By: Andrea Updyke
In a fast-paced world of meals on the go, little exercise and almost no sunlight (if you spend all day in an office), a daily vitamin is a great way to supplement nutrients you may be missing.
The question may not be if, but how you choose supplements to add to your daily regimen without going overboard.
Instead of spending hours staring at hundreds of choices on shelves at health food stores, use this guide to help you decide what vitamins and supplements might benefit you. But before you get started, make sure you discuss any new supplements with your doctor to be sure they are safe and don’t interfere with any other medications you may be taking.
Supplements You Should Know About
It’s a well-known fact pregnant women who have beautiful, thick hair may see it begin to fall out (sometimes in clumps) once the baby is born. Typically, this process ends after a few months. If you find that you continue to lose hair, however, you may be biotin deficient. Consider adding a biotin supplement and you may see results like less thinning and even prevent gray hair from appearing!
Calcium deficiency in women has been proven time and time again to be at levels nearing an epidemic. Bone loss, teeth problems and weak muscles, are all symptoms of a lack of calcium.
Taking calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D together will help your body absorb the correct amount of calcium to combat these problems as you age. One important aspect to remember about calcium is that you must be consistent because your body does not store it away for later.
If you are taking a calcium supplement, it is a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement as well to aid in the absorption of the calcium. But that isn’t the only reason vitamin D is beneficial. Those who work in an office may become seriously deficient in vitamin D due to a lack of exposure to natural sunlight.
Omega-3s are a fish- or plant-based fatty acid believed to positively affect brain health and reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. Think about your diet. If fish isn’t on the list (or anywhere near it at all) think about taking Omega-3s to help prevent countless sicknesses.
You can purchase this probiotic in capsule form at most health stores. Taking a probiotic is especially helpful if you are taking an antibiotic — doing so will assist in replenishing the good bacteria lost while taking antibiotics, which, in turn, reduces the risk of yeast infection.
If you are prone to bladder infections, kidney issues or urinary tract infections, consider adding cranberry pills to your daily routine. The pills are simply concentrated cranberry and are much more effective when taken proactively than trying to drink juice at the onset of an infection, which is often too late.
If you are a vegetarian, think about asking your doctor to test iron levels to make sure your body is getting what it needs. Since most of our iron comes from meats, you have less in you than you think.
Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats are always the best way to get the vitamins your body needs, but even with a great diet, we may need a little help.
For more information on adding vitamins and supplements to your diet, check with your doctor.
Andrea is the founder of Lil Kid Things and also writes for the Babycenter Blog. She lives in Raleigh, N.C., where she spends her days caring for her two sons, Oscar and Calvin, and learning how to balance work, kids and marriage.