Today we’re able to pick and choose vitamins and supplements that deliver very specific results in terms of energy or joint health. When you nourish every part of your body, it will thank you by staying strong and healthy, enabling you to be active and do activities you enjoy. Supplementing a healthy routine of regular exercise and a balanced diet with extra support can boost the positive results you see. Here are 10 key vitamins and nutrients that can help you round out your wellness plan.
You’ve heard the hype about fish oil, and it’s for good reason. Fish oil is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with a wide range of health benefits. DHA is essential for brain development, while EPA is a key component of heart health. Why fish oil instead of other omega-3 sources? Your body is extra efficient at digesting it, which helps you get the most bang for your buck. That said, you can still reap the benefits from food sources like flaxseed, chia seeds, salmon and other fatty fish.
You knew calcium was essential for building bones, but its benefits reach far beyond helping to strengthen your skeleton. Calcium is also important for muscle and nerve function, making it an all-around key mineral to keep on your radar. Unfortunately, 55 percent of women and 70 percent of men don’t get enough. Strive for at least 1,000 milligrams a day through food, beverages and dietary supplements. Think low-fat milk and yogurt, dark, leafy greens, soybeans and some fish, including salmon, sardines and rainbow trout.
Want to take the extra step for strong bones and teeth? Don’t just go for the calcium—vitamin D is also necessary for bone health. Your body naturally makes vitamin D from sun exposure, but give your bones a boost by incorporating a calcium and vitamin D duo and 30 minutes of weight exercises into your daily routine.
Cranberries can help maintain a healthy urinary tract. That’s right—there’s science to support mom’s advice to drink cranberry juice to support urinary health! If you’re not a juice fan or want to avoid the added sugar often found in cranberry products, you can always reap the benefits of a cranberry fruit supplement.
Antioxidants help protect against harmful free radicals that can destroy healthy cells and promote cell aging. They can’t halt aging itself of course, but foods and supplements rich in antioxidants may help minimize cell damage and stand guard against cell aging.
Signs and screens looking blurry? Chances are, the older you get, the worse your vision gets too. Support your vision by including beta-carotene and other carotenoids and antioxidants in your daily diet. Choose a variety of colored fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, spinach and kale. You can also supplement for added support.
Lutein works hand-in-hand with other carotenoids and antioxidants to support healthy vision. In fact, lutein and zeaxanthin are two of the antioxidants present in the macula of the eye. They’re also present in green leafy vegetables, so don’t forget to eat your spinach.
Vitamin E can also help your eyes. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a disease associated with aging that affects normal vision. Emerging science suggests that antioxidants, particularly vitamin E, may help protect your eyes. Because it’s an antioxidant, it can also help fight cell damage throughout your body.
Whether it’s your job, relationships or physical stress from exercise, there are many different types of pressures in life, and all of them can affect your immune system. Protect yourself with the recommended dose of Vitamin C, which is 75 milligrams for adult women and 90 milligrams for adult men. Citrus fruits are the obvious choice, but peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes and even a baked potato, are sources of Vitamin C.
Feeling sluggish? It might just be that you’re low on B vitamins— a key driver of your body’s energy production. You can get B vitamins from a range of foods. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. If you follow a vegetarian diet, a B12 supplement could be a good fit in your routine. B6 is also found in poultry and fish, as well as starchy vegetables and most fruits other than citrus.