Mind the (Nutritional) Gap

by Guest Author on July 23,

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Are you tired of always running around? Today’s world practically demands you stay on your toes and be prepared for anything. Parents, especially, struggle to maintain a work-life balance. They’re committed to full-time jobs, caring for children’s needs and keeping up a home—which leaves little time to tend to their own health.

Mind the (Nutritional) Gap

It’s no wonder gaps in nutrition widen as days fly by. When you don’t “mind” these gaps, all of the running around will run down your health. If only you could get more sleep. Or, maybe you just need an extra shot of espresso every morning. What’s the answer?

The solution to feeling your best is not as simple as sleeping in on Sundays, or brewing an extra pot of coffee. In order to stay healthy, your body requires essential vitamins and minerals. Typically, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other natural foods provide sufficient nutrients. But when you’re constantly on the go, fast food meals, processed snacks and sugary treats are the quickest and most convenient option. But if your diet is suffering, your strength and energy will, too. Enter vitamin and mineral supplements.

Depending on your age, gender, level of physical activity and – of course – diet, your vitamin and mineral needs will vary. Sorting through and deciding which supplements to choose can be overwhelming. That’s why multi-vitamins are a good starting point. Multis provide everything from vitamin A to zinc, so you’re sure to get a little bit of everything that may be missing from your diet.

Haven’t been eating an apple-a-day lately? Your body might benefit from added vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables that helps protect health at a cellular level and also supports healthy immune system function. It’s available in many tasty and easy-to-digest forms, such as a chewable tablets or fruity drink mixes.

If you’re feeling worn out, try upping your intake of B vitamins rather than reaching for an extra shot of espresso. B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and others, get an ‘A’ rating for supporting energy production and metabolism. B-complex supplements, which include all eight B vitamins in a single capsule, are a widely available and popular choice.

Vitamin D is another nutrient to consider, especially if you live in a northern climate or don’t spend a lot of time outdoors. Because sunlight promotes the production of vitamin D, lack of sun exposure can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Paired with calcium, vitamin D is important for bone and teeth health. Most adults need at least 600 IU daily, but the recommended daily value increases with age.

Vitamins and minerals are like two peas in a pod. Minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are also essential to overall health. As noted above, calcium is a bone-building mineral and is needed in greater amounts as you get older. Women in particular require calcium as they age in order to maintain healthy bones. People following a vegan diet or those with lactose intolerance are also at risk of calcium deficiency, as they may limit or eliminate calcium-rich dairy from their diets. If you fall into any of these categories, a mineral supplement may be your best alternative.

When it comes to health, take care of your family—but don’t put your own needs on the back burner. A less-than-colorful diet won’t provide what you need for your body to function at its best. That’s why vitamin and mineral supplements are a great support system – there to mind the gaps.

This article has been provided by the folks at Vitacost.com. Offering more than just vitamins and minerals, Vitacost has a wide selection of organic, natural products for your healthy lifestyle. Everything from organic foods and bath & organic beauty products to sports nutrition and essentials for your pets, Vitacost.com has all your needs covered – for less! Take the cost out of healthy living. Vitacost.com is not affiliated with this blog and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

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