Take your vitamins. Make sure you’re getting enough of this one. Remember always to take it with that one. Antioxidants, oils, extracts, acids.
It’s understandable why so many people become overwhelmed and unsure about what and how much they should actually be consuming. Many of us have specific deficiencies that can be addressed with different vitamin regimens, but there are certain supplements that can benefit all of us.
- Natural Forms: milk, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, beans, calcium-fortified foods
- Benefits: bone health and osteoporosis prevention, overall healthy cell function
- Daily Dosage: 1000 mg (women under 50), 1200 mg (women over 50)
- NOTE: Take with Vitamin D to maximize absorption. Split into two daily doses at opposite ends of the day if possible.
- Omega-3s, namely eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Natural Forms: mackerel, trout, herring, sardines, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, anchovies
- Benefits: heart and blood vessel health, eye health, inflammation reduction, brain function
- Daily Dosage: 1-3 g EPA & DHA. Higher quantities can cause health complications.
- NOTE: Take with food for better absorption. Only take supplements certified to be very low in heavy metals, contaminants and research products.
- Food Forms: legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, magnesium-fortified foods
- Benefits: bone health, heart health, type 2 diabetes prevention, migraine management
- Daily Dosage: 310-320 mg for women and 400-420 mg for men. Children need lesser quantities
- NOTE: Exceeding recommended dosages should be avoided, as excessive quantities can be toxic and lead to health complications.
- Thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), cobalamin (B12) & folic acid
- Natural Forms: whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, dairy, lean meats
- Benefits: heart health, stroke and blood clot prevention, energy production
- Daily Dosage: Each of the eight individual vitamins within this complex has its own RDA. Be sure to check labels before using. Ex. Thiamin – 1.1 mg vs. Folic Acid – 400 mcg
- NOTE: Women over 50 should take a B12 supplement because age makes it harder to absorb this nutrient from food.
- Natural Forms: iron-fortified cereals and breads, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, beans
- Benefits: increases red blood cell production to prevent anemia and loss of energy
- Daily Dosage: 18 mg (before menopause) & 8 mg (after menopause)
- NOTE: At high doses, iron can be toxic, especially to children.
Of course, it’s always best to obtain our nutrients by eating a rainbow of all-natural whole foods. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way of perfectly-balanced nutrition at every meal. Vitamin supplements were created for this very purpose. They literally supplement a (hopefully) healthy diet with whatever it’s lacking to keep you and body operating at peak efficiency.
By Michele Robert Poche