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From A to B- The Lowdown on Supplements

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when we tend to hibernate inside and experience the dreaded winter blues. It’s also when I get lots of questions about what supplements to take to be healthier this year.

Multivitamins and minerals

Let’s start with a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Keep in mind that a multi should never replace a healthy diet. It should only reinforce it. That brings me back to last month’s issue and why it’s so important to Eat Your Veggies!

A multi can offset nutrient gaps in a healthy diet, especially if following a lower calorie diet for weight loss. It’s also beneficial for menstruating and postmenopausal women, who have higher iron requirements, and for adults over 50, who are at risk for B12 deficiency.

Vitamin D3

Getting enough vitamin D is important for strong bones and immunity, and may decrease the risk of high blood pressure and colorectal cancer. Don’t drink cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages? Consider a 1,000 IU vitamin D supplement year round. Choose one that contains vitamin D3. It’s better at raising vitamin D levels (not D2). According to Health Canada, the safe upper daily limit is 4,000 IU.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Here fishy-fishy! For heart and brain health, consume 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) per day from fish oil. You can get this from 12 ounces of salmon (per week). Don’t like fish? Add a fish oil or algae-based DHA supplement to your daily routine.

Vitamin C

Eat your veggies! On top of eating at least seven servings of vegetables and fruit (combined), consider taking 200 to 250 milligram of vitamin C to help prevent chronic disease.

The rest you can get from the best – whole foods! Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins to meet your needs. And don’t forget to speak to your dietitian, doctor or pharmacist about supplementing appropriately and safely!

Jenn Giurgevich is the founder of Spark Nutrition & Health, a virtual nutrition consulting business.
Visit www.sparknutritionandhealth.ca for more information.


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