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Since we were young, many of us have been told by our parents and teachers to take our vitamins, and there’s a good reason for this. Vitamins are essential micronutrients for normal bodily function.
But which micronutrients are required daily to maintain optimal health?
While your requirements will vary based on your age, gender, genetics, and lifestyle, there are specific vitamins that virtually everyone can benefit from by taking them daily. This guide will discuss the daily nutrients you should consume, their required amounts, and their health benefits.
Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, comes first in alphabetical order and is nearly as essential. It is vital to consume the proper amount of vitamin A daily, as the nutrient supports:
- Immune function
- Cellular communication
- Cell differentiation
The suggested daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin A for people aged 14 and older is 900 mcg for men and 700 mcg for women. Most vitamin A supplements or multivitamins contain at least the recommended daily allowance.
You can also obtain vitamin A from the following foods:
- Sweet potato
- Beef liver
A select few members of the vitamin B family are regarded as indispensable. B6 is an essential vitamin. Vitamin B6 is a broad term for six organic compounds, another vital daily vitamin. B6 contributes to the formation of over 100 enzymes. These enzymes serve numerous functions within our bodies.
Among the most essential processes involving vitamin B6 are:
- Destruction of proteins
- We are regulating glucose (blood sugar) levels.
- Producing antibodies
- You are creating hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying molecules in your tissues).
Vitamin B6 RDAs vary depending on age and gender. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends the following:
- The dosages for those aged 14 to 18 are 1,3 mg for males and 1,2 mg for females.
- For those aged 19 to 50 – 1.3 mg for both men and women
- For those 51 and older: 1,7 mg for men and 1.5 mg for women
The RDA for pregnant and nursing women increases to 1,9 mg and 2,0 mg, respectively.
Vitamin B6 can be consumed on its own or as a multivitamin component. It is also present in a variety of edibles, including:
- The legume chickpeas
- Yellowfin tuna and sockeye salmon are examples of fish.
- Chicken, turkey, and bovine liver are meats and organ meats.
- Russet potatoes
Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
B9, also known as folate (natural form) or folic acid (synthetic paper), is an additional essential B vitamin.
Folate supports a healthy metabolism and immune system by promoting the growth and function of healthy cells. Folates are also necessary for red blood cell production, amino acid metabolism, and the creation of DNA, RNA, and other genetic information.
So, how much folate is required daily? Folate and folic acid are metabolized in different ways by the body, making the answer somewhat complicated. You will generally need more folate than folic acid to attain the recommended daily intake of 400mcg dietary folate equivalents (DFEs).
Numerous individuals need to ingest the recommended daily amount of folate. To ensure adequate intake, you can either take a multivitamin or consume more of the following foods:
- Florets of broccoli
- Vegetable spinach
- The lettuce
Added nutrients to grains and breakfast cereals
Folate is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women due to its significance in developing the fetal nervous system.
B12 is the concluding B vitamin to take daily. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, serves multiple functions in the body, including:
- Constructing DNA
- Controlling the growth and function of the central nervous system
- Creation of red blood cells
Consuming enough B12 is necessary for optimal health. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, characterized by weakness and fatigue.
To continue experiencing your best, consuming the daily recommended amount of vitamin B12 is vital. How much vitamin B12 should destroy? The Office of Dietary Supplements suggests a daily intake of 2,4 mcg for those aged 14 and older.
Where can you obtain so much B12? In addition to taking vitamin B12 supplements, you can increase your intake by consuming B12-rich foods such as:
- Seafood (clams, tuna, salmon)
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Beef liver
- Fortified nutritional yeast or breakfast cereals
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble compound. Vitamin C is worthy of daily consumption because it:
- Protects your cells from free radicals
- Helps produce collagen
- Boosts the immune system
- Improves iron absorption
The suggested dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C varies with age and gender. Here is a breakdown to assist you in determining how much vitamin you need:
- 14–18-year-olds: 75 milligrams for males and 65 mg for females
- For those 19 and older: 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
Notably, you may require additional vitamin C if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or a regular smoker.
