Choosing the Right Vitamins & Minerals for Good Health: All You Need to Know
The best way to meet the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals is to have each meal be a rainbow of flavors: red tomatoes for folic acid, oranges for Vitamin C, yellow bananas for potassium, green leafy vegetables for Vitamin K, blueberries for manganese, purple cabbage for Vitamin A.
But sometimes, for various reasons, our bodies are not receiving or absorbing an adequate amount of these nutrients. That is where quality supplements can help you get the necessary vitamins for good health.
The Vitamins & Minerals Important for Good Health
Walk into a nutrition center or even just the supplement aisle at your local pharmacy, and the options available can be dizzying. Some of the most important vitamins for good health are:
- Vitamin A for immune system support and protection of eyesight
- Vitamin D to absorb calcium to preserve bone strength and density
- Vitamin E to boost cell regeneration and strengthen the immune system
- Folic acid for fetal health during pregnancy as well as ease of inflammation and potential mood elevation
- Vitamin B-12 for improved blood cell health and to better use energy from micronutrients
- Iron for healthy blood
- Potassium to regulate muscle cramps and water retention
- Calcium for bone strength, especially for women
- Magnesium for bone health as well as a potential calming of the nervous system, control of blood pressure, and more efficient energy production
- Zinc for support of the immune system and to help make optimal use of consumed carbs, proteins, and fats
The Synergy of Vitamins & Minerals
Some vitamins and minerals must work together. This is called “food synergy.” For example, if the iron level of someone who is anemic is not rising to the normal range despite increasing their intake through diet and quality supplements, this may be because they are not getting enough Vitamin C, which enhances the absorption of iron.
What Vitamins Are Good for Spine Health?
It is important to address the health of your bones, muscles, nerves, blood and more when it comes to spine health. Minerals and vitamins that are good for spine health include:
- Vitamin D
Using the Food Pyramid to Improve Health
The fiber in food is the part that our bodies cannot process, but it is still vitally important to health because it keeps our systems clean. If you maintain a diet based on the food pyramid, you will be much more likely to meet your nutrient needs. The vitamins and nutrients available (and some examples of each) in each level are:
- Fruits & vegetables: Magnesium (spinach), Vitamin A (carrots), Calcium (broccoli), Zinc (spinach), Folic Acid (avocado)
- Carbohydrates: Vitamin D (fortified foods like cereal), Magnesium (brown rice)
- Dairy: Calcium, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12
- Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts: Vitamin D (salmon), Magnesium (beans), Calcium (lentils), Zinc (liver), Iron (red meat), Vitamin B12 (eggs)
- Fats, spreads, & oils: Vitamins A, D, E, and K
Foods at the top of the pyramid have no real nutritional benefit, and should only be consumed on occasion.
The Hazards of Overconsumption
Overconsumption in the general sense, which is a rampant problem these days, can result in obesity which leads to many many other health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and joint problems.
While thinking about what vitamins are good for health, you must also consider how much you are ingesting. More is not necessarily better. For example, too much Vitamin C can cause nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. It is very unlikely that you will overconsume from foods, but not taking supplements as suggested can be concerning.
Make a Plan for Better Eating
Better eating doesn’t mean losing flavor or denying yourself your favorite foods. Your plan should include portion control, eating a variety of foods following the food pyramid, and daily physical activity.
The professionals at Oak Brook Medical Group are also available to help you with your plan for better health. Contact us today to set up an appointment and take your first steps to a happier healthier you.