Whether you’ve been chewing on Flintstone’s vitamins since you were a little kid or are new to the world of supplements and vitamins, it’s important to be informed as to what’s available—and recommended.
With so many pills, potions, extracts, powders, and shakes on the market today, determining which vitamins and minerals are right for you can be quite overwhelming. During a time when health, wellness, and beauty are often of primary concern, you want to make sure you’re doing all you can to properly nourish yourself. To help, Brides sought advice from Shira Sussi, Clinical Nutritionist at NewYork-Presbyterian. Here’s what she had to say.
Daily Requirements & Multivitamins
While you’ve probably been told once or twice to make sure to take your vitamins, have you ever stopped to think why? There are dietary guidelines for nutrients that your daily diet should aim to meet, and when you fail to get there, a multivitamin can fill the gaps. Sussi says, ” According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, many individuals consume below the average requirement of the following nutrients: potassium, dietary fiber, choline, magnesium, calcium, vitamins A, D, E and C, and iron for women for 19-50 years of age. All except dietary fiber come in a multivitamin.”
Of these, she says, low intakes of calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium can pose health risks. So, if you find that you are dieting and thus eliminating certain food groups like gluten or dairy, taking a proper daily multivitamin can help to fill the micronutrient gaps.
Sussi further advises that especially in the winter months, Vitamin D is a good idea to take if you live somewhere with poor sun exposure, as it is necessary for calcium absorption.
When selecting a multivitamin that’s right for you, it’s important to consider your goals, age, and diet. For example, Sussi says, “Women, especially those of child-bearing age, who are not consuming adequate iron in their diet should either supplement or take a MV with iron.”
Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails
If you’re looking for healthier hair, skin or nails, vitamins may be able to help you achieve your goals. According to Sussi, oral biotin has been shown to improve nail firmness, hardness, and thickness, as it plays a role in protein synthesis.
For example, a popular Biotin option, Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin & Nails is a multivitamin supplement that boasts 5,000 mcg of Biotin per serving (nearly 1,667% of the daily value) and also includes Argan Oil, along with antioxidants A, C & E. Just be careful, as many people find that biotin actually makes their skin break out with acne—make sure to try biotin at least 6 months before the wedding to measure your reaction.
While in the throes of wedding planning, a quality good night’s rest may be hard to come by, as it may seem there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Luckily, “Optimal iron, zinc, and magnesium levels have been shown to be positively correlated with sleep duration,” says Sussi, while noting that more research is definitely needed on the correlation between sleep health and micronutrients.
If you’re lacking in magnesium, you might consider something like Natural Calm, a popular, drinkable, powdered magnesium supplement that calls itself the “Anti-Stress Drink,” and is vegan and non-GMO. It claims to restore healthy magnesium levels and by doing so, it is said to balance your calcium intake, which then can provide natural stress relief.
While it might be tempting to turn to supplements that claim to boost your energy, it’s best advised to do a bit of research first. Sussi stresses it’s important to make sure that you’re not deficient in a nutrient before going straight to complementing. Stress and sleep can directly affect your energy levels, too.
Evaluating your daily diet just might reveal that you’re missing out on the recommended quantities of major nutrients. For further insight, you can even ask your doctor or nutritionist who may recommend bloodwork that might find any deficits or areas for improvement.
Before consuming any vitamins or supplements and for more specific advice that is recommended based on your own personal health needs, please consult your physician or nutritionist to come up with a safe and proper plan of action.