Do you need a vitamin boost?


You might be lacking in the vitamin department.

If your diet is already chock-full of fruit, vegetables and fortified foods, then you probably already have all the vitamins you need.

Thanks to bad dietary choices or lifestyle diseases though, you may need a little boost when it comes to certain vitamins. Let’s
take a look and see which vitamin department you might need help in and why. 

1. Folic acid
If you're a woman of child-bearing age, you should be taking folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent any problems related to pregnancy and ensures that the foetus develops steadily. Folic acid deficiency is very common, so although you can get folic acid from foods like fortified breakfast cereal, green vegetables and citrus fruit, take least 400 mg of this vitamin and at least 600 daily, if you are pregnant.   

2. Iron
Many of us have an iron deficiency at some point from a lack of foods that contain iron, but females are especially prone, due to menstrual periods. Iron is important because it helps your body  make haemoglobin, a blood protein that transports oxygen from your lungs. If you are anaemic or experience heavy periods, speak to your doctor about taking a supplement and try to eat lean meats and green leafy vegetables.

3. Calcium
Calcium is easily found in dairy products and other foods like kale, broccoli, fortified cereals and milk substitutes, but if you are lactose-intolerant or vegan, you might consider a calcium supplement as you may not meet the daily requirements from restrictions in your diet. 

4. Vitamin D
Although Vitamin D is available in different foods, the amount is often not enough to meet daily dietary requirements. The highest doses of Vitamin D aren’t found in foods, but from the sun. Health scares like possible cancer mean we wear sunscreen for protection from the sun, but this can block the absorption of Vitamin D. If you don’t get much sun, are over the age of 50, or are dark-skinned, consider taking a Vitamin
D supplement. 

5. Omega 3 fatty acids
Let’s be honest, we aren’t all fish people but unfortunately, fatty fish is where you will get the highest doses of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acid is important because it helps with brain health. Your body can't make Omega 3, so it's important to get it from foods like fatty fish. If you eat less than two servings of fish in a week, consider a supplement that will provide you with the necessary daily dosage.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
29% - 9758 votes
71% - 24090 votes