Most people do not eat a balanced diet rich in a variety nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. I often hear people complain because they do not like fruits and vegetables so they cannot eat right. However, our bodies were not designed to live off cheese burgers and French fries. We were designed to kill animals and harvest fruits and vegetables. I do understand that it’s tough to get the recommended 6-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s where nutritional supplements come in. They can help you reach the necessary daily intake of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients when you cannot get enough through diet alone. While there is NO substitute for a well balanced, fruit and vegetable rich diet, supplements will help on your road to good health.
Vital Nutrients We Need Every Day:
Calcium: 1,000-1,300 mg a day
Sources of calcium: ½ cup cooked spinach = 120mg.
8 oz plain, low-fat yogurt = 415mg. 8 oz 2% milk = 297mg
Why we need it: Calcium helps prevent risk or decrease severity of osteoporosis. It helps our bones to become strong and hard. Calcium is also necessary for muscle action. Several studies have also shown a link between higher calcium intakes with lower body weight.
Vitamin D: 500-2000 IU a day
Sources of Vit. D: fortified milk or orange juice = 100-125 IU. 1 whole egg = 25 IU The majority of our vitamin D is synthesized (made) by our body from exposure to sunlight
Why we need it: Vitamin D helps our bones absorbed calcium thus helping prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of many types of cancers. Vitamin D consumption also has links to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Fiber: 20-35 g a day
Sources of fiber: Apple = 3g. 1 cup black beans = 19g. ½ cup raw broccoli = 7g
Why we need it: Fiber aids digestion by working in your colon to create solid waste and to keep the colon functioning. Fiber also reduces risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes by reducing triglyceride levels in the blood and helping the body excrete unneeded waste.
Probiotics: No set recommendation for daily intake
Why we need it: Our bodies have good bacteria in them all the time. These bacteria help with absorption of nutrients, breakdown of food, removal of waste, and fighting off disease and bad bacteria. We need to build up our good bacteria to stay healthy and keep our immune system working properly.
Other vitamins we need every day for various reasons:
C: 45-100mg/ day – Antioxidant
E: 15 mg/ day – Antioxidant
Folate: 400 ug/ day – Works with amino acids (proteins)
A: Aids vision, aids gene expression and reproduction.
Niacin – Required for energy production
Thiamin – Aids in metabolism of carbohydrates
B12 – Works with nucleic acid (part of DNA) metabolism
B6 – Aids amino acid (protein) metabolism
Riboflavin – Coenzyme
Vitamin K – Involved in blood clotting and bone metabolism
Iodine – Aids thyroid hormone function
Zinc – Helps regulate gene expression
Iron – Component of hemoglobin (blood)
Potassium – Regulates fluid levels
Chromium – helps regulate blood glucose (sugar)
Going on a multi-vitamin can help you achieve all of the recommended daily allowances. These recommendations are the United States Department of Agriculture dietary guidelines.
At Arkansas Physical Medicine we have a variety of nutritional supplementation that we recommend to patients to help them achieve better health. The supplements that we offer here are backed by extensive research and are held to higher regulation than supplements sold in the United States.