How Much Folate Do I Need
Adults need 200 micrograms of folate a day. A microgram is 1,000 times smaller than a milligram . The word microgram is sometimes written with the Greek symbol Î¼ followed by the letter g .
There are no long-term stores in the body, so you need to eat folate-containing foods frequently.
Most people should be able to get the amount of folate they need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
Essential Nutrients For Your Body
Every day, your body produces skin, muscle, and bone. It churns out rich red blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to remote outposts, and it sends nerve signals skipping along thousands of miles of brain and body pathways. It also formulates chemical messengers that shuttle from one organ to another, issuing the instructions that help sustain your life.
But to do all this, your body requires some raw materials. These include at least 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that your body needs but cannot manufacture on its own in sufficient amounts.
Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrientsbecause acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage.
But trying to keep track of what all these vitamins and minerals do can be confusing. Read enough articles on the topic, and your eyes may swim with the alphabet-soup references to these nutrients, which are known mainly be their initials .
In this article, youll gain a better understanding of what these vitamins and minerals actually do in the body and why you want to make sure youre getting enough of them.
Cutting Down On Free Sugar
Foods that contain free sugars aren’t required as part of a healthy balanced diet, so you should try to eat these less often and in smaller amounts.
To do this, use food labels to choose items that are lower in sugar and swap:
- sugary breakfast cereals for plain cereals – such as plain porridge, wholewheat biscuit cereals, shredded wholewheat or no added sugar muesli
- flavoured or corner-style yoghurts for low fat, lower sugar yoghurts, adding fresh fruit for variety
- sugary drinks for water, lower fat milk, sugar-free drinks or tea and coffee
Sugary drinks account for a surprisingly large proportion of the daily sugar intake of both children and adults. Almost a third of the free sugars consumed by 11 to 18 year olds come from soft drinks.
Cereal bars often contain high levels of free sugars too, so remember to check the label.
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What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin B6
When taking a supplement, it’s important not to take too much.
Taking 200mg or more a day of vitamin B6 can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs known as peripheral neuropathy.
This will usually improve once you stop taking the supplements.
But in a few cases when people have taken large amounts of vitamin B6, particularly for more than a few months, the effect can be permanent.
The effect of taking vitamin B6 at doses between 10 and 200 mg is unclear. So there’s not enough evidence to say how long these doses could be taken for safely.
Saturated And Trans Fat
Saturated and trans fat raise the level of cholesterol in your blood, increasing your risk of developing heart disease. You’ll benefit from reducing your intake of these type of fats.
Saturated fats are found in:
- processed meat products – such as sausages and beef burgers
- butter and lard
- full-fat cream, milk and ice-cream
- hard cheese – such as parmesan and cheddar
- biscuits, cakes and pastries
- men should have 95g of fat in their diet each day
- women should have 70g of fat in their diet each day
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Where Should We Get Our Vitamins
Our experts agree that the best source of vitamins is our diet. Whole, fresh, unprocessed foods provide the vitamins our bodies crave. Board certified rehabilitation specialist Dr. Scott Schreiber focuses on obtaining vitamins from whole foods. “Whole foods are the best source of vitamins and minerals,” he tells us. “If it grows from the ground, the way nature intended it, vitamins and minerals occur in their most natural states and can be absorbed the easiest.”
It’s also important to remember that heat can alter the makeup of the vitamins in food. “Cooking methods alter the nutritional status of fresh foods, especially the water-soluble vitamins,” nutritionist Amanda Henham of Vaga Nutrition explains. “So mixing up raw and cooked foods throughout the day is ideal.”
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of these vital nutrients. Vitamin A can be found in orange-colored vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. Henham recommends eating healthy fats like avocado and nuts to obtain vitamin E and leafy greens for vitamin K.
For the water soluble vitamins, reach for brightly colored fruits and vegetables like oranges, bell peppers, and berries.
Good Sources Of Vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. Read more about vitamin D and sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.
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Coconut Water For Extra Hydration
Suggested portion: 1 cup of coconut water
Your morning smoothie will provide a dose of hydration, but dont stop there. Keep drinking plenty of water throughout the day to help your body process all of these nutrients!
Important: Check the label of the coconut water before you buy to see what percentage daily value of nutrients it contains as the amounts vary quite a bit brand to brand. Trader Joes Organic King Coconut Water is a great option, containing 18 percent DV of potassium, 120 percent DV of vitamin C, and 8 percent DV of calcium.
