Vitamins And Nutrition
There are five important nutrition vitamins you need to be sure to get plenty of, and we've come up with easy ways to incorporate them into your busy life.
Women have been hearing for years that calcium helps fight osteoporosis, but did you know that this nutrition vitamin actually battles PMS as well? This is happy news for women who spend month after month suffering from bloating, cramps, fatigue, mood swings, and any other menstrual symptoms. Even if PMS has never troubled you, increasing your calcium intake may help lower your risk of high blood pressure and even some cancers.
With so many benefits, it's hard to believe that nearly 80% of women are not getting enough calcium. Increasing your intake is simple; eat more dairy. Even pressed for time, getting a quick serving of dairy is pretty simple; especially since these days, yogurt and cottage cheese come in handy little one serving containers that are perfect for moms on the go.
With flu season ready to sneak up and take you by surprise, now is the perfect time to stop skipping out on your vitamin D needs. This vitamin has been called the "wonder nutrient," since it helps boost your immune system and even helps ward off respiratory infections and the flu.
The main function of vitamin D is to help your body properly absorb calcium, but as an added bonus, it may also help protect you from diabetes and some forms of cancer; specifically breast cancer. To get the full benefits from vitamin D, you've got to increase your intake to at least the recommended daily 400 IUs. Drink plenty of milk and other dairy- which, as you recall, will also help with your vitamin C requirement.
If you have no time to pump iron, the good news is you can eat it instead! Iron naturally makes your body feel stronger. This mineral is responsible for helping your red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body as well as directly to your brain.
Not only is iron good for your bodily health, it also affects your mental health; allowing you to feel alert and more aware. To increase your iron intake, you've got to add more iron-rich foods like lean meats and oysters. Lentils and tofu are also great choices. You should eat your iron along with vitamin C rich foods like red peppers since this helps your body better absorb the mineral.
Despite your best efforts at self-exams and yearly mammograms, you may still be at risk for breast cancer; especially if you aren't getting the proper nutrition to protect your breasts. Folic acid is a must for breast health, and B vitamins are also essential. Women of child-bearing age need to be particularly careful about the amount of folic acid they are getting each day.
Even if you aren't actively trying to become pregnant, folic acid is essential in case you do. A deficiency of folic acid can lead to birth defects, and these can form before you even realize that you are pregnant.
To meet your daily requirement of folic acid, make sure to fit fortified cereals and breads, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables. If you drink any alcohol at all, it is especially important to be aware of how much folic acid you are getting. Alcohol hinders the body's capacity to properly absorb this nutrient, making your entire intake useless.
Clear the "non-fat" ideas from your head, and instead think "good fats." Omega 3 fatty acids are especially important since they help protect you against heart disease. Good fats are excellent for the overall health of your heart because they reduce triglycerides and lower your blood pressure.
These in turn prevent artery blockage which could otherwise lead to coronary disease. Research is also beginning to show that Omega 3 fatty acids can have a significant effect on other areas of your health. Some of these include a decreased risk for depression, and even defense against some forms of cancer.
The best way to get the full benefits of these good fats is by eating fatty fish; particularly salmon, but mackerel or sardines are also good choices. This is one of the nutrition vitamins that do not have a specific recommended amount; just get as much as you can. As busy as you are, and as many people as you have depending on you, it's important to stay as healthy as possible.
Get as many vitamins as you can from natural sources rather than opting for a supplement. If you feel you need supplemental help, contact your doctor first. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing, and you don't want to put yourself at risk for a vitamin overdose.
Getting too much of a vitamin or mineral can be just as bad as or worse than not getting enough. Despite your hectic schedule, try to make time to take care of yourself; you need all of these nutrition vitamins to protect you from serious health issues and allow you to stay on top of your life.
Updated October 26, 2011