Top 4 Vitamins and Supplements You’re Probably Not Getting Enough of from Food
Vitamins and minerals are undoubtedly beneficial in promoting optimum health — from giving your immune system a boost to to reducing your risk of osteoporosis later in life.
Yet not all vitamins and supplements out there are created equal.
While the average diet usually provides sufficient amounts of the essential nutrients, you have to admit that not every meal you can get your hands on will be packed with beneficial vitamins. There are circumstances when you don’t have enough time to prep and cook your own meals. And how about if you’re traveling? With that said, it makes sense to add nutrients to your diet through supplements.
At our integrative medicine practice in Maryland, we encourage our patients to pay special attention in adding the following vitamins and supplements to their diet.
Vitamin D (with Vitamin K2)
Quick Fact: Vitamin D is the only vitamin that you can get from food and make yourself (your body does this by “processing” sunlight).
Apart from helping promote cell growth and reducing your risk of brittle bones when you get old, Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s also worth noting that Vitamin D works in tandem with Vitamin K2 to protect yourself from arterial calcification or hardening of the arteries by helping drive the calcium into your bones, and not into the blood vessels. Vitamin K2 is often found in fermented foods, but you may have to take it in supplement form if you’re not eating enough of and the correct types of fermented foods every day.
Speaking of fermented food that’s brimming with beneficial gut bacteria , you might also want to take probiotic supplements. Year after year, multiple research findings reveal that probiotics are important to every aspect of our health — from battling depression and anxiety to promoting heart health to overcoming autoimmune disorders. In fact, your gut bacteria can also influence your likelihood of developing obesity too.
If there’s a popularity contest among supplements, fish oil is the clear winner because almost everyone you know will probably say that it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids. And they’re right! Based on recent research, the benefits of omega 3s include protecting women from breast cancer and helping people with depression. Examine.com covers the benefits of fish oil in detail here.
In 2004, a pivotal study based on data from the US Dept. of Agriculture compared “nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century.” The apple of today does not look like the apple our ancestors ate. Check out this Scientific American study for more info here.
Multivitamins may contain multiple different vitamins and minerals but it’s worth noting that some manufacturers omit certain vitamins. Not all multivitamins are created equal. It’s a good idea to take a multivitamin in general, but if you have a disease or health condition that puts you at risk for nutritional deficiencies, even more so. Pregnant women and the elderly are also encouraged to take multivitamins. If you have a specific nutrient deficiency, you may need to supplement with that specific nutrient in addition to a multivitamin.
It can be overwhelming if you’re trying to find the right vitamin or supplement for you as there are thousands of supplement manufacturers out there. It makes sense to work with a doctor or healthcare practitioner who can help you identify the right supplement for your needs and health goals.
If you’ve been dealing with health issues for years and no standard medical interventions have worked permanently, dig deeper with Hauser Health. Schedule an appointment today and find out if you’re getting enough from your food.