As a child, do you recall chewing those Flintstone vitamins?
The necessary daily supply of vitamins and minerals that you need for a healthy body can be obtained through supplements. While eating a healthy, well-balanced meal is the best way to receive your vitamins and minerals, supplements can help your body.
According to registered dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CCSD, LD, “Vitamins play background roles in our bodies.” Vitamins are necessary for the body to operate and for the breakdown of macronutrients including protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
We outline the vitamins and minerals you ought to consume daily along with their advantages.
Which Vitamins Ought to You Take Every Day?
About half of American adults are thought to take a vitamin or mineral supplement.
If they are aware that they are deficient in a certain dietary group, Patton says, “they might take supplements.” Others might take supplements because they know they don’t consume enough fruits and veggies or for the antioxidant benefits. Some folks might actually be lacking something.
Before beginning to take supplements, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor or a qualified dietitian because everyone has different vitamin needs. They can assist you in determining which products to use or whether you really need to use any at all. If a supplement interacts poorly with any medications you are already taking, it may result in health issues. Your doctor and pharmacist may advise you on this as well.
Definition of Recommended Daily Allowance
The average daily consumption of vitamins and minerals that a person requires to maintain good health and prevent deficiencies is known as the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Vitamin and mineral requirements for men and women frequently differ.
The RDA can be measured in various ways. The body requires more of the vitamins and minerals that are measured in milligrams than those that are measured in micrograms. One milligram contains 1,000 micrograms. There is a defined RDA for each vitamin and mineral.
Various Advantages of Vitamins
You should think about consuming the vitamins and minerals listed here.
Retinol is another name for vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin. For women, the RDA for vitamin A is 700 micrograms, whereas for men it is 900 micrograms. Numerous dairy products and foods with yellow or orange coloring include vitamin A.
According to Patton, “fruits like cantaloupe, mangoes, and apricots are good selections.”
Advantages of vitamin A:
- Fights infection and helps.
- Sustains sound vision.
- Has a significant impact on kidney, lung, and heart function.
- Maintains healthy skin by warding against toxins (also called free radicals).
- Strengthens teeth and bones.
The vitamin B complex is made up of eight B vitamins, each with a different RDA. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the majority of Americans do not consume enough B vitamins each day to meet the RDA.
To reduce the danger of deficiency, numerous cereals, flours, breads, and pastas are regularly fortified in the United States with B vitamins. B vitamins can be found in whole grains, animal proteins, and leafy green vegetables.
According to Patton, “the majority of B vitamins are used to convert food into energy.” And also heavily utilized for cell division, growth, and development.
Advantages of vitamin B:
- Keeps memory and brain activity at a normal range.
- Required for healthy protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL to reduce cholesterol (good cholesterol).
- Lowers the danger of heart disease.
- Lowers the chance of a stroke.
- Essential for healthy neurological system and blood cell synthesis.
Antioxidants included in vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, support the formation of healthy tissues. The RDA for men is 90 milligrams, while the RDA for women is 75 mg. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C.
According to Patton, vitamin C helps shield your cells from the harm caused by free radicals. “It’s also utilized to assist your bodies produce collagen.”
Advantages of vitamin C:
- May lower chance of contracting the common cold.
- Protects the health of the tissues and skin.
- Strengthens teeth and bones.
If you lack iron, vitamin C can improve your body’s ability to absorb it. “More vitamin C is helpful if you’re wanting to maximize your iron absorption,” she continues.
Ultraviolet (UV) light activates vitamin D, a necessary fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin D is also present in cod liver oil, fatty fish, fortified drinks, milk, and cereals in addition to being obtained by sun exposure. When a person does not receive enough UV light, they can be a healthy alternative. The RDA for both adults and children is 15 micrograms (600 IU). It is 20 micrograms for people aged 70 and older (800 IU).
According to Patton, vitamin D deficits are very typical. Your vitamin D levels may be checked by your doctor, and occasionally they may be so low that a prescription-strength vitamin D treatment is required.
Advantages of vitamin D:
- Affects immune cell performance.
- Keeps the nervous system operating.
- Necessary for healthy bones.
- Controls the calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood.
For proper organ function, vitamin E is essential. Daily intake should be 15 milligrams. Vegetable oils, avocados, spinach, seeds & nuts, and whole grains are sources of vitamin E.
Vitamin E can help with blood artery dilation and blood clot prevention in addition to its antioxidant properties, according to Patton.
Advantages of vitamin E:
- Prevents toxins from damaging cells.
- Keeps muscles functioning.
- Lowers cancer risk.
- Lowers the danger of heart disease.
- Decreases the chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
Blood clotting requires vitamin K. Men need 120 micrograms of vitamin K daily, while women need 90 micrograms. The majority of this vitamin’s protein-rich food sources are leafy green vegetables.
According to Patton, vitamin K works in conjunction with calcium to maintain the health of your bones.
Advantages of vitamin K:
- Promotes quick wound healing.
- Strengthens bones
- Reduces the risk of heart disease.
Calcium is a mineral required for strong bone development. For men and women between the ages of 19 and 51, the RDA for calcium is 1,000 milligrams; for women over the age of 51 and for males over the age of 70, it rises to 1,200 milligrams daily.
Most dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt, are excellent calcium sources. Rhubarb, spinach, soy, tofu, and other foods are rich in calcium.
But it also affects how muscles work and is required for nerves to transmit signals from the brain to the body, according to Patton.
Advantages of calcium:
- Enhances muscle performance.
- Aids in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
- Aids in the secretion of hormones.
- Helps to keep bones strong.
- Aids in maintaining healthy teeth.
- Reduces the chance of osteoporosis.
In blood, iron aids in oxygen delivery. A weakened immune system and exhaustion may be caused by a lack of iron. The recommended daily iron intake for both sexes is 8 to 18 mg. Red meat, leafy green vegetables, and legumes are all sources of iron.
Anyone who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet is susceptible to iron deficiency, according to Patton. “There are many plant-based sources of iron, but your body doesn’t absorb it as well as it should. Iron can be blocked by the amount of fiber in a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Advantages of iron:
- Enhances immunological performance.
- Offers energy.
- Enhances brain activity.
- Increases concentration capacity.
- Provides blood with oxygen.
Only trace levels of zinc are required. The RDA is 8 milligrams for women and 11 milligrams for men. In addition to beans, nuts, and whole grains, zinc-rich foods include red meat, poultry, and chicken.
According to Patton, zinc may help avoid infections like pneumonia by boosting the immune system.
Advantages of zinc
- Lowers cancer risk.
- Enhances the immunological system.
- Enhances memory.
- Reduces symptoms of the common cold.
The USDA or the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate supplements. How can you determine if the supplements you’re buying are safe?
Before making a purchase, Patton advises the following actions:
- Speak with your doctor. Consult your doctor before adding any supplements to ensure that you need them and that they won’t interact with any prescriptions.
- Check for independent testing. Some businesses send their goods to a third party for independent ingredient verification.
- Search for the USP logo. Supplying safe, high-quality products is the mission of the independent, nonprofit United States Pharmacopeia (USP).
- Think of the ingredients. Hold to the fundamentals. Additions to vitamins’ contents or claims are unnecessary and may have negative consequences.
So, even if supplements can be beneficial, pay attention to your diet and what you eat. Patton advises against using supplements to replace a good diet.