Throughout the rest of the day, try to aim for 8 glasses of water. But if your lifestyle has you sweating , drink even more.
A Closer Look At Antioxidants
Antioxidant is a catchall term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules such as free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells.
Your body cells naturally produce plenty of antioxidants to put on patrol. The foods you eatand, perhaps, some of the supplements you takeare another source of antioxidant compounds. Carotenoids and flavonoids are antioxidants. The vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium also have antioxidant properties.
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When Addressing A Potential Deficiency Prioritize Whole Foods
Its hard to go wrong with whole foods.
Also, most benefits from micronutrients seem to come from a well-balanced diet, rather than supplementation.4
As much as possible, choose whole, minimally-processed foods when filling nutritional gaps.
Youll want to include foods like:
- colorful fruits and vegetables
- herbs and spices
- lean proteins such as red meat , wild game, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs
- beans and legumes
- whole grains
These foods are the most vitamin- and mineral-rich, but they also contain other nutrients whose benefits were only just starting to understand. These other nutrients include:
- Phytonutrients, found in plant foods, and can act as antioxidants, lower inflammation, and even influence hormone function
- Myconutrients, found in mushrooms and edible fungi, and can help fight bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens
- Zoonutrients, found in animal foods, like conjugated linoleic acid and creatine, which can help us lower disease risk, build strength and muscle, and preserve brain function
Nutrition science is a relatively young field, and were still learning how foods and nutrients affect us.
But that old apple a day saying? Theres something to it.
How To Ensure You Get The Right Vitamins And Minerals In The Right Amounts
Vitamins and minerals are as essential for living as air and water. Not only do they keep your body healthy and functional, they protect you from a variety of diseases.
Vitamins and minerals get thrown together, but they are quite different. Vitamins are organic substances produced by plants or animals. They often are called “essential” because they are not synthesized in the body and therefore must come from food.
Minerals are inorganic elements that originate from rocks, soil, or water. However, you can absorb them indirectly from the environment or an animal that has eaten a particular plant.
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Advice For Infants And Young Children
The Department of Health and Social Care recommends that babies from birth to 1 year of age should have a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year if they are:
- formula-fed and are having less than 500ml of infant formula a day, as infant formula is already fortified with vitamin D
Children aged 1 to 4 years old should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D throughout the year.
You can buy vitamin D supplements or vitamin drops containing vitamin D at most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Women and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme can get free supplements containing vitamin D.
See the Healthy Start website for more information.
Vitamins: You Know You Need Them But How Much Do You Really Know About These Important Pillsespecially With So Many Options Out There
You probably already know vitamins exist and are important. Maybe you remember popping a Flintstones vitamin as a kid, or your parents telling you to drink your milk so you can grow up strong. But that undersells just how important vitamins are for your body to function and thrive.
There are 13 essential vitamins and each one plays a unique and vital role in keeping your body healthy. Vitamins aid in the growth, development and function of all the cells. Your body cant produce most, or enough, vitamins on its own so we need to get them from outside sources. While many people take a daily multivitamin, most can get all 13 essential vitamins from foods and enriched foods.
If you can already name all 13 essential vitaminsgood for you! But if youre stumped on the vitamins past A, B, and Ckeep reading.
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A Closer Look At Water
Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves.
Because much of your body consists of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses out of the body in your urine.
- Folic acid
Advice For Adults And Children Over 4 Years Old
During the autumn and winter, you need to get vitamin D from your diet because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.
But since it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamin D from food alone, everyone should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Between late March/early April to the end of September, most people can make all the vitamin D they need through sunlight on their skin and from a balanced diet.
You may choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.
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What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin A
Some research suggests that having more than an average of 1.5 mg a day of vitamin A over many years may affect your bones, making them more likely to fracture when you’re older.
This is particularly important for older people, especially women, who are already at increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones.
If you eat liver or liver pâté more than once a week, you may be getting too much vitamin A.
Many multivitamins contain vitamin A. Other supplements, such as fish liver oil, are also high in vitamin A.
If you take supplements containing vitamin A, make sure your daily intake from food and supplements does not exceed 1.5 mg .
If you eat liver every week, do not take supplements that contain vitamin A.
