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Part of living a healthy life includes making sure your body has all of the vital nutrients it needs to function at its peak. Most experts agree that obtaining the vitamins you need is best done through a balanced diet, however, many fall short of this.
The water is fairly murky when it comes to supplements. It can be hard to tell which is the best for you, or if they will work at all. In the sections below, you can learn about a few popular supplements on the market, including some reputable brands, costs, and a quick overview of what nutritional gap it fills.
Some Factors to Consider with Supplements
If you have a medical condition, are pregnant, or experiencing certain phases of life such as menopause, then your nutritional requirements will be very different from others. If you are on a diet that eliminates food groups, or are taking some medicines that supplements would interfere with, consult your doctor first before taking any type of supplement. This is especially true for you if you are pregnant.
This type of nutritional support is the most popular worldwide. Multivitamins can help to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet. You might want to avoid multivitamins that are presented as a gummy candy, as they usually fall short on many vital nutrients, in particular minerals.
When looking at the label of a multivitamin, the shorter the list the better. Why? Because the longer the list the more additives are likely to be in there.
An average multivitamin includes vitamins A,C,D3, E, K1, K2, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, B6, B12, pantothenic acid, folate, and biotin. Also included should be the minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, iodine, selenium, chromium and manganese.
The following do contain all of these in the proper amounts:
- Primal Multivitamin by Primal Harvest (Men’s Formulation) $23.96
- Mykind Organics Women’s Multi Whole Food Multivitamin $45.59
- Garden of Life Vitamin Code (Men and Women) 39.19
- FullWell Prenatal Multivitamin (Pregnant Women) 49.95
Omega 3 Supplements
There is a good reason that Omega 3 supplements are so popular – they usually work! Numerous studies have concluded that adults should plan to eat fish at least once a week in order to get enough of this elusive fatty acid.
However, those with seafood allergies, or who are taking blood thinners should check with a physician before taking an Omega 3 supplement. Look for a supplement that has a combination of Omega 3’s DHA and EPA and is at least at 1000mg.
Here are some popular ones on the market today:
- GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil $50
- Garden of Life Fish Oil $25.59
- Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega $27.95
Your body needs B vitamins for a wide variety of functions. Most notably it helps your body to break down fats, carbs, and protein for energy. However, doctors caution against thinking that B vitamins boost energy levels.
Notable B vitamin supplements include all 8 B vitamins. However, many find the B complex vitamins to be upsetting to the stomach. So, make sure you are not purchasing a vitamin supplement that maxes out at the highest dosage of each.
The following are a few suggestions for B Vitamin supplements:
- Nature Made Super B-Complex $6.59
- Care/Of B Complex $13
- Life Extension Complete B (vegan) $9.00
As with many other nutrients, calcium is one of those missing from most diets. You generally need 1,000 mg a day, and women over 50 tend to need an even greater amount at 1,200 a day.
Calcium helps to build bones and keep teeth healthy, but it is also involved in many more bodily processes. For example, your body uses calcium to give your muscles the electrical impulse to move and helps to keep nerves in peak condition. Calcium is also used in maintaining blood vessel health.
As with B Vitamins, calcium supplements can interfere with some medications, so ask your doctor before taking it. You may notice that you have a calcium deficiency if you tend to have weak or brittle fingernails, have a lack of concentration, muscle cramps, and even numbness or tingling of your fingers. Without calcium in your diet, you could experience heart complications and your body may not clot quickly or well when you have an injury.
You may consider trying the following calcium supplements:
- OsteoMD $38.50
- Care/OF Calcium Plus Supplement $10
- Pure Encapsulations (Vegan) 27.65
Iron is another nutrient that many people do not get enough of, especially women. If you tend to have heavy periods, are pregnant, have a gastrointestinal disorder, or have had heart issues, then iron is often recommended as a supplement.
Even if you do not have those particular conditions, iron is often not obtained through diet alone. This is particularly true if you have adopted a plant-based diet. Iron helps your body to produce hemoglobin production, which helps your red blood cells to deliver oxygen in the body. When you are lacking in iron you may experience a lack of focus, anemia, anxiousness, and even irritability.
You can try out one or more of these brands for your iron supplements:
- IronNOW Iron Veg Capsules (Vegan) $12.99
- Ancient Nutrients Zinc + Probiotics $21.21
- Nature Made Iron $10.59
Collagen is not just for making your hair and nails healthy and shiny. It also helps improve skin, joint and bone health. New reports also suggest that it contributes to digestive health and may boost immune function.
Collagen is offered in both powdered forms as well as capsules. The advantage to getting the powdered form is that it can easily be mixed into a daily drink, and you can vary the amounts. Collagen is a type of protein, but it lacks some of the proteins you need as a recommended daily intake. Therefore, you should supplement this with other types of protein to get the amount you need.
Most recommended collagen supplements have all five types of collagen, and are hydrolyzed for absorption. This can be especially important for those following a plant-based diet.
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides Powder $25
- Live Conscious Collagen Peptide Powder $28.99
- Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen $45.01