When it comes to vital vitamins, there tends to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. Sure, people know they need to take vitamins, but which ones? How much? How often? Does it need to be taken with food? Men and women have different dietary needs, so do they need different vitamins? Is there a vitamin for intestinal issues? Emotional issues? Boosting energy? Pregnancy? End the confusion now, learn what vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health.
To help clear up all of the confusion, we have compiled some helpful information on vital vitamins. Check it all out below, but keep in mind that talking to your doctor is a great way to figure out which vitamins and minerals, in particular, your body really needs, especially if you are deficient in a particular nutrient. A simple blood test can reveal a lot of information, and it can help you keep track of whether or not you are getting the vital nutrients that your body requires to thrive.
Start with a High-Quality Multi to Get Vital Vitamins and Minerals
For both men and women, a multivitamin is the first of these “vital vitamins”. Make sure when you are choosing a multivitamin, you look for 100% of the daily value of the essential vitamins and minerals.
- A (beta carotene; mixed carotenoids)
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B6 (pyroxidine)
- B7 (biotin)
- B9 (folic acid)
For women who are premenopausal, a multivitamin with iron is necessary, but for men or postmenopausal women, iron multivitamins are not necessary.
Also, when choosing a multivitamin, make sure you get one with only 100% DV; any more than that is not good.
The only way to maximize your body’s multivitamin absorption is to take half of your multivitamin in the morning and the other half at night. Also, do not take calcium with the multivitamin, as calcium blocks the multivitamin from being absorbed.
Don’t Forget About Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega Fatty Acids
Calcium is the next of the “vital vitamins”. However, calcium isn’t as vital for men as it is for women. Take calcium with magnesium to avoid the negative side effects of calcium. When purchasing calcium, purchase 600mg of calcium with 400mg of magnesium.
Men: your vital vitamin is vitamin D, and for ladies too, 1000-2000 IU is good. It is best not to take calcium or vitamin D with your regular multivitamin (although some multivitamins already have 1000 IU).
So, when is the right time? Calcium should be taken with a full glass of water 2 hours after breakfast, and it is absorbed best with fats, such as yogurt, milk, or cheese. Although vitamin D comes from sunlight, most people do not get enough.
The last of the vital vitamins is an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, commonly found in fish oil or algae oil. Aim to get 600 mg of DHA omega-3 daily. Fish or algae oil is for optimal heart and brain functioning. This supplement is best to take at breakfast to avoid burps that taste fishy.
Find the Vital Vitamins, Such as Eye Vitamins, for Your Specific Needs
In addition to taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement that covers the basics, there are additional supplements that you can take to ensure you are meeting all of your specific needs. Again, talking to your doctor for advice is a great idea.
Here are some examples:
- Eye vitamins can be beneficial if you hope to preserve your vision as you get older.
- If you have stomach issues, a probiotic may be the answer. According to Harvard Health Publishing, probiotics can also help maintain urogenital health.
- If you are looking for more energy to power through the day, extra B vitamins such as B12, may be helpful for you, but you can also eat more cereal and soy.
- If you are having a baby, nursing, or just thinking a baby is in your future, folate B9, folic acid, iron, and vitamin C are important for development of a fetus or newborn.
- People with depression have been known to be lacking the vital vitamins D, omega-3, and magnesium.
Make Buying, and Taking, Vitamins an Enjoyable Experience
Some people feel nauseous when taking vitamins and minerals. If that is the case with you, you may consider buying your vitamins in the form of a chew, or a powder you can add to water.
Finally, when you think about vital vitamins, don’t get overwhelmed. Remember the basics: a multivitamin, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3s. The important thing is knowing when and how to take your vitamins correctly to gain maximum absorption. Remember to not overdo it on the multivitamin, as 100% is enough.