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What Are the Most Important Vitamins to Take Daily?

Most people generally know they need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Problem is, those same people may not know we need to get certain every single day to get the maximum benefit. These “daily essentials” include water soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids (EFAs) and others that we’ll talk about in this article.  When we eat foods rich in water-soluble vitamins or healthy fats, the body uses what it needs and excretes the rest. Since the body doesn’t store these essential nutrients, it’s critical we get them on a daily, or at least almost daily, basis. If you don’t keep up with your daily vitamin and mineral needs, you risk developing deficiencies that can lead to chronic low energy levels, dizziness, feeling run down, and may be more likely to getting sick or injured.

 

Most Important Vitamins for Men

Focusing on these key vitamins and minerals will help you optimize your health, while looking and feeling great:


Vitamin D supplements – The sun provides ample supply of Vitamin D. But when it’s hard to get out in the sun regularly, the next best thing is vitamin D from food sources and supplementation. As men age, vitamin D becomes more important because it helps prevent weak muscles and bones. On top of that, a deficiency in vitamin D may put you at a greater risk of heart attack and colon cancer.


Omega-3 supplements – Omega-3s are healthy fatty acids with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Most omega-3 supplements are sourced from fish oil.  Omega-3 supplements are beneficial for a number of health outcomes including joint health, heart health, and even brain health.  For men, in particular, doctors often recommend omega-3 supplements earlier in life because men are more susceptible to heart attack at a younger age than women.


Magnesium supplements – For men, supplementing with magnesium may help improve blood levels of testosterone and support muscular health, especially if paired with regular physical activity.
Folate supplements – Another essential vitamin important for heart health, folate or folic acid helps prevent the buildup of homocysteine, which is produced in excess can lead to heart disease.
 
Vitamin B12 supplements – For aging men, it’s never a bad idea to boost brain health. Vitamin B12 does just that by supporting normal function of the nervous system, including memory. A B12 deficiency has also been linked to depression and dementia.
 
Vitamin C supplements – Not only does Vitamin C help fight free radicals and boost your immune system, it can also help slow the signs of aging by reducing stress to your skin.

 

Most Important Vitamins for Women

Women have unique needs when it comes taking a daily vitamin. Here are some key vitamins and minerals to pay close attention to:


Iron supplements – Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in women. Since we get all of our iron from our diet, not eating enough can lead to iron deficiency anemia, and leave you feeling weak and fatigued.


Calcium supplements – Considering women are more prone to osteoporosis than men, women need to get more of this mineral on a daily basis. Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones.  Calcium is a very hard mineral that is not easily absorbed in the human body, so using a highly bioavailable form of calcium like calcium chelate is often recommended.


Magnesium supplements – Not only does magnesium help regulate blood pressure, but a lower level of magnesium has also been linked to migraines. Women should make sure to get enough each day may reduce the onset of migraines. In addition, supplementing with magnesium may reduce PMS symptoms and improve mood in some women.


Biotin supplements – This vitamin is needed to help convert nutrients into energy. It’s also responsible for maintaining the health of your hair, skin and nails.


Folate supplements – Folic acid is important for women of childbearing age especially because it helps prevent major birth defects for the baby’s brain and spine. Having optimal folate intake before pregnancy is ideal.  Make sure your prenatal vitamin contains folic acid.


Vitamin B12 supplements – A vitamin B12 deficiency can make you feel pretty run-down and weak. That’s because it’s a key vitamin involved in DNA and energy production. Without enough fatigue will set in fast. Plus, maintaining adequate B12 levels may boost bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.

 

Most Important Prenatal Vitamins to Take During Pregnancy

There’s no other time in a woman’s life more important than the prenatal period. However, with carrying a baby comes essential vitamin and mineral needs. Here are some nutrients to look out for in addition to what you need generally:
 
Vitamin B12 supplements – Your B12 needs increase during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Why? Because the baby’s brain and nervous system need sufficient B12 from the mother in order to develop properly. Not getting enough means you could risk major birth defects, premature birth or miscarriage.
 
Folic Acid supplements – Folate helps form the neural tube during baby’s early development. Without enough daily folic acid intake on the mother’s part, the baby is more susceptible to brain and spinal birth defects.
 
Vitamin B6 supplements – Not only is vitamin B6 important for proper development of baby’s brain and nervous system, it may also help reduce and even resolve morning sickness.
 
Magnesium supplements – A magnesium deficiency during pregnancy can lead to preeclampsia, poor fetal growth, and even infant mortality. Make sure your prenatal vitamin and your diet meets 350mg of magnesium daily.
 
If you’re not used to taking a daily multivitamin, it may be challenging to remember to take it every single day. The best way to form a habit is to develop a routine. Start by putting your vitamin supplements where you see them so that you are less likely to forget. Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to take your vitamins every day at a specific time. And even consider storing some extras in your desk drawer or handbag just in case popping your morning pills do slip past you. Taking your vitamins every day with breakfast is also an easy way to make it part of your daily routine.
 
If this was helpful, check out our free vitamin guides here (link).