In an ideal world, you’d get all of your essential vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. But looking at the average American diet, one thing is clear: It’s time to call for some backup. According to a meta-analysis of studies done by Oregon State University, 75 percent of us aren’t eating the daily recommended amount of fruit, and 80 percent aren’t eating enough vegetables. That means 94 percent of us don’t meet the daily recommended intake of Vitamin D, half of us don’t get enough magnesium (read on to find out why that mineral is crucial), and 44 percent aren’t getting enough calcium.
That can have serious health consequences down the road, as our bodies cope with aging. We asked experts what supplements can help fill in the gaps. Read on to find out more, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
1. A Multivitamin
“This is the best way to assure that you are getting the majority of the micronutrients and minerals you need in just one pill,” says Yeral Patel, MD, a board-certified physician in anti-aging regenerative and family medicine in Newport Beach, California. “Today’s diets, with their various restrictions and exclusions, don’t allow us to get all the minerals and nutrients we need solely from the foods we eat.”
The Rx: “I recommend buying from a source that sells medical-grade products to assure that they are pure, safe, and do not contain any fillers,” says Patel, who likes the brands Designs for Health, Metagenics, Integrative Therapeutics and Thorne.
2. Vitamin D
Most of us are deficient in the “sunshine vitamin,” so named because our bodies produce it naturally when skin is exposed to the sun. It is believed to guard against several types of cancer and is essential for strong bones, a particular concern as we age.
“Bone health is important for both women and men, although we tend to hear more about it as a woman’s issue,” says Nicole Avena, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University. “The reality is that men are also at risk for developing bone-related conditions, including osteoporosis. Vitamin D is important because it helps maintain bone health in a number of ways. For one, it improves your body’s absorption of calcium.”
The Rx: The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for Vitamin D is 600 IU for adults up to age 70 and 800 IU for adults 71 or older. Some experts consider that low for adults of any age, suggesting it should be raised to at least 1,000 IU per day. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the upper limit for Vitamin D is 4,000 IU daily.
3. Vitamin B12
The B vitamins are crucial to the production of energy, and Vitamin B12 is particularly important for brain function. “If you don’t get enough B12, you can experience brain fog or lethargy,” says Avena. “As we age, we may need to take vitamin B12 supplements to get the recommended amount. We often have more difficulty absorbing B12 that we get from food.”
The Rx: “Frunutta makes a sublingual vitamin B12 that is easy to ingest and dissolves right under the tongue, which helps bypass the absorption issue,” says Avena. The RDA of Vitamin B12 is 2.4mcg. According to the NIH, an upper limit has not been set because Vitamin B12 has not been shown to cause harm.
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SOURCE: Eat This, Not That!