So here’s the deal..if you eat a perfectly balanced meal including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products, you are probably getting most of the nutrients you need from your food. And while whole foods are the best source of nutrition (they are more easily absorbed and vitamins or dietary supplements are largely unregulated), everyone can benefit from a multivitamin. If you eat a restricted diet (vegan/vegetarian/gluten free), have a condition that depletes nutrients, or find yourself not following a perfectly balanced diet 24/7, supplements can provide a base and ensure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs. I’ve gotten some questions about vitamins and supplements recently, so I figured I’d write a blog post about it!
90% of women in their 20s, 30s and 40s don’t meet their vitamin and mineral requirements through diet alone. (Fitness magazine)
So how do you pick the right supplements for your health?
Depending on what foods you already eat, your vitamin intake will vary. After doing some research (and there is a lottt of information out there about vitamins/supplements), below are some of my suggestions. Disclaimer: I’m not a expert, doctor or healthcare practitioner. I try to eat a balanced diet, but at the end of the day I’m not perfect, I eat a restricted diet and I have an autoimmune disease that is often associated with nutritional deficiencies. I decided to start taking vitamins to supplement my diet – check out my vitamin regimen below.
Women’s Multi. A good multi-vitamin will give you a daily dose of all the things that should be included in your diet (think folic acid, iron, Vitamin D, Calcium). There are a tonnn of brands and as I mentioned before, vitamins are largely unregulated so stick to a reputable brand like Nature Made. They have a Multi For Her vitamin that is gluten free and a viable option for those with Celiac. Another popular one is One-A-Day Women’s, which was picked by Women’s Health magazine as their top multivitamin.
Biotin (Vitamin H). Biotin is a B complex vitamin that supports healthy skin, hair and nails. It also plays a role in metabolism and processing energy. You naturally get biotin in your diet from eating foods like bread, eggs, cheese, pork, salmon and avocados. Some multi vitamins already have biotin in them, so check the label!
Fish Oil – Omega 3. Fish-oil is one of the most popular supplements (according to the Nutrition Business Journal, Americans spend about $1.3 billion on fish oil each year). While the research on this one is conflicting, with some experts recommending them and others suggesting they’re overrated, I’m giving it a shot based on the long list of potential health benefits. Just make sure you get the “burp-less” to avoid a fishy aftertaste. Fish and Fish oil supplements have high levels of lean protein (helps with weight-loss) and omega-3s (like docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid linked to stronger hearts, better brains, and brighter moods according to Women’s Health). Fish oil is also known to regulate oil production keeping skin moist and delaying the skin’s again process to prevent wrinkles. To get omega-3s like DHA and EPA naturally, include fatty fish (like Salmon and Tuna) into your diet twice a week.