Jeske Wellmann, experienced dietician, said, “No single food contains all the vitamins we need, which is why a balanced daily diet is important for good health. Unfortunately, the food we eat is not the same quality it was a few years ago, so I advocate a good multivitamin be taken daily – and maybe add one or two other specific supplements for the individual person’s needs”.
Despite the fact that children and adult men often refuse to take multivitamins, supplements are essential for all ages. If you’re not sure what vitamin and mineral supplements you need at your age, here are the basic recommendations.
Babies and children
Breastfed babies don’t need extra vitamins for the first six months, while bottle fed babies may benefit from vitamin drops. Talk to your health professional before you give any supplements to your baby. What concerns nutrients for toddlers, vitamins A, C and D are particularly important for healthy skin, eyesight, cell development and the immune system.
As teenagers go through major physical and biochemical changes, they need vitamins A, B, C, E and such supplements as folic acid, biotin, choline, beta-carotene, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Remember that nutritional needs in adolescence are higher than in any other stage of development. Besides, most teenagers develop poor eating habits so taking additional vitamins and minerals is vital.
Women in pregnancy
Unless prescribed by your physician, it’s best to avoid vitamin A supplements in pregnancy. The most important supplements for preconception and pregnancy include antioxidants, zinc, folic acid as well as vitamin C and E. However, it’s important to get advice from your health specialist before taking any supplementation.
Women in menopause
Hormone levels begin to fluctuate as menopause is approaching. To avoid common menopause symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, depression, irritability, tiredness and others, take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement for women that includes boron. Vitamin B, C and E as well as magnesium, calcium, zinc and linseed oil are also a necessary addition to a healthy diet.
Studies show that men are less likely to look after their health than women and they tend to smoke and drink excessively. The most important supplements for men include vitamins A, B, C, D, E, iodine, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, etc.
Good supplements are essential as the body begins to change. Choose a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement with extra antioxidants to slow down the ageing process. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E and selenium may help prevent arthritis, dementia, heart disease, cancer and adult onset diabetes.
Although multivitamin and mineral supplements are not a panacea for all diseases, they definitely contribute to good health together with a balanced diet and exercise. Take supplements according to age requirements to make the most of your nutrition.