During my regular grocery shopping trip last week, I went to the pharmacy department to pick up some cold medicine. I could not believe HOW MANY SUPPLEMENTS and HEALTH FOOD PRODUCTS are on our shelves!
Keeping your body healthy is an important task for all. However, it is often difficult to do so with so many options (any myths) out there.
We hear diet and nutrition advice on TV, on the Radio, from our friends, on the news, and we see it in advertisements, books and magazines. Additionally, lots of this information is CONTRADICTORY! I am sorry Dr. Oz fans, but if you followed EVERYTHING he suggests, you would have no life (from trying to purchase and consume everything) and be broke! You need to know your body and figure out what is best for you!
I know many people chose to take a multivitamin or a slew of supplements, but nothing is truly needed if you are eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods (think fruits, veggies, whole grains …minimal processing) and getting your vitamins and minerals from food. This would be the IDEAL way to go.
However, if you are human, and busy/stressed/on a budget etc., you may want to choose a SUPPLEMENT to SUPPLEMENT the nutrients you aren’t getting from your diet. Remember, there is an UPPER LIMIT for every nutrient, so make sure you do not overdose!
Top 5 Women’s Vitamins and Supplements Decoded:
- Most of nutrients found in multivitamins can be found in food, however, taking a “multi” daily can fill in any missing gaps. Note * not all multivitamins are created equal! Some varieties offer different amounts and complexes of vitamins to target a specific age group or function. A good rule of thumb is to take your multivitamin on days that you don’t eat balanced meals throughout the day. If you eat a variety of nutritionally dense foods, you can likely skip the multivitamin for that day.
2. Omega-3 supplements
- These are definitely a “hot ticket item”. They have been praised for their heart healthy benefits. Research has shown (but not proven) that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Try to look for a supplement with at least 500mg of pure fish oil. It also helps to find a supplement with a coating around it to minimize the unfavorable aftertaste often associated with fish oil. Nature’s Bounty makes a fish oil supplement with a coating. Barlean’s makes a FLAVORED omega-3 supplement. I have tried the mango swirl and it is AMAZING! No fishy taste!
- This bone-strengthening nutrient helps you reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium is best absorbed through age 25-35 so it is important for young women to take a calcium supplement if they are not consuming it in their diet. Even after one’s 20s and 30s, calcium will still be absorbed, though in smaller amounts. Women should consume 1,000 mg (up to age 50) to 1,200 (age 51 and older) each day. Remember, Vitamin D is essential in order for calcium to be absorbed!
4. Vitamin D
- Vitamin D is a catalyst for Calcium absorption. Most people obtain adequate amounts of Vitamin D through their exposure to natural sunlight, but it is also found in fatty fishes, fortified dairy and cereal products. Some studies have shown that when taking supplements of Vitamin D, one’s risk of bone loss and bone fractures decreases. There is a new product on the market “Dr. Mercola’s Sunshine Mist Spray” with allows you to absorb vitamin D through your skin. I haven’t tried this yet, but it got great reviews in Doctors Review magazine.
5. Folic Acid
- This nutrient is essential for women who are pregnant, or wish to become pregnant. It reduces the risk of spina bifida in babies (a neural tube defect)
PS – Do you #KnowYourNumbers?
- Blood Glucose
- Blood Pressure
- Body Composition ….
Many wellness sites and workplaces offer these screenings for FREE, or a nominal charge.
Take care of yourself
Make yourself happy
Do it #likeagirl
Take control of your health and well being ❤