Vitamins And Minerals: How To Get What You Need
Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals found in food that nourish your body and help keep you healthy. They are essential to your overall health.
Choosing foods each day that are rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way for your body to get what it needs to be healthy. However, research consistently finds that most Americans dont get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , adult Americans do not typically get enough of the following nutrients:
- vitamins A, C, D, and E
Supplements Every Woman Should Take Say Doctors
In modern life, one thing is clear: We could all use more support. And we don’t just mean from your girlfriends.
According to a meta-analysis of studies done by Oregon State University, three-quarters of Americans aren’t eating the daily recommended amount of fruit, and 80 percent don’t have enough vegetables. That means we’re not getting enough essential vitamins from our food.
In addition to adding healthier foods to your shopping list, nutritional supplements can help fill in the gaps. We asked the experts which ones every woman should add to her daily routine. Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.
Why Should Seniors Take Vitamin Supplements
There are several reasons why older adults should take vitamins.
- An older body is less efficient at absorbing key nutrients from food.
- Certain healthy vitamin-rich foods can become difficult to chew or digest as we age.
- Our bones become more brittle as we age, and certain vitamin supplements can also give us a much-needed calcium boost.
- Older adults may not get as much sunlight exposure as they once did, which causes Vitamin D levels to wane.
- Medications, especially diuretics, can flush out nutrients before they can be properly absorbed by the body or block them from being absorbed at all.
- Age-related diseases and conditions can suppress the bodys ability to absorb nutrients, and some may even require a special diet that is low on certain vitamins and nutrients.
- Older adults may not cook as often as they once did, and ready-to-eat meals can rob you of essential vitamins and nutrients.
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Nutrients Young Women Need To Support Reproductive Health
Many women fall short with these important nutrients that help support overall health. Iron is necessary to transport oxygen to red blood cells. It is important to maintain healthy iron status during this time when menstruation is present. In fact, low iron status is prevalent among specific populations in the U.S., including adolescent girls and women of child-bearing age. According to the CDC, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency.1 As a womans peak bone mass is occurring during the early years, calcium and vitamin D are vital to support healthy bones.,2
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Vitamin D: Too Much Can Harm Your Kidneys
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the body, and getting enough is central to health and well-being, offering the promise of protecting bones and preventing bone diseases like osteoporosis. Supplemental vitamin D is popular because its difficult to get enough from food. Also, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, our bodies make vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to sunlight, but increased time spent indoors and widespread use of sunblock has minimized the amount of vitamin D many of us get from sun exposure.
But enthusiasm for vitamin D supplements is outpacing the evidence. As it turns out, when healthy women take low doses of vitamin D it does not necessarily prevent them from breaking bones, according to a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report published in May 2013 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
And taking high doses is not a good option. In healthy people, vitamin D blood levels higher than 100 nanograms per milliliter can trigger extra calcium absorption and lead to muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain, and kidney stones, notes the Cleveland Clinic. It may also raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.
More is not necessarily better when it comes to micronutrient supplements, says Manson.
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Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs
Vitamins are organic compounds your body needs to perform all of its essential functions – like growing tissues, regulating metabolism and maintaining a healthy immune system. Sometimes, the word vitamins is also used as a colloquial reference to minerals, fatty acids, amino acids – and the 13 actual vitamins humans require, of course! So well keep it inclusive with a list of vitamins and compounds your body needs. Vitamins are best when they come from food, versus a dietary supplement, so by eating real, unprocessed whole foods in your diet, youre getting the best of these vitamins. Make it a ritual, like you do with your daily spoonful of our favorite wonderfood, Manuka Honey.
1. Magnesium This mineral plays an important role in muscle contractions. It is also a natural muscle relaxant and can help smooth muscles, including your intestines. It also helps another essential vitamin, calcium, to absorb. It can be found in natural sources such as spinach and other leafy greens, almonds and beans.
2. Calcium This mineral is very essential for bone and teeth health. Some natural sources for this mineral are dairy milk and fortified plant-based milks including almond and cashew milk.
5. Omega-3 Omega-3 is the beneficial fatty acid found in fish, fish oil, Algal oil or hemp seeds. Foods containing it are consumed for their reported role in cardiovascular health, brain function, and mood.
Gummies Vs Sprays Vs Tablets: What’s The Best Way To Get Your Daily Dose
Vitamin sprays and gummies have gained popularity in recent years as they can be more palatable and convenient, especially if you struggle with swallowing pills.
