In the age of the internet there is information everywhere and sometimes there is so much we can even get overwhelmed. Luckily enough if we look hard enough there can be good information found on regarding almost everything! Today we’re more informed about what’s good for us especially when it comes to nutrition and living our happiest and healthiest life .
With improved distribution and supply chains, now more than ever we have more accessibility to healthy foods. As well as quality vitamins and supplements that can keep us at our best. We’ve even found ways to add vitamins to foods if they aren’t naturally found there. Fortified foods can be great for us, but sometimes even that is not enough. Plus if we partake in a balanced diet, we generally get a healthier dose of vitamins we need. Yet sometimes there is something still missing so here are some ways to get the recommended amount of vitamins our bodies need.
” … That still doesn’t guarantee everyone will get all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to protect against chronic health problems,” says dietitian Mira Ilic, RD, LD. “Certain medical conditions, economic or demographic factors that influence access to food, life stages and special diets can increase the risk for vitamin insufficiencies that can compromise your health”
Here is a list of vitamins and supplements with increased risk of inadequate intake, and if you’re missing them how you can add them to your diet. Let’s break it down together and makes some sense of what the body needs and how to get it.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) helps you keep your nerve and blood cells healthy and it aids in your body’s energy production. It also helps your body create DNA which is used as a building block for multiple things. Vitamin B12 needs to be absorbed properly in order to be able to allow us to receive these benefits. As you age, you may have less acid in your stomach to break down protein and release vitamin B12 from food. Therefore it is important to supplement with B12 if this problem is occuring. Researching and ensuring that you purchase Vitamin B12 with high bioavailability is very important too. Also, conditions like Crohn’s disease or medications such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers and the diabetes drug metformin can interfere with absorption.
People over age 50 or others at risk for having less than sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 should ask a doctor about whether they should take a supplement. But usually you can get B12 through foods such as:
- Fish ( such as tuna, salmon, and trout)
- Milk Products ( such as cheese or nonfat plain Greek yogurt)
- Fortified soy milk
(For vegetarians and vegans – you may be more at risk for having too little B12 in your diet)
Folate and Folic Acid is a general term that’s used to describe the many different forms of Vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 is one of the eight B vitamins and each has a different task to perform in our bodies. Vitamin B9 is important in the creation of red blood cells as well as other cells within our body. B9 plays a prominent role in healthy cell growth and function throughout our bodies. It’s particularly important for pregnant women to ensure the get the proper amount of folate during the first three weeks of pregnancy to prevent birth defects.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate that is used in supplements and in fortified foods. (Fortification is the process by which vitamins and minerals are added to food.)
It can be difficult for some to get the daily recommended amount of folate though food alone. Keep in mind that many of us are still not getting enough fruits, vegetables, and legumes- our best sources for folate. Therefore folate supplementation is something that could help reach the daily folate intake goal and doing that ensures our body and our cells stay happy and healthy.
Be sure to ask your Dr. before you purchase a folate/folic acid supplement. If found to be deficient in folate ensure that you purchase a folate or folic acid supplement with high bioavailability so your body can get what it needs.
Vitamin D is crucial for your body to absorb the calcium it needs for healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency also has been linked to certain cancers and heart disease. Unlike other vitamins, our main source of vitamin D isn’t food- it’s the sun. Some risk factors for low levels of Vitamin D include living at high latitudes, high levels of air pollution or city smog, and dense cloud covering to name a few. Many foods today are fortified with Vitamin D, including orange juice, milk and breakfast cereals. Natural sources of vitamin D include fatty fishes such as:
- Whole eggs
If you don’t eat fish or if these foods aren’t available to you, talk to your doctor about a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D comes in many different strengths including 1000, 5000, and 10000. Also pairing your Vitamin D with Vitamin K can aid in absorption. Talk about a win win!
Vitamin B6 is part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in the human body, but it’s best known for its role in regulating your sleep, appetite, and mood. Therefore ensuring that we get enough Vitamin B6 helps us start each and every day as the best person we can be.
Vitamin B6 also plays a key role in cognitive abilities and immune function and also helps you make red blood cells. Although deficiency is rare, many of us, especially the elderly, don’t get the recommended daily allowance for vitamin B6.
Vitamin b6 is naturally present in many foods. The richest sources of vitamin b6 include fish, beef liver, and other organ meats, potatoes and other starchy vegetables.
Vitamin A is important for vision, healthy skin, and immunity. Vitamin A is usually found within the body as preformed Vitamin A (Retinol) and beta-carotene. Once your body encounters these two ingredients it is then converted by your body into an active form of vitamin A.
Best sources of Vitamin A: found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, and other dairy foods.
That wraps it up for this list of vitamins! If you still want more information on health tips and vitamins and supplements check out our other blog posts! Especially the one regarding Vitamin D!
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