The options in nutritional supplements are overwhelming and there’s always a trendy new superfood or essential mineral formula. From optimized immunity to the next fountain of youth or a must-have skincare and beauty nutrient. Even if all you’re searching for is a daily multivitamin, the options are endless. So, you aren’t alone if you aren’t sure which vitamins are right for you. Let’s dive in and discuss some of your most pressing supplement questions.
Why Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?
We hear a lot about caloric intake, but the nutrients in foods work synergistically in your body to regulate every function it does on autopilot. There are 13 essential vitamins and 89 minerals your body requires to operate at peak performance.
It’s not realistic to assume that you’ll get all the nutrients you require from diet alone. Even if you prioritize well-balanced meals that are high in nutrient-rich whole foods. Why?
- Schedules are increasingly busy, leaving many of us turning to what’s fast and easy, even if it’s not healthy.
- Improper crop rotation means that some of our produce doesn’t contain its full spectrum of nutrients.
- Meat, produce, and dairy may lose some of their nutrients during the processing and shipping process.
- Misleading marketing may have you selecting foods that aren’t as healthy as they sound.
In addition to the factors above, nutritional needs aren’t a one-size-fits-all equation. While there are general guidelines, what your body requires varies by factors such as:
- The gender you were assigned at birth—for example, those assigned male require more protein and those assigned female require more calcium.
- Lifestyle—if you have a high-stress lifestyle you may require more adaptogens to regulate the stress hormone cortisol.
- Individual health—your needs vary if you are sick, healthy, pregnant, or managing any diagnosed medical condition.
- Age—what you need when you are growing varies from midlife and from what you need as you age.
- Physical activity—the intensity of your workouts influences what your body requires to recover and repair.
- Weather—there are some nutrients you need more of depending on the current weather.
What Are The Essential Vitamins?
Now let’s dive in a bit deeper as to which vitamins are right for you. Let’s begin with the 13 essentials. Some vitamins and minerals are water-soluble, which means they need to be consumed daily. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your tissues, so they will last for at least a few days before you need more.
Fat-soluble nutrients are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. They remain in your body for multiple days, weeks, or months.
- Vitamin A (retinol)—essential for vision and eye health, bone growth, immunity, skin health, and minimizing the risk for lung and prostate cancer. Eat more carrots, potatoes, orange and yellow squash, and mangoes.
- Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)—works synergistically to maintain calcium and phosphorus levels for healthy bones and teeth. You can absorb vitamin D with 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight every other day. You can also increase your consumption of fatty fish and fortified milk or cereal.
- Vitamin E (tocopherol)—a powerful antioxidant that minimizes cellular damage and helps to maintain vitamin A levels. Eat more sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, avocado, and seafood.
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone)—activates calcium and proteins to minimize bruising and blood clotting. Eat more eggs, milk, spinach, and all leafy green vegetables.
Water-soluble nutrients circulate throughout your body for 1 to 2 days. So, in addition to identifying which vitamins are right for you need to understand how frequently to eat these foods.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)—one of the most powerful nutrient sources for your immunity. It is also beneficial for eye health, antiaging, connective tissue, brain health, and minimizing the risk for a variety of diseases. Eat more citrus, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.
B1 (thiamine)—converts food into energy and is essential for brain function, nerve function, and healthy muscles, hair, skin, and fingernails. Eat more ham, pork chops, brown rice, soymilk, and watermelon.
B2 (riboflavin)—helps power you throughout your day and supports brain health and healthy blood, skin, and hair. Eat more dairy products, meat, leafy greens, and whole grains.
B3 (niacin)—aids in day-to-day endurance and supports healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system. Eat more meat, fish, whole grains, mushrooms, and peanut butter.
B5 (pantothenic acid)—provides an energy boost and produces lipids, hemoglobin, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Eat more chicken, egg yolks, whole grains, broccoli, tomato, avocado, and mushrooms.
B6 (pyridoxine)—essential for brain health, immune function, creating red blood cells, and producing the mood-boosting hormone serotonin. May decrease the risk of heart disease. Eat more lean meat, fish, tofu, legumes, bananas, potatoes, and watermelon.
B7 (biotin or vitamin H)—helps to convert food to energy, maintain glucose levels, and support healthy bones and hair. Eat more whole grains, organ meat, egg yolks, soybeans, and fish.
B9 (folate or folic acid)—essential for creating new cells, which is why B9 is best known as a prenatal vitamin. It may also reduce the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and colon cancer. Eat more dark leafy greens, legumes, eggs, fruit, and whole grains.
B12 (cobalamin)—aids in the production of red blood cells, regular cells, and DNA. It protects nerves and nerve growth and lowers the risk of heart disease. Eat more meat, fish, dairy, and fortified cereals.
The most essential of the 89 essential minerals include:
There are also many plants and herbs (foods and herbal supplements) that contain other phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants that may reduce your risk of a variety of diseases. An easy way to obtain phytonutrients is to drink unsweetened herbal teas and add more herbs and spices to the foods you cook.
How Can I Tell If I’m Nutrient Deficienct?
Between poor nutritional choices, a lack of understanding of the importance of what we eat, and the factors mentioned in the first section—nearly 1 in 3 Americans is deficient or near-deficient in at least one vitamin.
The only way to tell if you are getting what you need for your current season of life is to order a vitamin deficiency test. This is something we can order for you.
What To Look For In A Vitamin?
After you determine which vitamins are right for you, you need to sort through the endless options in brands and formulations.
Quality is key. Some vitamins are full of fillers, additives, food coloring, and other synthetic ingredients. Others are so dense that they pass through the digestive tract without being absorbed.
This is one of the reasons vitamin injections and gummy vitamins are increasingly popular. Gummies are easier to absorb but be mindful that they often have a high sugar content. There’s more on the benefits of vitamin injections below.
Are Vitamin Injections Better Than Capsules?
We take a deep dive into the benefits of injections in this blog post, but here’s a quick overview.
- Deliver a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than oral supplements, allowing for a more targeted approach to supplement intake.
- Deliver nutrients directly into the bloodstream, where they are absorbed quickly and easily.
- Provide a supplement alternative for those who have gastrointestinal issues that interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
- Support you in personalizing your healthcare and empowering you to take a more active approach to health and wellness.
Looking for Reliable Supplements?
Whether you aren’t sure what vitamins are right for you or you are sure but are looking for a premium collection—Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa offers a quality range of premium supplements.