The 13 Essential Vitamins
At the most basic level, vitamins are essential organic substances your bodys cells require to function, grow, develop and heal properly. There are 13 essential vitamins: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins, B6, B12, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine. A major deficiency in any one of these vitamins could lead to serious health problems.
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Vitamins And Minerals Prevent Disease But Also Help Us Feel Energetic And Healthy
Years ago, medical professionals noticed that certains symptoms and diseases seemed to be directly related to food intake.
Some people got sick even when they were eating adequate calories and protein while others didnt. Scientists determined that the types of food people ateor more accurately, didntseemed to be the difference.
The most famous example : Sailors on long sea voyages were prone to developing scurvyunless they ate citrus fruit. Turns out, all it took was the occasional lemon slice to keep their bleeding gums at bay.
From that and other examples, scientists reasoned that there must be important compounds in foods that preventand perhaps even curediseases.
These compounds were vitamins and minerals.
Do We Rely On Vitamins Too Much
Many people think of vitamins as a substitute for eating a nutritious diet. This is simply not true. In most cases, I recommend trying to get your nutrients from food first. Foods contain a host of other nutrients not typically found in vitamins, such as various types of fiber, which may be beneficial to our heart and GI health, antioxidants, and carotenoids that help protect our eyes from damage.
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What Do Vitamins And Minerals Do
Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs. For example, you’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes. It’s true! Carrots are full of substances called carotenoids that your body converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent eye problems.
Vitamin K helps blood to clot, so cuts and scrapes stop bleeding quickly. You’ll find vitamin K in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soybeans. And to have strong bones, you need to eat foods such as milk, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables, which are rich in the mineral calcium.
Vitamins Are Either Fat
Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed with dietary fat. If we dont eat enough dietary fat, we dont properly absorb these vitamins. Thats why a very low-fat diet can lead to deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins.
We can excrete fat-soluble vitamins through our poop, but we can also store them in our fatty tissues. Fatty tissues include things like body fat stores, but also cell membranes, which are made up of fat. Because we store them, we dont necessarily have to eat these vitamins every day.
Water-soluble vitamins dont require fat to be absorbed. However, theyre also generally not stored in high amounts in the body and can be excreted in the urine. As a result, we need to eat them more often.
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Nutritious Dinner Done Deal
Suggested portion: Protein the size of your fist, vegetables that fill half of your plate, 1/2 cup of whole grains
For dinner, keep it simple. Build your plate around this basic formula: protein, veg, whole grains, and a touch of healthy fat.
Great sources of protein include fish, chicken, tofu, beans, and lean beef.
For veggies, get creative: Roast, steam, saute, or spiralize whatevers in season.
Its always a good idea to include some heart-healthy whole grains at dinner such as brown rice or quinoa. Dont eat grains? Get your fiber from cauliflower rice, lentils, or mashed sweet potato.
Suggested portion: 1 ounce chocolate, 1/2 cup chia pudding or fruit
End your day of nutrient-dense noshes with a healthy dessert.
This could be a refined sugar-free chia pudding, fresh fruit, or piece of chocolate.
Chocolate has a whole host of vitamins and minerals on its own including magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Sweet, huh?
All The Vitamins You Need
Vitamins are essential to good health and wellness, especially in this pandemic. How do we know which vitamins are right for us?
Different vitamins work in different ways. Vitamin C, which is water soluble, can be taken in recommended amounts at any time of the day. Also water soluble are B vitamins, which can be taken any time during the day. On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K dissolve in oil and need to be taken with meals for enhanced absorption. Iron supplements are okay for an empty stomach but not taken with calcium. As for minerals, don’t drink calcium, zinc or magnesium supplements at the same time. It’s best to have them with meals.
Watsons makes vitamins and minerals accessible to Filipinos in their 800+ stores nationwide and through their online channels. Even during lockdowns and quarantines, most Watsons branches are open to serve consumers. Shop now at any of Watsons 800+ stores nationwide , online via or mobile app or via call & delivery service .
Here are some tips from Watsons on how to stay healthy while we’re still facing a global health crisis:
Take your Vitamin CVitamin C is an antioxidant and this can help decrease inflammation, which may improve your immune system. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C helps you recover faster from the common cold. Berocca and Watsons Vitamin C Vitamin E Glutathione Effervescent Tablets are good sources of Vitamin C.
The importance of zinc
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