Do you need vitamins, minerals and other dietary supplements for your health? If you do, which vitamins should you take?
Most of us are willing to concede the necessity of having a good balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in our daily diet for good health, but many of us wonder if it is necessary to use vitamin pills and other dietary supplements to do this. Can’t we get enough of the vitamins we need from our daily diet?
I suppose that some of us might be in good enough health not to need additional vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements, but IF YOU FALL INTO ONE OF THE GROUPS BELOW, you might want to consider adding at least a daily multivitamin supplement to your diet.
If you are a woman: Women are possibly deficient in such minerals as magnesium, folic acid, zinc, calcium, and in some cases, iron. If you are pregnant or using birth control, you may require additional vitamin or mineral supplements for good health.
If you diet for weight loss or follow a fairly limited diet or restricted nutritional regimen: Important vitamins and minerals are scattered widely across a broad range of nutritional options (i.e. foods), and if you are limiting your intake by volume or by type, you are likely limiting your intake of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients vital to your health.
If you eat the normal American diet: Actually, the normal American diet is not very normal, nor is it good for your health! It is, however, terribly lacking in the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones, and other nutritional elements a healthy body needs. Additionally, if your diet does contain all of these in optimal quantities, you are probably eating way too much food – Catch 22!
If you smoke or drink alcohol often: Smoking and excessive drinking (roughly more than two drinks a day – which is GOOD for you), depletes certain vitamins and other nutrients.
If you are already NOT in good health, physically or mentally: Your body may not be processing the vitamins, minerals, etc. that your are providing in your diet. Also, the EXTRA vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you provide with supplements may have a positive affect on the condition. It goes without saying that an appropriate supplementation program MIGHT HAVE PREVENTED or lessened the impact of the health problem in the first place.
If you love junk food and it tends to be a major part of your diet: Once again, you are probably not getting the dietary balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional elements necessary for good health. Sadly, many of the constituents of these types of food, particularly refined sugar, actually leach vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from your body, or prevent the effective use, transport, or absorption of these nutrients.
If you cannot afford a steady diet of the foods that you realize are most valuable to your health: A multivitamn pill costs only a few cents a day, and without changing another single fact of your life, can contribute significantly to your health and well-being.
If you are over 65 years of age: You have specific deficiencies and needs, as well as a possible array of health problems. Odds are that you are lacking in B-12, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, folic acid, zinc, Vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals. As our bodies age (I’m 60, so I can talk), they become less efficient at processing nutrients of all types, so even if your typical diet contains all the nutrients you need, your body is probably not getting the complete benefit from them. I mentioned some possible deficiencies above. Let’s look at only one – Vitamin D deficiency – as this is very common in folks over 65. This vitamin deficiency may contribute to some forms of cancer (including breast and colon cancer), muscular weakness, joint pain, and the well published one – osteoporosis. Again, a daily multivitamin can go a long way towards promoting health in the years both before and after age 65.
OKAY, WHO’S LEFT!
If you are male, under 65, in excellent mental and physical health, exercise regularly, have a nutritionally rich and diverse diet, do not smoke or drink, and are NOT QUITE CERTAIN that YOUR DIET contains all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional elements necessary for good health: You MIGHT want to tilt the odds in your favor with a good daily multivitamin supplement.
EVERYBODY ELSE CAN LEAVE!
Your health is fine. You don’t need to supplement your present diet with vitamins and minerals.