They tend to be more expensive, which can really add up when you’re taking daily supplements for a number of months.
If you opt for the cheapest tablets we’ve found, taking a daily supplement from October to March will cost you just £1.15, whereas with the cheapest gummy it would be around £12 total. Opting for big brand formulations will be even pricier.
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Can You Get Enough Vitamin D In The Sun Only
Some people will be able to get enough vitamin D from the sun. However, it depends on where they live in the world, the time of year, the time of day, and the color of their skin.
People living near the equator get a lot of suns. In the Northern Hemisphere, a person may not be getting enough vitamin D from the sun during the winter.
The sun usually rises between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm In summer, one does not need to stay in the sun too long to make enough vitamin D.
The amount of melanin a persons skin contains affects how much vitamin D they can produce. A small amount of melanin leads to light, unprotected skin, and harmful ultraviolet radiation.
People with a lot of melanin on their skin are better protected from the sun, but it takes longer to make vitamin D. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that many Mexican, American, and non-Spanish blacks are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
These various factors make it difficult to recommend how much sun a person should get to make the vitamin D his body needs.
Vitamin D Council provides some examples:
- At noon during the summer in Miami, a person with a medium skin tone will need to expose one-quarter of his or her skin to sunlight for six minutes.
- At noon during the summer in Boston, someone with a dark skin tone will have to expose one-quarter of their skin to sunlight for two hours.
Is There Really Any Benefit To Multivitamins
Half of all American adultsincluding 70 percent of those age 65 and oldertake a multivitamin or another vitamin or mineral supplement regularly. The total price tag exceeds $12 billion per yearmoney that Johns Hopkins nutrition experts say might be better spent on nutrient-packed foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
In an editorial in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine titled Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements, Johns Hopkins researchers reviewed evidence about supplements, including three very recent studies:
- An analysis of research involving 450,000 people, which found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer.
- A study that tracked the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for mental declines such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking.
- A study of 1,708 heart attack survivors who took a high-dose multivitamin or placebo for up to 55 months. Rates of later heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths were similar in the two groups.
Will a Daily Vitamin Help Keep Your Heart Healthy?
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When To See A Doctor
The symptoms of vitamin deficiency vary. Some deficiencies have no symptoms at all. In general, if you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor:
- You are losing your hair.
- You feel weak.
- You are often tired, even when you get plenty of sleep.
- You have cracks in the corners of your mouth.
- You have acne-like bumps on your cheeks, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks.
- Your vision is getting worse, especially at night.
- You have dry eyes.
- You are having panic attacks.
- You have tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.
- Your gums bleed.
Can You Take Too Much Vitamin D And What Are The Risks
The NHS says 10mcg a day is enough for most of the population to avoid a deficiency, but many supplements contain much higher doses.
25mcg is a common ‘high-strength’ option from supermarkets, discounters and pharmacies, but supplements containing 50 or even 100mcg are also widely available.
Taking between 10 and 50mcg a day is unlikely to cause harm, but bear in mind more is not necessarily better. Taking too much vitamin D over a long period of time can cause calcium to build up in the body, which can actually weaken bones and damage your heart and kidneys. This is known as hypercalcaemia.
The NHS advises the following upper safety limits for vitamin D:
- Adults max 100mcg a day
- Children aged 10 and under max 50mcg a day
- Babies under one max 25mcg a day.
If you have a diagnosed deficiency , your doctor might prescribe you a course of high-dose vitamin D, but only for a short period.
Otherwise, you’re best sticking to less than 50mcg a day.
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What About Gummy Vitamins
Preliminary research suggests the median doses of vitamins are often higher than the recommended amounts in gummy versions. Manufacturers are aware that degradation is more likely in the gummy form, so a higher concentration of vitamins may be added to account for this anticipated loss. In addition, iron is omitted due to its metallic taste.
Gummy vitamins may be helpful for those who have difficulty swallowing supplements, but keep in mind that quality may be less consistent due to manufacturing challenges, and that they typically contain sugar or sugar alcohols, so calories will be present.
How To Start Taking Vitamins
If youre asking yourself, What vitamins should I take daily? but youre not sure where to start, consult your doctor. When it comes to vitamins, safety comes first. It is possible to overdo it with certain vitamins and nutrients, so we recommend you discuss the topic with your doctor before starting anything new.
