Getting the right vitamins in the right amounts is essential to staying healthy. Many people don’t realize that vitamin deficiency can cause a variety of health problems, with symptoms that can mimic a more serious disease.
Receiving your vitamins is important as well. There are many places you can order completely custom vitamin packs, while other sellers offer multivitamins.
To become healthy and stay that way, make sure you’re getting the right amounts of the five crucial vitamins listed below.
Vitamin D deficiency is becoming more of a problem as our generation spends more time indoors, and less time with our skin exposed to the sun. Unfortunately, these lifestyle changes can lead to lower vitamin D levels, because our bodies make vitamin D through the exposure of our skin to the sun.
We need plenty of vitamin D to properly absorb calcium and avoid bone injuries and osteoporosis. Good levels of vitamin D have been linked to lower rates of some cancers. Doctors recommend at least 1000 IU of vitamin D every day. Taking a liquid vitamin D3 under the tongue can be the most easily-absorbed form.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 is an essential nutrient for brain function, a healthy heart, and joint lubrication. This fatty acid is present in fish oil, nut oils, and some plant oils.
Not all omega-3 fatty acids are equally beneficial—you want good levels of DHA in your supplements. Krill oil, in particular, is an ideal way to get DHA and EPA oils, and because krill oil has astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, it’s a more stable fatty acid that is more bioavailable.
Only take the amount of DHA and EPA as your doctor recommends (usually 600 mg daily). It does thin the blood a little, so you don’t want to take too much.
Calcium With Magnesium
Calcium is needed to maintain strong teeth and bones and to keep our blood vessels, muscles, and nervous systems in top shape. Since calcium can sometimes cause constipation, if you take it with magnesium, this side effect can be avoided.
Most people should take 600 mg of calcium every day, along with 400 mg of magnesium. It’s important not to take your calcium within 1 to 2 hours of taking iron or your multivitamin, as the calcium could prevent the proper absorption of the iron in your intestines.
Even if you’re not a woman or not of childbearing age, you need folic acid for your body to make red blood cells and DNA. If you are a woman of childbearing age, folic acid is crucial.
Even if you don’t plan to become pregnant, if there’s any chance you could, you’ll want to include folic acid in your diet or supplement regimen. Folic acid can protect a baby from developing neural tube defects, and this type of defect can form in a fetus before the mother even realizes she is pregnant.
Although folic acid can be found in grains and vegetables, women of childbearing age need an extra 400-800 micrograms each day. If you’re taking a multivitamin, it likely contains this much, but if you already have children with neural tube defects, you should take more.
The B vitamins play a fundamental role in brain function—especially B12, which can be found in my brain supplements like TruBrain. It’s also important to the immune system, the nervous system, and energy levels. Studies show that as much as 40% of the population has low B levels. For most people, the amount in a multivitamin should suffice, but those who take heartburn and ulcer medications, have certain autoimmune disorders, or who use alcohol to excess may have more important B deficiencies.
B12 deficiency can result in depression, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, loss of taste and smell, memory loss, incontinence, trouble walking, jaundice, shortness of breath, numbness or a “pins and needles” sensation, joint pain, cognitive difficulties, weakness, and fatigue. Because many of these symptoms are brain-related, it’s possible to be misdiagnosed as having a mental disorder, when the real problem is a B12 deficiency.
If you believe you may be deficient in any of these top 5 essential vitamins, be sure to get your blood levels checked by a doctor, and make changes to your diet or supplement routine as needed. Be sure to take a multivitamin every day as well, to make up for any other vitamin or mineral deficiencies in your diet.