Most experts recommend that you try to get most of your nutrition from the food you eat. But for most of us, it’s simply not possible. For example, the USDA recommends that the average person consume 4,044 milligrams of potassium a day. That’s the amount found in nine bananas! Of course, you don’t have to get all your potassium strictly from bananas, but you get the point. It’s much easier to get all your nutrients if you add a supplement to your diet. You can often buy these over the counter. But it’s important to make sure they come from quality softgel manufacturers. And when you do, check for these five essential ingredients.
B-12 is one of the B complexes our bodies need to help break down some of the micronutrients we eat. Carbs, proteins, and fats are all deconstructed and distributed most properly when we are getting enough of this vitamin.
We don’t need much B-12. Usually, about 3 micrograms are enough. But people who don’t eat enough protein can have a problem getting even this small amount. B-12 is found mainly in fish, eggs, and meat. So, if you are vegetarian or vegan, it’s especially important to add a supplement that contains the vitamin to your daily regimen.
Many times when people experience low energy, iron deficiency is the culprit. This mineral helps with energy levels, brain functions, and healthy blood cells. Most people who eat red meat regularly can get enough iron through their diet. But there are some exceptions.
Women might experience low iron levels while menstruating or pregnant. Or there may be other times in life when iron is just low and they just need a boost. For example, someone attending a stringent RN-BSN program might need a little more iron to help with focus and energy. Not everyone needs the same amount of iron, but a good supplement should have about 18 milligrams.
Unless you consume a lot of dairy, you’re probably not getting enough calcium in your diet. And calcium is extremely important in every stage of life. Infants and young children need it for the formation of healthy bones and teeth. And adults need calcium to protect bones from osteoporosis and loosening teeth.
Most people need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. But as you age, that amount should increase to about 1,200 milligrams. To make sure you’re getting your recommended daily allowance, you may have to take a calcium supplement or eat more dairy in addition to your multivitamin.
Vitamin D is what helps the body absorb calcium properly. Without it, most of the calcium you consume is simply digested without entering the bloodstream. But vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer. And unfortunately, it’s a common problem in adults.
Technically, moderate time spent out in the sun should supply us with all the vitamin D we need. But it seems that most people don’t get enough. This could be because of certain regions where the sun doesn’t shine as much as others. Or it could simply be because people spend too much time indoors. Either way, it’s important to make sure you add it to your diet.
Zinc is a cellular nutrient that boosts the immune system and helps build our genetic material. It is also partly responsible for our senses of taste and smell. The amount of zinc we need varies greatly, depending on our age. Infants only need 2 to 3 milligrams, while adult men need closer to 11 milligrams. And the RDA is a little higher for women who are breastfeeding.
You can get zinc in foods such as oysters, organ meat, and some whole grains. But it’s difficult to get enough of it unless you eat these foods every day. So, check the label of your multivitamin to make sure it contains at least some zinc.