Vitamins and supplements come in many shapes and forms, from pills, to gummies to chewables to liquid, and more. Pick the type that appeals most to you, and youll be ready to start supplementing your dietmaking your health a top priorityin no time.
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How Can I Get The Vitamins And Minerals I Need
It is usually better to get the nutrients you need from food, rather than a pill. Thats because nutrient-dense foods contain other things that are good for you, like fiber.
Most older people can get all the nutrients they need from foods. But if you arent sure, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out if you are missing any important vitamins or minerals. He or she may recommend a vitamin or dietary supplement.
If you do need to supplement your diet, look for a supplement that contains the vitamin or mineral you need without a lot of other unnecessary ingredients. Read the label to make sure the dose is not too large. Avoid supplements with mega-doses. Too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, and you might be paying for supplements you dont need. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend brands that fit your needs.
Are Sprays Better Than Tablets
There’s no evidence to suggest this is a more effective way to absorb vitamin D, despite what some companies’ marketing implies.
A randomised, controlled trial , concluded that sprays are just as effective as tablets, but not better.
Many of the volunteers did say that they preferred the spray to taking a tablet, which is understandable – supplement fatigue can kick in if you’re having to to take other medicines in tablet form daily.
If you’re more likely to stick to taking vitamin D regularly if it’s in spray or gummy form it might be worth forking out the extra cost – you can shop around for the cheapest deals using our pricing tips above.
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What Vitamins And Supplements Should Men Take Daily
The human body requires 13 vitamins and at least 16 minerals essential to your health.However, while all adults need a variety of key vitamins and minerals every day, men and women have different requirements. For instance, women of reproductive age require more iron than men of the same age, so womens supplements typically include iron and mens supplements dont. If youre asking yourself, What vitamins should I take daily for a man? keep in mind that it varies depending on your age and lifestyle.
The best way to get these vitamins and other nutrients is by eating a healthy, balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, lean meats, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy. But if youre not, you may not be getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling your best. A specially formulated multivitamin for your age and gender, like Nature Made Multi for Him or Multi for Him 50+, provides nutritional support to fill in nutrient gaps missing from your diet.
What Are The Risks Of Taking A Multivitamin
Multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of different vitamins and minerals.
Individuals often take multivitamins to cover their bases. However, many multivitamins contain high levels of nutrients a person may already be consuming enough of in their diet.
Some diets, such as vegetarian or vegan diets or the diets of people with allergies or food intolerances, may be lacking in certain nutrients. Therefore, a person may need to supplement their diet with specific vitamins, minerals, or both.
For example, people following a vegan diet are at risk of developing deficiencies in vitamin B12, iodine, zinc, and iron. They may need to take a supplement or multivitamin to meet their needs.
If someone is considering taking a vitamin or mineral supplement, they should consult a doctor first. The doctor can order a simple blood test to check for any deficiencies.
Taking too many dietary supplements or consuming a specific vitamin or mineral in excessive amounts could result in severe side effects.
If a person is concerned about taking too many supplements, they should seek guidance from a healthcare professional.
If someone thinks their consumption of specific vitamins or minerals is either too high or too low, they should consult a doctor.
A simple vitamin and nutrition blood or urine test
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Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamins And Minerals
– The above-stated values are not meant for diagnosis, these are mainly reference values for informational purposes.
– Most of these values are based on a 2000 calorie intake for people of 4 or more years of age. This reference is applied because it approximates the caloric requirements for postmenopausal women. This group has the highest risk for excessive intake of calories and fat.
– Values on labels are stated Daily Reference values of Recommended Daily Intake . The RDI is a renewed value referring to the old Recommended Dietary Allowance . All values in this table are new RDI values.
– Maximum values are based on Food and Drug Administration values, the World Health Organization , BBC Health values, the European Union Directive and values from various other governmental and private agencies in the USA and the UK.
– Values from the World Health Organization may be somewhat lower than those of the FDA for various vitamins and minerals. Examples of differences : Mg: -60 mg, Vitamin B6: -0,5 mg, Vitamin B12: -4 µg, vitamin C: -15 mg, Vitamin K: -35 mg, folate: -220 µg.
– Elements that have a recommended daily intake within µg range are sometimes referred to as trace elements .
Information on vitamins can be found from the vitamins overview page