Happy New Year! If one of your resolutions is to supplement a healthy, balanced diet with over the counter products, look no further than these recommendations for wellness in the New Year:
First, consider vitamin D supplements to promote strong bones. Also present in milk and fatty fish like salmon or tuna, this supplement is important for your immune system and muscles. We also get vitamin D from sunlight, so variable weather in the New Year may impact your chances of naturally obtaining the recommended amount. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D ranges from 400 to 800 units based on age and gender, so talk with your pharmacist or other healthcare practitioner to learn what’s best for you. Your practitioner may recommend supplementing at different times of day to ensure your body best absorbs the supplement, based on your individual needs.
Zinc may be beneficial to your immune system, which is especially important during cold and flu season. Like other minerals, the recommended daily zinc dose varies depending on your age and life stage. If you’re a seafood fan, zinc naturally comes from your diet through oysters, crab, and lobster. Going vegetarian? No worries. Zinc can also be found in beans, nuts, and whole grains. Keep in mind vegetarians may need higher amounts of zinc due to zinc being absorbed differently in the vegetarian friendly foods listed above. If you cannot obtain all the zinc you need from your diet, zinc supplements are available in several forms including tablets, capsules, and lozenges. Check with a medical professional to ensure you are taking the right dose!
Magnesium is a mineral found in the body and naturally present in many foods like spinach, nuts, and whole grains. It is important for nerve function, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Depending on your age and gender, 30 to 420 milligrams daily of magnesium is recommended. Men older than 70 and teenage girls are more likely to have low magnesium intake. Magnesium supplements come in several different forms. Magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, and magnesium chloride are more easily absorbed by the body than other forms. You may also recognize magnesium in some other OTC products that treat heartburn and indigestion.
Iron & Folic Acid
Together, iron and folic acid are more effective than when taken apart. Iron helps make hormones and red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. Folic acid enables your body to make DNA and other genetic material. Depending on age and life stage, the RDA for iron is 7 to 27 milligrams, with pregnant women needing the high end, and 65 to 600 micrograms for folic acid. Alternatively, women could choose to take a prenatal vitamin containing iron and folic acid as described in this previous blog post!
If the idea of taking a few different OTC products seems daunting to you, a multivitamin may be the way to go. Multivitamins pack different minerals and vitamins into one product for convenience. They may come in different forms, like tablets or chewable gummies, and often contain the recommended amount of each individual vitamin or mineral in a once-daily product.
So, how do you know which multivitamin to pick? Keep in mind, gummy vitamins may seem appealing but may not offer iron. The recommended nutrient amount varies by age and gender, as described by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheets. Multivitamins are great when you can’t get the nutrients needed from food alone. Ask your pharmacist or other healthcare provider today which regimen is right for you!
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.