What Vitamins Should I Take? Why You Should Take a Multivitamin

Though you wouldn't know it from looking at many Americans' diets, vitamins and minerals are a key part of a healthy diet. While eating the right kind of food to provide your body with the recommended daily value of nutrients is ideal, it is not always easy. If you know you're not getting the right amounts of vitamins vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, highly consider adding a daily multivitamin to your diet. Here's why.

In today's society most people are busy and constantly on-the-go, and do not always have time to make sure they are getting enough nutrients from the foods they eat. Though you may be able to get by without a proper intake of vitamins and minerals in your youth, maintaining a balanced diet full of essential nutrients is necessary for long-term health. You may not realize it, but vitamins and minerals are needed for normal body functions, such as cell growth, energy metabolism, enzyme synthesis, and keeping body systems functioning properly. Doctor recommended, multivitamin supplements can help your body get the nutrients it needs and reduce dietary deficiencies because they usually contain 100 or more of the recommended daily allowance.

Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals

Boost White Blood Cell Count and Immunity

Many vitamins help build up the body's natural defenses and offer increased protection from germs, bad bacteria, and fungus. For example, vitamin C works as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage and also assisting in infection control. Vitamin A plays a major role in building up the immune system and promotes the production of white blood cells that fight off infection.

Boost Energy Levels

Along with raising your white blood cell count, getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals will also boost your energy levels. If you feel a little tired all of the time for really no reason, you might have a vitamin deficiency. One of the easiest ways to start combating vitamin deficiency is to take a multivitamin, which will start building you back up to where you need to be. B vitamins--including vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin--help your body absorb energy from the food you eat. Vitamin B deficiency can cause fatigue, anemia, and weakness.

Disease Prevention

Vitamin deficiency can increase your risk of illness, whether mild or serious. Keeping up with your daily values of vitamins will also help prevent you from contracting a variety of chronic diseases. For example, not getting enough vitamin D can increase your risk of osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease. Take a multivitamin and also try to steal a few minutes outside in the sunlight whenever you can!

Make Your Bones Stronger

Calcium and vitamin D work together to maintain bone health and help prevent osteoporosis in adults. Vitamin K also helps build bone strength. Get the vitamins you need and keep a healthy, balanced diet and you're less likely to break your bones.

What Multivitamin is Best for Me?

Men How much of each vitamin you need is actually somewhat dependent on your gender. For example, men do not need as much iron as women, so multivitamins for men contain less iron. You probably already get all the iron you need if you eat meat, like beef, pork, turkey, and shrimp on a regular basis. Most multivitamins for men do not contain any added iron, but instead have an increased amount of selenium and vitamin E, elements men need to prevent prostate issues.

Women Women need extra iron because they lose iron during menstruation, so a good multivitamin for women will usually include increased iron. To get more iron, eat more potatoes (with the skin), beans, and lentils. If you're of childbearing age, folic acid is another very important vitamin. Women should also select a multivitamin with extra vitamins A and D.

Children Many people think that children need large amounts of vitamins and minerals, but in fact many popular kid foods are already fortified with vitamins and minerals. For kids with growing bones, vitamin D is essential. Most children's multivitamins contain large amounts of it.

Individuals over age 60 As people get older, they start losing the ability to absorb certain nutrients, especially vitamin B-12. For this reason, multivitamins for senior citizens and older adults commonly contain more vitamin B-12 and vitamin K. Multivitamins designed for senior citizens usually contain less iron as it can be harmful to elderly individuals.

Honestly, the best way for you to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need is by keeping a balanced, healthy diet, but that can be very hard to do. A multivitamin is not a magic pill that will make up for a unhealthy diet, but taking a daily multivitamin will help you make up for meals when you eat out, go on vacation, or just don't eat as well as you would have liked to. To keep your body as healthy as possible, make sure you are trying your best to eat right and exercise often.

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