who need in-depth information about the different nutrition products that might help them make informed decisions regarding the choices that are available. For example, bodybuilders tend to be interested in elevating their intake of high-quality protein and often take amino acids to help them to build muscle as part of their regimen. People who are interested in weight reduction might purchase nutrition drinks such as shakes to serve as a replacement for one or two meals per day. Some people have to give special attention to a specific area of basic nutrition, such as those who take essential fatty acids and dietary oils. A simple product such as olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated oil and contains polyunsaturated fats, might be purchased to be added to the diet in meals such as vegetable salads, for which it often is seasoned and serves as a dressing.
People who have digestive problems might want to take enzymes that are considered nutrition products to assist in the breakdown of foods and ensure the highest absorption possible of nutrients from meals. This approach almost always proves to be more beneficial to one's health than taking nutrition supplements such as vitamins and minerals, which might be formulated with synthetic substances. Other suggestions for meeting the nutritional needs of people with weak digestion include resorting to herbal nutrition, which basically refers to obtaining vitamins, minerals, enzymes, natural sugars and other nutrients from herbs. Herbal products might be a combination of herbs formulated to alleviate the symptoms of specific conditions such as the hot flashes that are experienced by many women who are going through menopause.
Surgical operations on organs such as the stomach and small or large intestines usually interfere, at least temporarily, with a patient's ability to properly digest food, from which vital nutrients must be absorbed to maintain health. Physicians might prescribe nutrition products in the form of vitamin and mineral supplements for such a patient for a period of time or for the rest of their life. Energy bars also are considered nutrition products because they usually are formulated to contain amounts of vitamins and minerals high enough to meet minimum daily nutritional requirements.