We have different needs for vitamins as we age and if we have health conditions. What we needed as a child isn’t the same as what we need as an adult. It’s important to know what your body needs and what you get from food. If you don’t get enough from the food you will need to supplement with vitamins.
GOOD FOR: Healthy eyes and general growth and development, including healthy teeth and skin.
NATURAL SOURCE: Carrots and other orange foods including sweet potato and cantaloupe melons – all of which get their hue from the carotene pigment.
GOOD FOR: Energy production, immune function and iron absorption.
NATURAL SOURCE: This crucial group of nutrients can be found in whole unprocessed foods, specifically whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, beans, yeast and molasses.
GOOD FOR: Strengthening blood vessels and giving skin its elasticity, anti-oxidant function and iron absorption.
NATURAL SOURCE: Everyone knows this one – oranges! But they’re not the only source – other fruits and veggies packed with Vitamin C include guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, grapefruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.
GOOD FOR: Strong healthy bones.
NATURAL SOURCE: Apart from spending a few minutes out in the sun, which stimulates Vitamin D production, you can get this nutritional must from eggs, fish and mushrooms.
GOOD FOR: Blood circulation, and protection from free radicals.
NATURAL SOURCE: Our favorite Vitamin E-rich food is the mighty almond. You can also fill up on other nuts, sunflower seeds and tomatoes to reap the benefits.
GOOD FOR: Blood coagulation – that is, the process by which your blood clots.
NATURAL SOURCE: Leafy greens are the best natural sources of Vitamin K – so make sure you’re eating lots of kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
GOOD FOR: Cell renewal and preventing birth defects in pregnancy.
NATURAL SOURCE: There are plenty of scrumptious natural sources of folic acid, including dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets and corn.
GOOD FOR: Healthy teeth and bones.
NATURAL SOURCE: This mineral is another one that most of us already know – the best sources are dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk, along with tofu and black molasses.
GOOD FOR: Building muscles naturally and maintaining healthy blood.
NATURAL SOURCE: You might be surprised to know that clams take the top spot for iron content, followed by oysters and organ meats like liver. For the vegetarians among us, soybeans, cereal, pumpkin seeds, beans, lentils and spinach are great sources of iron.
GOOD FOR: Immunity, growth and fertility.
NATURAL SOURCE: Seafoods like oysters are also zinc-rich, along with spinach, cashews, beans and – wait for it – dark chocolate.
GOOD FOR: Glucose function – making sure every cell in your body gets energy as and when needed.
NATURAL SOURCE: As long as your diet contains servings of whole grains, fresh vegetables and herbs, you should be getting enough chromium.
To be your healthiest self it’s best to get all of your vitamins from the food we eat and drink but sometimes we don’t eat like we should. that’s where over-the-counter vitamins come in.
Here are some important things to know when buying vitamins:
Are the ingredients non-GMO?
Does it have certifications?
Is it routinely tested?
How are the reviews?
Our body needs the proper vitamins to work properly and prevent diseases. If you find yourself needing over-the-counter vitamins, don’t get in a hurry. You want vitamins that dissolve properly and don’t have harmful ingredients in them.
Look for the certifications and buy one that is third-party tested if possible, that way you know the result are non-biased.