What vitamins should you be taking to supplement your diet? Well, that depends on your unique situation. I don’t know what vitamins you are already getting from the foods you eat. I don’t know anything about your medical needs.
What I do know is determining what vitamins to take is not something I take lightly.
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The idea of taking vitamins has been hard for me. How do I know what I need?
I am not a doctor and nothing I say is intended to be medical advice. I am simply writing about how I am choosing to supplement my diet with vitamins.
Maybe this will give you some things to think about as you do your own research. Your situation is unique, so I cannot make recommendations for you.
We all have been told it is best to get our nutrients from the foods we eat, rather than from supplements. But in general, our diets aren’t as healthy as they were in the past.
Soil quality isn’t as good for growing healthy foods. Our meat no longer comes from grass-fed sources. Highly processed foods are readily available. Fast food restaurants are everywhere.
However, knowing that is not enough to convince me I need to add a multi-vitamin to my daily routine. I don’t eat what is known as the typical American diet.
My family doesn’t eat out very often. We don’t eat a lot of processed foods. Don’t get me wrong. We certainly eat our fair share of unhealthy foods, but there are lots of areas where I have chosen to avoid the processed alternatives.
So what vitamins do I need?
Omega-3 Fish Oil
I know for a fact my family is not eating the recommended 2 servings of fish per week. And we probably won’t eat that much. My husband is not a big fan of seafood and it is expensive to eat often. We generally eat about 3 servings of fish per month.
Omega-3s have several heart benefits as well as benefits for your whole body. Since there are not many other sources of the DHA Omega-3, I know this is an area where I want to supplement.
*In addition to just consuming Omega-3s, it is also important to consider the balance of Omega-3s to Omega-6s in our diets. Prior to 1950, our Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance was between 1:1 and 1:5. With vegetable oils being so plentiful, we consume way more Omega-6s than Omega-3s.
*Source: Naturally Slim, Inc., client publication 2010
Calcium + Vitamin D
On a good day I probably get about 65% of my daily value of calcium from the foods I eat. I do that math by quickly looking at a few labels in my refrigerator.
- 1 cup milk = 30% of daily value
- 1 ounce cheese = 20% of daily value
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt = 15% of daily value
Of course, there is calcium in other foods too, but I probably don’t eat those foods daily. The daily value percentages are based on 1000 mg calcium per day. Most adults are recommended to get at least 1000 mg of calcium per day, but there are different recommendations based on age and gender.
In the past, I have tested as being on the lower end of the bone density scale for my age. Knowing this and my eating habits, I know I want to supplement with additional calcium.
Most calcium supplements contain Vitamin D to help with the absorption of calcium.
Setting a Habit
I bought Nature Made® fish oil and calcium supplements from Walmart. I keep them on our dining room table so I remember to take them with dinner every night. Otherwise I would totally forget.
I also signed up for the 30-day Healthy Habit Builder from Nature Made®. You get to pick one of eight goals. I chose the goal to reduce stress. Then you get to pick from a selection of habits to work on each week for the next month to help get you to your goal.
Go to NatureMade.com/Challenge and join the Nature Made® Healthy Habit Builder program, where you can get motivation and tips around your specific health goals.In addition, you’ll be automatically entered to win a grand prize of $5,000*.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C) 18 YEARS AND OLDER.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Enter by 3/31/16. Internet access required. 1 Grand Registration Prize (actual value $5,000) and 30 Challenge Prizes (each actual value $250) available to be won. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit HealthyHabitBuilder.com. Sponsor: Pharmavite LLC, 8510 Balboa Blvd. Suite 100, Northridge, CA 91325.
The sponsor of this sweepstakes is Nature Made. WebMD is not related to or responsible for the sweepstakes.
*For full rules and regulations visit NatureMade.com/Challenge
Complete activities using the entry form below for a chance to win 1 of 20 $50 Walmart gift cards! One of the options is to sign up for the Nature Made Daily Boost Program for inspiration and information to further your health goals.
*I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.