What Supplements Should You Take Daily for Optimal Health?

Vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal health. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals is the average daily intake a person needs to avoid deficiencies and stay healthy. Men and women often have different vitamin and mineral recommendations. There are different ways to measure the RDA.

Vitamins and minerals needed in higher doses are measured in milligrams and those that the body needs least are measured in micrograms. There are 1000 micrograms in 1 milligram. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, also known as retinol. The RDA of vitamin A is 700 micrograms for women and 900 micrograms for men. Vitamin A is found in many dairy products and in yellow or orange fruits and vegetables.

There are eight B vitamins, which make up the vitamin B complex, with different RDA. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), most Americans don't get their RDA of B vitamins in their daily nutrition.Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that contains antioxidants that promote healthy tissue growth.

The RDA for men is 90 milligrams and 75 milligrams for women. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables. For those who have an iron deficiency, vitamin C can help the body absorb it better. Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) light. In addition to sun exposure, vitamin D is also found in cod liver oil, fatty fish, fortified juices, milk, and cereals.

These can be a healthy alternative when a person doesn't get enough UV light. For children and adults, the RDA is 15 micrograms (600 IU). For people 70 years and older, it is 20 micrograms (800 IU).Vitamin E is an important vitamin for organ function. You should receive 15 milligrams a day.

Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, avocados, spinach, seeds and nuts, and whole grains. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. The RDA of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women. This protein-rich vitamin is found mainly in leafy green vegetables. Calcium is a mineral needed for healthy bone growth. The RDA of calcium is 1000 milligrams for men and women ages 19 to 51; for women 51 and older and for men over 70, it increases to 1200 milligrams per day.

Most dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Tofu, spinach, soy and rhubarb are also high in calcium. Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood. A lack of iron can cause immune system weakness and fatigue. Men and women should consume between 8 and 18 milligrams of iron a day.

Iron is found in red meat, leafy green vegetables, and legumes. For optimal health, it's a good idea to choose foods that contain the most nutrients such as krill oil which may help with heart health, brain health, inflammation, cognitive decline associated with aging, improve cardiovascular activity, reduce lipid and plaque levels in arteries as well as reduce the risk and side effects associated with diabetes. Most people who live north of the 35th parallel tend to be deficient in vitamin D3 which is important for boosting the immune system, building strong bones, improving our mood, and preventing specific cancers and autoimmune conditions. Vitamin D deficiencies can be determined by blood tests ordered from a naturopathic doctor. A mineral abundant in the body, magnesium, is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate various biochemical reactions in the body such as protein synthesis, muscle contraction, nerve impulse conduction, blood glucose control, heart rhythm normalization, blood pressure regulation as well as energy production and contributes to the structural development of bones. It also works as a liver detoxifier as well as alleviating cognitive decline associated with aging. Magnesium supplements come in different types with different functions within the body so it's best to consult with a naturopathic doctor to determine which one is right for you. Fat-soluble vitamins need body fat to be absorbed and used by our organs such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Carotenoids which can become toxic if there's lack of healthy fats in the diet due to them being stored in adipose tissue. The other class of vitamins are water-soluble vitamins which cannot be stored in our tissues like fat-soluble vitamins but instead found in food or supplements such as folate, vitamin C, B vitamins among others.

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