Boost your health with these 4 common supplements

October 9, 2015

Taking supplements can be a beneficial way of adding that extra bit of health to everyday living. Here are four common supplements you can take to add those missing nutrients from your life.

Boost your health with these 4 common supplements

Health supplements

It can be difficult to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, but adding supplements can be one way to ensure you're getting your full nutrients each day. Here are four common supplements you can take to take your health to the next level.

Vitamin D

During sunny summer days, being outside can be enough to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. It's an important vitamin for healthy and strong bones, and not getting enough can leave your bones weak and brittle and susceptible to osteoporosis or fractures. As well, aging tends to lead to a lower efficiency in naturally producing the amount of Vitamin D your body needs for strong and healthy bones.

Taking a tablet of Vitamin D (or a multivitamin) a day may be enough to help your body get the amount it needs. Generally, a dose of 400 to 700 IU of Vitamin D each day should be enough, but make sure to talk to your doctor to find out exactly the amount you need. It's also recommended that you take it with a heavy meal like dinner so that the Vitamin D can be absorbed most efficiently by your body.

Vitamin B12

Another vitamin that's very important for you is B12, which helps your brain and nervous system to function at their optimal levels. It's also important in the process of blood formation, with low levels of B12 thought to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Vitamin B12 is tied to the amount of stomach acid your body has, with the latter helping to absorb the vitamin so your body can keep going at a normal level. The neat thing about Vitamin B12 is that you don't need gastric acid for it to be absorbed and a dose of about 25 micrograms a day should be enough for most people.

Folic acid

Folate, also known as Vitamin B9, is typically found in dark leafy greens, meats, cereals, oranges and grains. But for those who don't get enough of it in their daily diet, or for women who are trying to conceive or in the early stages of pregnancy, taking a folic acid supplement can help the body to power along at a good level.

Folic acid helps to dramatically decrease the risk of a handful of birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly by helping neural tubes form correctly in the most important stages. Talk to your doctor to see if the generally recommended daily dose of 0.4 micrograms of folic acid is the correct amount.

Vitamin C

It's one of the most common and safest supplements to take, with Vitamin C thought to help by protecting your immune system against easy-to-prevent illnesses. It can also have a positive effect in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, eye disease and prenatal health problems, but talk to your doctor before taking a Vitamin C supplement.

While a daily dose of 500 milligrams of Vitamin C is one of the most common amounts, you should also take it in conjunction with about five servings of fruits and vegetables each day to get the full benefit of it. And just in case you're in the minority for whom Vitamin C may upset your stomach, go for a non-acidic brand.

These four supplements are commonly taken to help your body stay as healthy as it needs to be. But before making any changes to your diet, consult your doctor first to make sure you're being safe about it.

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