In a perfect world, we’d consume all the nutrition we need from the foods we eat. Alas, that’s simply not possible—even for the most hardcore clean eaters. Enter supplements. These additions to the diet can play a role in building a healthier body. Discover these 7 supplements that do wonders for your health.
In most cases, the most effective way to get the proper amount of the nutrition we need is by choosing clean-eating foods, which are minimally processed or unprocessed. However, nutritional supplements can fill in the gaps to help improve health. They may also be important for people in certain groups, including:
- Pregnant and nursing women
- People taking certain medications
- People with specific medical conditions, like cancer
- People with food allergies
- Vegans and some vegetarians
Always talk with your doctor before taking any supplements to make sure they’re right for you and to ensure they don’t interact with any medications you’re taking.
Remember that not all vitamin brands are manufactured to the same quality standards. The Public Health and Safety Organization shares a list of dietary supplement makers that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), requirements consistent with manufacturing guidelines defined by the FDA. Find the list here.
When you want supplements that do wonders for your health, a multivitamin is a good way to fill the nutritional gaps in your menu. Gale Compton, SkinnyMs. cofounder, prefers One-a-Day. However, you can choose any high-quality multivitamin supplement. Look for a formula that includes calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients women often lack in their diets.
2. Vitamin C
This vitamin is an all-around powerhouse that supports many critical body functions. It helps repair tissues as well as teeth and bones. It also helps block damage caused by free radicals, which are rogue cells that lead to everything from wrinkles to some types of cancer. Vitamin C is also a beauty supplement because it supports production of collagen, a protein used in the building blocks of healthy skin.
3. Vitamin B12
This B vitamin plays a role in new blood cell formation. It also affects mood and energy levels; a B12 deficiency can lead to fatigue and mood changes. B12 supplements are sometimes used to support memory loss and prevent the eye condition called age-related macular degeneration.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D’s primary job is to assist the body in calcium absorption. The body naturally starts producing its own vitamin D after about 30 minutes of sun exposure, but too much sunlight can also damage the body. Supplements help bridge that gap so you can absorb the calcium needed for strong bones. However, it’s important to pair this vitamin with vitamin K2. Why? Read on to learn more…
5. Vitamin K2
Vitamin D works by helping you absorb calcium; K2 works by directing that calcium to your bones. Research suggests that without the direction of K2, calcium can be deposited in the arteries, where it may contribute to plaque build-up, or hardening of the arteries. By combining D supplements with K2 supplements, you help the body direct calcium to where it does the most good–and the least harm.
6. Vitamin E
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is one of those supplements that does wonders for your health. Medical experts believe this vitamin lowers the risk of heart disease and may support brain function, particularly in older adults.
7. Fish Oil
This substance is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides, a type of blood fat linked to heart disease. Research suggests fish oil may also be effective for treating depression, high blood pressure, and menstrual pain.
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