As with the majority of vitamins, humans cannot produce vitamin C. Therefore, we must consume this essential nutrient via multivitamins and our diet. For most individuals, fruits and vegetables are the primary sources of vitamin C. These foods are good sources of vitamin C:
- Bell peppers
- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits)
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin D is one of the most necessary nutrients in your daily diet due to its numerous roles in your body’s biological processes and structures. Vitamin D, an additional fat-soluble vitamin, contributes to maintaining bones, muscles, neurons, and the immune system.
Vitamin D in foods and dietary supplements is available in two forms:
- Plants are the source of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol).
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) – D3 is animal-derived and may be marginally more potent.
The suggested daily allowances (RDAs) for vitamin D do not vary with vitamin D per day. After age 70, this number rises to 20 mcg per day.
Vitamin D is a notable exception to the general rule that we obtain our vitamins from diet and supplements. Additionally, your body can produce vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Otherwise, You can find it in foods such as:
- fish (Trout, Salmon, Sardines, and Tuna)
- Cereals, milk, and milk substitutes are examples of fortified diets.
- Parmesan cheese
Most of these consumables are animal products, as you may have observed. Since plant-based sources of vitamin D are limited, vegans and vegetarians can benefit from a vitamin D supplement, particularly those who live further north and do not receive sufficient sunlight.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, and prevents blood clots by dilating the blood vessels. Also, it serves an essential part in cell signaling and numerous metabolic processes.
Because vitamin E performs so many functions in the body, it is crucial to consume sufficient amounts daily. After 14 years of age, the recommended dosage is 15 mg daily.
Numerous edibles contain added vitamin E. Besides multivitamins, other familiar sources of the essential nutrient include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanut butter
- Oils (sunflower, safflower, corn)
Even though iron is not a vitamin, it is still an essential nutrient to consume daily. Iron plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health by producing hemoglobin and myoglobin, responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. It is also involved in developing the nervous system, growth, and producing various hormones.
Your iron requirements change as you age, but its significance to your overall health remains constant. The following is a breakdown of male and female iron requirements:
- 14–18-year-olds: 11 mg for males and 15 mg for females
- For those aged 19 to 50 – 8 milligrams for men and 18 mg for women
- For those 51 and older – 8 mg for both men and women
In addition, during pregnancy, your iron needs nearly double to 27 mg daily.
Another nutrient derived primarily from animal sources is iron. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians may benefit from taking iron mineral supplements or multivitamins daily. To increase iron intake solely through diet, you can consume more of the following:
- Fortified cereals
- Beans, lentils, and chickpeas
- Beef liver
Although zinc is a mineral and not a vitamin, it is present in many multivitamins. In addition to its excellent health benefits.
Zinc is linked to maintaining a robust immune response, synthesis of proteins and DNA, and wound healing. From conception to adolescence, zinc is notably vital for healthy development. It also improves the senses of taste and scent.
The amount of zinc you need depends on your age and gender as well. The RDA for ages 14 to 18 is 11 mg for males and 9 mg for females. After age 19, males require 11 mg, while females require 8 mg.
Zinc is a prevalent component of multivitamins, but you can also find it in the following foods:
- Pumpkin seeds
How to choose the right vitamins
From vitamin A to zinc, that’s a plethora of nutrients, and as we’ve already discussed, everyone has different nutritional needs. At this juncture, you may wonder, “Which vitamins should I take daily?”
Finally, there are several methods to determine which vitamins and minerals must consume daily:
Consult your healthcare professional – A healthcare provider can help you determine which vitamins you need daily through physical examinations and dialogues about your lifestyle and nutrition choices. When comparing the multivitamin requirements of men and women, some individuals require higher quantities of a specific vitamin.
- Take vitamin tests: You can measure for certain vitamin deficiencies more conveniently from the comfort of your residence. For instance, you can conduct vitamin D and B vitamin examinations at home.
- Examine your diet: By keeping note of the nutritional information on the labels of the foods you regularly consume, you can deduce which vitamins you may be lacking.
Everly Well has the vitamins you need
Once you have determined which vitamins you must take daily, it is time to incorporate them into your routine.
Consider an Everlywell subscription if you have difficulty remembering when to take your vitamins and when to reorder. Not only will you receive the essential nutrients each month, but you will also receive price reductions.
With vitamin D3, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 dietary supplements, as well as a daily multivitamin, EverlyWell can support your pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
Thank you for reading….