You want to take care of your body, and give it what it needs, but sometimes it can be very confusing when you’re trying to figure out what foods to eat, what snacks to avoid, and what your body may be lacking! When it comes to giving your body what it needs, vitamins can do a world of good to ensure that you’re providing yourself with rich nutrients every day.
Similar to food, it
can be difficult to know which vitamins do what, which ones you need, how to take them, etc. With so many options out there, it’s good to pull together a solid list of vitamins that will give you a well-rounded dose of the nutrients your body requires on a daily basis. If you’re looking for a collection of vitamins that will give you what you need from a day-to-day standpoint, consider the following 10 vitamins, each of which has its own set of advantages:
Calcium is a mineral that is a necessity to our healthy bodies. Most people are aware that it is a large contributor to the overall health of strong muscles, bones, and teeth, but it also helps the muscles contract, the blood to clot, and the nerves to send messages.
Approximately 99% of the calcium in our bodies is found in our bones and teeth, which is why taking calcium is so important to the strength of our bodily structure and all of the processes therein.
Dosage: It has been suggested that calcium should be taken in a 600mg dosage and that it also should be taken with Vitamin D and magnesium in order to reap the most benefits from the vitamin. It is also suggested that calcium be taken two hours after a large meal, and separately from other vitamins, as calcium has the tendency to absorb other prescriptions and supplements.
2. Vitamin A
Vitamin A can be found in all types of foods, and it is quite easy to ingest with a well-balanced diet. Vitamin A is a helpful nutrient that supports healthy eyesight, the immune system, and the process of reproduction.
Vitamin A is also crucial to a variety of organs, helping them to perform properly. Organs that can benefit from the daily intake of Vitamin A include the heart, the kidneys, and the lungs.
Dosage: The amount of vitamin A you should be consuming can be tricky, as so many foods already have large amounts of Vitamin A in them. It is recommended that males and females aged 19+ should get anywhere from 700-900mcg RAE daily, but make sure to check the levels you’ve already consumed in the food you’re eating before you decide. The amount you require will also differ based on your diet, age, weight, etc.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a very big advocate of a healthy body, and those who are considering taking vitamins should not forget to include this nutrient in their daily intake. Vitamin D is very commonly known as a nutrient that we can receive from the sun; however, this is not the only way (or safest way) that you should be obtaining the vitamin.
Vitamin D helps to maintain a strong, healthy bone structure, and those who do not get enough of the vitamin may notice that they develop soft, brittle bones. Vitamin D is the vehicle behind calcium; it helps the body to absorb the calcium and remain healthy (this is why Vitamin D and calcium should be taken together).
Aside from helping with our bones, Vitamin D can assist the immune system in fighting off bacteria and viruses, and can also aid with blood vessels and the nervous system. It has also been suggested that Vitamin D may help to prevent some cancers, including breast, colon, and uterine cancers.
Dosage: As a daily supplement, individuals should take a dosage between 600-1000IUs, and should take it with foods that are slightly fatty, such as yogurt or milk.
4. Fish Oil
You may have heard much more about fish oil in recent years, as the importance of omega-3 fatty acids have surfaced. Fish oil is a large carrier of omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA and EPA, and both are vital to the proper functioning of the heart and brain.
The two main types of omega-3s are Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA is generally found in fish oils, and this is the best way to get the beneficial fatty acid into your system. EPA is similar and can also be found in fish oils.
Dosage: A daily dose of DHA should measure anywhere from 600-1000mg, and it can be taken in a pill form or from algae and krill. It’s important to read labels and to be sure that the daily dose of DHA is available in supplement forms.
5. Vitamin B Complex
A Vitamin B complex consists of 8 B vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 & B12. They all work together to keep the body working in perfect condition and help us to stay energized throughout the day.
The collection of vitamins has a wide range of benefits, including supplying the body with extra boosts of energy and taking the body’s stress levels down. This is also a great supplement for increasing serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel more positive.
Other effects that the collection of Vitamins B offers include:
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps to prevent aging and heart disease.
- B3 (Niacin) helps to increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterols) and aids in the treatment of acne.
- B5 breaks down carbohydrates and fats to create helpful energy in the body, and promotes healthy skin.
- B6 is said to help with balancing our sleeping patterns and moods based on its involvement in producing serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine.
There are a lot of great things that come with the proper dose of Vitamin B Complex, but because it is so present in many of the foods we eat, individuals must make sure not to ingest too much. Foods that vitamin B is found in include (but are not limited to): Dark greens, fish, eggs, beef, pork, dairy, nuts, chicken, turkey, tuna, and sunflower seeds.
Dosage: Vitamin B complex vitamins should be taken with water, and it is suggested that individuals aged 14+ should take the recommended daily dose of 2.4 mcg.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a very important part of our bodies’ defense mechanisms, and is a popular supplement to help assist with common colds and coughs. In saying that, Vitamin C is also beneficial to the immune system and can help when it is weakened.
