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Vitamins: To Take or Not To Take

Updated on December 22, 2016

We all have been told to take your vitamins and eat a balanced diet. Well, if you're eating a balanced diet, do you really need to take a vitamin? Here are some suggestions on what you should take and what you can shake.

Vitamin D - crucial for bone health, immunity, fighting inflammation, even easing depression... Many dairy products are fortified with D, but you’d need six cups of milk a day to get the right dose. Be sure to ask your doctor to check if you have a deficiency because it has been reported that up to 50 percent of Americans are at suboptimal levels. When you get your Vitamin D from the sun, it raises your risk for cancer (and wrinkles). Aim to get 600 IU a day.

Calcium - This is important to take if you don’t eat dairy daily, since that’s the main source of the nutrient (one cup of milk has 300 mg; one cup of raw kale, just 55 mg). If you avoid lactose you should take a 1,000 mg supplement. Bonus! Take one with vitamin D will help your body absorb the calcium

Prenatal Vitamin
Take if you’re pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. You should start taking them a few days before you start trying. Folic acid, the ingredient in prenatal vitamins that helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida, is crucial in the first few days after conception. Up to 60 percent of the population can’t absorb folic acid properly, so make sure to look for brands containing L­methylfolate.

What do you think about vitamins?

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B12
Take if you are hard core vegan. It has been reported that people following one plant based diets don't get any B12 in their meals. The recommended dose is 2.4 mcg either through a supplement or fortified foods.


THESE YOU CAN SAY NO TO...


​Standard Multivitamins
This are really not that necessary. There has been no real solid evidence that a multivitamin will lessen the risk of chronic diseases or cancer or increase immunity. If you are eating a well-balanced diet, these can easily be skipped.


Zinc
This is something we tend to reach for when its cold season. Research has been inconsistent as to whether or not it is helpful. If you beans, nuts, whole grains, and seafood, you will reach the recommended dosage.

AND THESE YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY STOP TAKING


OTC Diet Pills

This a NO BRAINER! Pills won't create miracles, instead these pills can raise blood pressure and cause palpitations, stroke, seizure, even death. NO THANK YOU!

Iron
You can actually get too much of this vitamin. Too much causes issues from an upset stomach to liver damage, For are the non-pregnant women all you need is 18 mg per day. If you eat one cup of fortified cereal a day, you're all set!

Omega 3s/Fish Oil
Eat fish and use olive oil instead of taking this supplement. Reason? These pills act as potentially dangerous blood thinners.

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