Adults should prioritize their nutrition, but it can be difficult when work projects and holiday plans are piling up non-stop.
Skimping on certain nutrients can lead to deficiencies in nutritional areas that your body needs fulfilled in order to function properly. For example, if you’re not taking in enough calcium, then you are automatically prone to osteoporosis, a serious bone disease. Taking beneficial vitamins and supplements is an easy way to make sure you’re not missing out on any important food groups. Not a health science person and don’t know how to bulk up on essential nutrients? Here’s a cheat sheet on what to use and what to hit snooze on.
Mom always said, “Take your multivitamin!” but whether you preferred the Flintstone Gummies or the grown-up One Dailys, they actually have slim-to-no effect on the user, says nutritionist Jennifer DeWall, owner of Nutrition in Motion, LLC. Leave multivitamins on the shelf next time you run out for a needs-based grocery run.
Vitamin D/D3: USE
Everyone loves soaking up a ray or two of sun on a nice day, but when Midwest temperatures drop, so do the frequency of visits outside. Taking a Vitamin D3 supplement during the cold weather months isn’t a bad idea, especially if you’re a big fan of healthy bones.
There are people who elect to take TUMS, either name-brand or off-brand, as a calcium supplement since the popular antacid contains concentrated amounts of calcium carbonate. However, DeWall suggests taking an actual calcium supplement instead, especially because TUMS don’t contain Vitamin D, a necessary partner to calcium.
Fish oil: BIG SNOOZE
Fish oil’s claim to fame is the amount of omega 3–fatty acids known for their anti-inflammatory properties–found in the supplement, but DeWall warns of the inclusion of harmful elements. Due to irregular regulation, poisons like mercury may contaminate the supplement, so say a big N-O to fish oil. You’re better off ordering a nice, actual salmon on your dinner date.
Juice Plus+: USE
DeWall strongly recommends Juice Plus+, marketed as “the next best thing to fruits and vegetables.” Although Juice Plus+ products aren’t substitutes for whole food fruits and vegetables, they do help support a healthy diet and are made from farm-fresh ingredients, including 45 different fruits and veggies. Juice Plus+ is advertised as three different forms: Capsules, Chewables, and Complete. The Complete category includes products like drink mixes and nutrition bars.
Protein powder: YOU DO YOU
The best supplement for protein is going to be in the form of whole food, but protein powder isn’t going to harm you like fish oil. Just make sure you’re being smart on the intake, pairing it with whole foods in the form of a smoothie or shake to make your nutrient intake efficient and fulfilling; you can’t thrive solely off of protein powder.
Ultimately, taking responsibility for your nutrition means that you’ll have to find what works for you. Still, it’s good to know what vitamins are worth the time and which ones are better left on the shelf.