Doctors recommend that we take vitamin supplements, but many of us don’t know where to begin. A recent study showed that most U.S. adults don’t meet half of their daily nutrition requirements, and instead consume far too much sodium and fat. This is not all too shocking considering Americans don’t have the healthiest eating habits.
There are some guidelines to consider before blindly taking vitamin supplements. Always ask your doctor before regularly taking any vitamins and consider if you truly do need these vitamins. Although many Americans don’t get enough nutrients from the foods we eat, there are certain foods that, if eaten regularly, can fulfill some nutrient needs.
To be clear, vitamin supplements should never replace healthy foods. “They can plug nutrition gaps in your diet, but it is short-sighted to think your vitamin or mineral is the ticket to good health – the big power is on the plate, not in a pill,” says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Roberta Anding, MS, RD, to WebMD.
It’s easy to forget to take supplements, but when combined with a healthy diet, remember to take these supplements every day for optimum health.
Magnesium is lost from the body through alcohol, caffeine, some medications, grains, and soy. Magnesium has so many healing properties, it’s almost too hard to count. First, magnesium encourages better sleep. When there is a magnesium deficiency, it disturbs the production of melatonin. It also allows the body to develop bigger, stronger muscles because it helps produce more Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1) which is a major contributor to muscle growth. Magnesium alkalizes the body (creating a more balanced pH) and reduces lactic acid build-up in the muscles, which is responsible for post-workout pain. It also enhances insulin secretion for those with diabetes, hydrates the body, relieves constipation, remineralizes teeth, increases bone strength and flexibility, and helps relax the nervous system.
This is a nutrient that people need to stay healthy. It helps the immune system by fighting off bacteria and viruses. It is optimal for when you feel a cold coming on, but to prevent sickness, take this every day, as it will work better if taken 24 hours before the onset of a cold. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that gradually causes vision-loss. Studies show that zinc can actually slow down this process or prevent it.
3. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D comes from sunshine, but many people don’t get enough sun. Vitamin D helps regulate calcium and phosphorous absorption, maintains healthy bones and teeth, and applies a protective effect against multiple diseases and conditions, like cancer, type 1 diabetes, and MS, according to Medical News Today. It also supports lung function and cardiovascular health. When sun hits the skin, Medical News Today explains that the skin produces its own vitamin D through sunlight. Sun exposure on bare skin for 5 to 10 minutes 2-3 times a week is a sufficient amount of vitamin D, but it has a half-life of two weeks. This means that in the winter, especially, we need all of the vitamin D we can get. Take that in a supplement form. Studies have shown that adults and children across the world are vitamin D deficient.
4. Vitamin B-Complex
B-complex refers to all of the essential water-soluble vitamins, except vitamin C, including: Thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin, folic acid, and cobalamins (B12). These are all extremely important for cell metabolism. Sometimes, B-complex vitamins are linked to an improved mood. B12 is known to increase energy for those deficient of the vitamin. According to eVitamins, vitamin B can reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer and helps prevent connective-tissue disease.
5. Vitamin C
It is a myth that vitamin C helps cure the common cold, but it does have plenty of other useful properties. Vitamin C, according to experts, is one of the safest and most effective nutrients to take. It helps protect immune systems from deficiencies, protect against cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and even wrinkling. You can get plenty of vitamin C from healthy fruits and vegetables, including cantaloupe, orange juice, broccoli, red cabbage, green and red pepper, kiwi, and tomato juice. Vitamin C also helps reduce stress.
6. Fish Oil
Sounds gross, but fish oil is a form of fatty acid derived from the tissues of oily fish. This supplement contains the famous omega-3 fatty acids. If you eat plenty of oily fish, fish oil supplements may not be necessary. Keep in mind, many fish do contain mercury, so fish oil may be a safer alternative. Fish oil helps promote healthy ratios of HDL and LDL cholesterol and also promote good bone health and a good mood.