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No matter your age or what stage you are in your life, there are important nutrients to be sure to include into your everyday diet. Whether you’re getting the vitamins and minerals from foods or supplements, it’s important to take in the vital nutrients that will help keep you healthy and maintain your overall good health and wellbeing; in fact, what you put into your body can impact your longevity, so the adage “you are what you eat” is partly true.

All of that said, here are things to make sure you have in your diet (bolded ones can be the supplements you have in your medicine cabinet)…

  • Calcium-rich foods
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Whole grains
  • Antioxidant-rich foods (possibly check out spirulina to add to your smoothies)
  • Vitamin D (opt for D3)
  • Omega-3 fats from fish and eggs (fish oil supplement)
  • Whole greens
  • Heart-friendly foods
  • Fiber (fiber supplement)
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin C

If you’re a woman in child-bearing years, it’s a good idea to take in adequate levels of folate or vitamin B9 as well as to get enough iron, calcium and minerals, especially magnesium, zinc and copper. Other necessary nutrients for a healthy pregnancy are protein, vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 as well as vitamin D. Essential fatty acids are beneficial, too. Of course, with these suggestions or any supplement recommendations, always check with your doctor, get their OK and follow their recommendations. This is especially important when you’re working on helping your precious baby develop healthfully.

Throughout life, every individual needs the right mix of 13 essential vitamins (see below), but the level of importance for these can vary when it comes to different life stages. While supplements are helpful, it’s optimal to obtain these vital nutrients from whole foods and natural sources. Organic fruits and vegetables, wild-caught fish, non-GMO grains, etc. will help your body utilize the important nutrients and can positively impact your health. Opt for additional servings of fruits and vegetables and limit processed foods.

The 13 vitamins the body needs are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins – thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyroxidine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12). Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins and are stored in the body’s fatty tissues. If you get extra of the water-soluble ones, the extra gets “flushed” out, but stick to the recommended daily amounts particularly for the fat-soluble ones. You can use the list as a guide to select your daily multi-vitamin, but again, work to get your vitamins and minerals as best as you can from eating whole foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are so good for you and it’s fun to enjoy the different flavors of each season.

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