Today’s topic was suggested to me by a client. Even thought it’s a long one, it’s a good one.
But, if you want the basic gist without reading the entire message…unless suggested by your doctor, it appears that “supplementing” your diet with a complete multivitamin should be enough to keep your body working at its peak.
Now, for those of you with the time and will to continue, enjoy!
With the fitness industry breaking sales records in every aspect of the field, the most controversial products remain vitamins and supplements. While the validity of supplements (especially those considered to be of the “bodybuilding” nature) is often touted to provide unrealistic results, I think we all can agree that, “if it sounds too good to be true…” Therefore, I will not be standing on my Met-RX box proclaiming, “Blasphemy!”
I’d rather focus our “discussion” on vitamins (and minerals).
We all know Calcium is a mineral that is essential for building healthy bones. However, most of you, yes, even you women, probably get a sufficient dose each day unless you don’t like dairy, fortified OJ or other calcium-rich foods like kale.
Folic acid prevents birth defects in the brain and spine of unborn children. Therefore, if becoming pregnant is a possibility, get 400 micrograms every day from fortified cereals, pasta and bread.
Iron is the mineral that carries energizing oxygen to your cells via the blood stream. Getting less than 18 milligrams a day could leave you dragging. However, an iron-rich diet that includes a cup of beans, a serving of lean beef or a cup of spinach should do the trick.
While some studies suggest that Multivitamins may be useful for preventing cancer, they are not cure-alls. Taking one a day is fine.
Vitamin D boosts ones immunity. Ten to 15 minutes of good sunshine three times a week is enough to satisfy the body’s requirement. However, large doses may help bolster your infection defenses while lowering the risk of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of serotonin. Mild deficiencies are common. But major sources of this vitamin include; cereal, grains, legumes, carrots, spinach, peas, potatoes, milk, cheese, eggs, fish liver, and meat.
The human body stores several years’ worth of vitamin B12, so nutritional deficiency of this vitamin is extremely rare. Elderly are the most at risk. Additionally, strict vegetarians or vegans who are not taking in proper amounts of B12 are also prone to a deficiency state. A day’s supply can be obtained by eating one chicken breast plus one hard-boiled egg, plus one cup of plain low-fat yogurt, or 1 cup of milk plus 1 cup of raisin bran. A day’s supply of vitamin B12 can be obtained by eating 1 chicken breast plus 1 hard-boiled egg plus 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, or 1 cup milk plus 1 cup raisin bran.
Selenium (a 200 microgram dose) has been debated to cut the risk of cancer deaths in half. However, that amount can’t be gotten from diet alone. To reach that mark, supplementation is necessary.
However, as for fighting heart disease, kicking a smoking habit, exercising, eating more fruits and veggies, and maintaining a healthy weight are better combatants than Vitamin E.
The same regimen holds true over fighting cancer threats with Beta-carotene. Studies now show that this “nutrient” actually increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
Last but not least. Good old Vitamin C will heal your cuts and keep your cartilage, bones and teeth healthy. But, there is no clear evidence that it can treat or even prevent colds. In fact, more than the recommended 75 milligrams a day dose (easily found in fruits and veggies) may give you just vitamin-rich urine and even a stomach ache. Got sick? Then stick to chicken soup! It’s been proven to open your nasal passages and fight inflammation!
Also, below is a list of the 10 best beverages by their levels of disease-fighting antioxidants resulting from a recent UCLA, (Go Bruins!) study. Go Bruins!
1. Pomegranate juice
2. Red wine
3. Concord grape juice
4. Blueberry juice
5. Black cherry juice
6. Açaí juice
7. Cranberry juice
8. Orange juice
10. Apple juice
FYI, for your body to better assimilate any antioxidants, it’s always best to drink them.
Ok, I know that doesn’t cover them all, but I hope it helps. Remember, if you do chose to supplement your diet with pills, they are best absorbed in doses under 500 milligrams. And before starting any vitamin or supplement program, please consult your doctor first.
I am sorry for the length of this installment. And I am sure many of you would like info. on the Omegas (3 and 6). I’ll provide data on those, I just didn’t want to to on too much.
And finally, if there is a vitamin, mineral, supplement or even a desired state of health (i.e. better digestion) that I haven’t provided information on and you would like to know about it, please let me know and I’ll try to find it for you.