This vitamin is also helpful with reducing the signs of aging, and supporting healthy skin and bones. Individuals who had higher levels of vitamin C in their body were less susceptible to skin wrinkling and dryness. If you’re searching for a solution to help reduce the signs of aging, an anti-aging multivitamin can help improve healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Aside from its other benefits, Vitamin C’s main job is to aid in the proper growth , repair, and development of all of the tissues in the body. It helps to absorb iron; to maintain bones, teeth, and cartilage; and also helps to seal wounds more quickly.
Dosage: Vitamin C is a very popular vitamin supplement, and it is available in soft and hard candies for both children and adults. It is recommended that adults take 500mg a day, in addition to the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
If you have been feeling sluggish or tired lately, then you may want to consider taking an iron supplement, especially if you are female. Iron is a very important nutrient of the body, as it helps to transport oxygen through the body to help the other parts work properly.
If your body is not getting enough iron, your body will not be able to create enough oxygen-carrying red bloods cells, and this can cause iron-deficiency anemia. The fatigue you feel may be a result of the lack of oxygen your body is getting, and this can affect not only your physical energy but also your brain function and the ability for other parts of the body to do their job properly.
Dosage: Iron is very important for children, because they require iron to grow; it is recommended that children receive 10mg a day for ages 4-8, and 8mg a day for ages 9-13. It is also important for women to watch their iron levels, as they tend to lose much more iron during their monthly cycles. It is recommended that women take 18mg of iron a day, between the ages of 19-50, while men can take just 8mg.
8. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is sometimes overlooked among the other popular vitamins in our diet, but it is immensely important to our overall health and our ability to heal. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is most well-known for its ability to help clot blood. If you ever find yourself bleeding, your body will utilize vitamin K to help clot the blood flow and slow blood loss.
Vitamin K is also essential to preventing heart disease and building strong bones, but many people do not get enough of it in their diet for it to meet its potential in other parts of the body.
There are 3 types of Vitamin K:
- Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone): Found most generously in plants and green vegetables, K1 helps to clot blood and assists with the proper function of the liver
- Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone): This is made by bacteria in the body and goes to work in our blood vessel walls, bones, and tissue.
- Vitamin K3: (Menadione): This is a synthetic form not recommended by professionals for ingestion.
Dosage: It is suggested that individuals take Vitamin K supplements along with Vitamin D supplements, as the two seem to work more proficiently when there is an efficient amount of the other in the body.
The adequate dosage for females aged 14-18 is 75 micrograms/day, while females 19+ should get 90 micrograms/day. Males aged 14-18 require 75 micrograms/day, while men aged 19+ require approximately 120 micrograms/day.
If you’re looking to improve the health of your heart, then potassium may be one of the vitamins you look to for help. Potassium does not treat heart disease, but it aids the heart with its proper daily functioning.
Potassium can help to lower blood pressure levels, and has been known to aid in lowering cholesterol. As a result, individuals with lower blood pressure and cholesterol may see a decrease in the potential for heart problems. Potassium also helps to trigger the heart every time it pumps blood, and also has a hand in helping your muscles move and your kidneys to filter blood properly.
Dosage: Individuals who are hoping to increase their potassium levels can do so both through supplements and diet. Foods high in potassium include tomatoes, avocados, spinach, and beans. In total, it is recommended that healthy individuals get 4,700mg of potassium per day through both vitamins and diet.
Folate is a water-soluble B-vitamin, and is a part of the Vitamin-B Complex. Folate is a general term for folic acid, which is used in dietary supplements and fortified foods.
Folate aids in the proper building of our DNA, as well as other important genetic materials. Individuals who do not get enough folate may see a variety of symptoms, including neural tube defects in pregnancy, heart disease and stroke, depression, and pre-term birth.
General signs of low folic acid include weakness, fatigue, headaches, change in skin color, and irritability. Consider monitoring your folate intake if you see any of these signs or become pregnant.
Dosage: Folic acid can be taken either as a multivitamin or a prenatal vitamin; it can also be found in vitamin B complexes.
The amount of folate you require will depend on a few factors, including your age and whether or not you are pregnant. Pregnant females should consume 400mg of folic acid daily from foods and supplements.
Children 9-13 should have 300mcg DFE a day, while teens 14-18 years of age should consume 400mcg DFE daily. It is recommended that adults aged 19+ also take 400mcg DFE per day.
Every body works in a different way, and each requires certain things to function at its best. If you are trying to incorporate more vitamins into your daily schedule, consider the list suggested above as guidance to help you decide which vitamins you require most.
Our bodies get a lot of the vitamins they need from our regular diets, but sometimes it is harder to maintain proper levels without some help. If you’re unsure what you need to work on, consider speaking with your doctor about changes you’ve noticed in your body or things you’re worried about concerning your health. Your doctor may be able to assist you with creating a solid list of the vitamin supplements you require for a healthy body.