We are bombarded daily; “Eat healthy foods,” “Exercise more”, “Go see your doctor;” “Get this checked or that checked”, and “Remember to take your vitamins!” So, you start doing all of the above; you get a checkup; eat salad, and you go for a walk and easy as pie!
When you go to your local pharmacy to pick out vitamins, you realize you have to choose from 100s! You have to choose from different brands and different sizes. Some are water-soluble; some are fat-soluble, and some are chewable.
There are multivitamins, vitamins A-K, herbal vitamins and more. Are herbal pills considered vitamins? Can you mix them with one another? Will they be OK to take with medications my doctor has prescribed? The world of supplements is so confusing, but if I want to be healthy, what should I do?
You are not alone. Many people can feel intimidated by the number of products found in health food stores, grocery stores, and markets. It seems every single item promises a longer, healthier life. The companies want you to spend an obscene amount of money to achieve optimum health.
Believe it or not, you may not even need all of the vitamins included in a multivitamin if you eat well. For instance, if you eat a lot of green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe, you may not need to take vitamin A supplements because you’re already getting plenty.
Did you know you only need 10-15 minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure to reap the benefits of natural Vitamin D? If you do your research, you can find alternative methods of gaining the vitamins and minerals you need without having to purchase vitamins. There are, though, many of us who absolutely need to take vitamin supplements daily to decrease our risk of poor health and disease.
According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, people who are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis would benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement. During the childbearing years, it would benefit a woman to take folic acid supplements daily to prevent babies from being born with neural tube defects.
Some medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, chronic diarrhea, or gastric bypass surgery can interfere with proper vitamin absorption from food.
People who can not afford healthier meals, alcoholics, vegans, and people who aren’t able to get as much exposure to the sun also need certain supplements to balance what vitamins they may be lacking.
Vitamins can be very beneficial to those who actually need them. If you are not sure about the vitamins you should be taking, it is always best to speak to your doctor or a nutritionist first to find out what would be best for you.
Also, remember, what may be best for you might not be best for your husband, children or friends, so always have them check first before taking vitamins. You can do your own research because the Internet is full of extremely useful information.
Make sure you are looking at a reputable site and pay attention to dosage instructions for someone of your height and weight. If you’re taking a multivitamin, you may not need to add any extra supplements in your daily routine as the multivitamin may already contain, say, 1000mg of vitamin D.
If you then take another Vitamin D supplement with it, which is another 1000mg, you could possibly be taking too much of the same vitamin, which could lead to too much vitamin A in your system which can be dangerous.
Remember, vitamins can be helpful in the right situation, but as stated above, always speak to a healthcare provider first before taking any vitamins.
Never let vitamins take the place of nutritious and healthy foods as the natural vitamins from these sources will ensure a healthier life. If you’re not sure about the benefits of certain vitamins, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions before buying them or taking them. This is your body and your health.