Healthy eating is the best way to get the nutrients your body needs. Most people, however, fall short when it comes to eating healthy foods. Irregular eating habits, poor diet plan, snacking and over dieting all contribute to nutritional gaps in a person’s diet. Taking vitamins is a quick and easy means of filling the gap in your nutritional needs.
Choosing the correct vitamin supplements is key to getting the nutrients your body lacks. Multi-vitamins won’t replace healthy eating or a healthy lifestyle, but they can provide a “back-up” for people whose dietary habits are not where they should be.
Suppose you’re unfamiliar with vitamin supplements and what they have to offer. In that case, the following counsel can help answer such questions as “What vitamins should I be taking?” or “What kind of vitamins should I take?”
The Benefits of a Multivitamin
Men, women and children all differ in their nutritional needs. Knowing what vitamins are best for your gender, age, and physical makeup can help you choose the right supplement for you. For most people, taking a multivitamin daily is sufficient as it contains almost all the essential vitamins and minerals a person needs.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a multivitamin to supplement your dietary needs.
- You can tell what nutrients a vitamin contains in most countries and the amount you are getting per serving by reading the label. Before buying a multivitamin, take time to check out the label to get a better idea of the nutritional value of your product.
- A good supplement will contain all the essential minerals and vitamins your body needs. This includes vitamin C, A, E, D, K, all the B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Select a supplement that gives you the highest percentage (not to exceed 100%) of your recommended daily dosage for those vitamins.
- Choose a vitamin recommended for your sex, age and dietary needs.
- Take note of vitamins made for specific nutritional conditions or needs, such as prenatal vitamins or supplements for people with iron deficiency.
- Avoid supplements that claim to exceed 100% of your daily recommended dosage. Overdoing your vitamin supplement may cause your body more harm than good. Remember that you will also be getting the nutritional value from your diet.
What Vitamins Should Women Take?
By eating healthy foods regularly, the average woman will get the nutrients her body needs. Unfortunately, not all women fall into the healthy eating category. Professionals, mothers, and students often eat fast foods or skip meals altogether due to their busy schedules. This is where taking a multivitamin for women can make up for a woman’s lack. Nursing moms may also need the extra nutrients that supplements have to offer.
Now you need to decide, “What vitamins should I take daily?” Determining that you need extra nutrients is the first step. According to the Institute of Medicine, there are approximately 15 essential vitamins women need to ensure their body systems operate as they should. These are:
- Vitamins A, C, D, E and K
- Thiamin, niacin, Vitamin B6 and B12
- Folate acid
- Pantothenic acid
- Biotin and
Some vitamins share the same function, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, supporting tooth growth and development. Several B vitamins enhance red blood cell production and stimulate body metabolism. Some vitamins are needed for specific body functions, such as vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium, and vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.
Most women can get their daily portion of vitamin D by spending 10-15 minutes in the sun. As for vitamin K, the body produces almost three-quarters of what it needs. If a woman needs more, she can generally get it from her diet.
Pregnant women require more significant quantities of Vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid to prevent congenital disabilities and encourage the growth of healthy babies. Women planning to have a baby should also increase their folic acid intake.
Vegetarians may need to obtain B12, zinc and Vitamin A through supplements as these may be lacking in their vegetarian diet. Older women who spend little time in the sun can get their vitamin D from supplements.
What Vitamins Should Men Take?
Although men have different nutritional needs than women, they still need to watch their diet and make an effort to eat healthy foods. Poor eating habits will eventually rob them of their health and wellbeing. Men can replenish the vitamins and minerals lost by not eating healthy meals by taking vitamin supplements.
“Supplements won’t counteract poor eating habits,” says Amanda Carlson, the director of performance nutrition, Athletes’ Performance, Tempe, AZ, “but they can help to make a healthy diet better.” Here are some suggestions for vitamins men can take to supplement their diet.
Multivitamins work just as well for men as they do for women. By taking multivitamins regularly, men will get the full benefits of this product. Multivitamins for men should contain all the essential nutrients men need, plus selenium for more excellent protection against cancer and zinc for help in producing sperm.
Men who have difficulty swallowing pills may prefer more minor-sized supplements to make them easier to take. By choosing a supplement that provides the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals, men don’t have to worry about taking extra pills daily to get the nutrients they need.
Fish oil is rich in omega-three fatty acids, enhancing brain health and strengthening the heart. These acids also contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in healing sports injuries. To get the recommended dosage of omega acids, people would need to eat fish 2-3 times a week, which in most cases, is highly unlikely. Fish oil supplements containing the fats DPA and EPA can help fill this gap.
Much has been said in the news lately about the positive effects of probiotics. This good bacterium is essential for stomach health; it also helps strengthen the immune system. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, although you can also obtain it in soy beverages, tempeh, miso and fermented or unfermented milk. If these foods are not a regular part of your diet, taking probiotic supplements daily is a viable alternative.
How Vitamins Contribute to Weight Loss
Many people wonder, “what vitamins should I take for weight loss?” Although vitamin supplements can help contribute to weight loss in various ways, taking vitamins alone will not cause you to lose weight. Here are some ways in which vitamins can help in reducing weight.
Vitamin B12 helps nourish red blood cells, which improves your health and vitality. An increase in energy enables you to exercise more which will help you lose weight.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium which is essential for strong bones. Calcium also enhances muscle and nerve function for a more substantial, healthier body. The stronger your body, the more active you can be to help in reducing excess pounds.
Omega 3s enhance brain health blood clotting and help protect you from heart disease. The antioxidants in green tea also help strengthen and protect your cardiovascular system. A strong heart will improve your blood circulation, increasing oxygen flow in your body. This increases energy levels so you can lead a more active lifestyle.
Vitamins and minerals serve to improve a person’s overall health and wellbeing. They strengthen your heart, muscles, bones and body systems so you can exercise, work, play and enjoy life to the full. Better health enables you to live an active lifestyle that contributes to weight loss and staying at a healthy weight level. Understanding the connection between vitamin supplements and weight loss will help you save money on the vitamin supplements you choose.
What Vitamins Should I Take for Energy?
Vitamins play an essential role in boosting your energy by providing the nutrients lacking in your diet. Vitamin D and the B vitamins are good for increasing your vitality without the risk of side effects that some energy drinks and stimulants can cause.
One of the roles of the B-complex vitamins is to convert the food you eat into fuel to give you energy for daily living. According to the National Institute of Health, B12 not only increases energy but helps in improving concentration and boosting a person’s mood.