The TV commercials say, “You need multivitamins!” Your mother says, “You have begun to look fragile.” And you can’t help but wonder if you’re really missing out on the essentials in your diet. Maybe you are. So, you take a stroll down to the pharmacy to pick up some vitamins and supplements for yourself, only to be left perplexed by the copious options available at your disposal. You need to supplement your body with only those supplements that are relevant to your age and wellbeing. It doesn’t make sense to supplement your body with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and other essentials nutrients that are already in abundance, right?
From helping your brain to function actively to keeping your skin looking flawless, here’s a list of supplements that you need to stock up on depending on your age. (You needn’t tell us your age, we still think you’re 16!)
What You Need In Your 20s And 30s
The twenties is the time when you can strengthen your foundation for the years to come. When your grandmother says that this is the age for you to eat and not starve yourself, she is right. Get enough of calcium, vitamin D, and iron. If you aren’t availing enough of these nutrients from your diet, you can take supplements. Because, by the time you hit the thirties, you will realize the big dietary boo-boos you’ve made.
Calcium is vital for our body. Almost every cell in our body requires calcium. So, when there is a dearth of calcium in the body through dietary intake, the body takes calcium from the bones. It really cannot do without calcium. And the more the scarcity, the more it will extract from the bones, thereby making your skeletal system weak and brittle. The calcium intake should be sufficient during the twenties to support your bone health and prevent any early cases of osteoporosis and osteopenia (1). If you’re taking calcium supplements, do not exceed 1000 mg per day and limit your intake to 500 mg at once.
2. Vitamin D
If you shun the sun or if you prefer staying indoors, you are missing out on the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is like the partner in crime for calcium. It helps in the absorption of calcium. Additionally, a lack of vitamin D paves the path for cognitive impairment, cardiovascular diseases, and makes one prone to asthma (2). It is recommended to consume 600 IU of calcium for everyone until you’re an octogenarian.
Iron deficiencies plague women at this age. Fatigue, hair loss, darkening of skin, and anemia are all the results of an iron deficiency in the body. So, ideally, your intake should be around 11-18 mg per day (3). But, before taking any supplements, consult your doctor.
What You Need In Your 40s
Life changes quite a lot as you get older and you are at a higher risk of diseases. Also, prevention is better than cure, so stock up on these to stay safe.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While the human body can make most of its required fats, it takes a beating when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, This healthy fat is needed for the wellbeing of the heart and the brain. It helps you fight rheumatoid arthritis, depression, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s among many other diseases (4). The only natural source of omega-3 fatty acids is in fish (5). Maybe that’s why all of us go out fishing in our forties.
2. Vitamin C
If you have wounds, cuts, and infections, and you are lacking in vitamin C, it could spell trouble for you. Vitamin C helps in healing and it is a great antioxidant. People with sufficient vitamin C are better able to fight infections and can also prevent the growth of carcinogenic cells (6). Limit your maximum daily intake of this vitamin to 2000 mg per day.
What You Need In Your 50s And 60s
And those of us, who have crossed the big 5-0, need more of some nutrients as the body is probably facing a shortage.
1. Zinc And Magnesium
If there’s something you shouldn’t miss, it’s zinc and magnesium. While magnesium plays a role in more than 300 functions of the body, zinc is vital for the immunity. 10mg of zinc a day and about 320g of magnesium a day is necessary for your body to keep going (7), (8).
Do you have digestion issues or skin issues? Well, maybe your probiotics intake isn’t right. Probiotics will keep all the bowel issues at bay (9). A daily dose of probiotics is important. But do ask your doctor if it’s good for you.
3. Vitamin B12
A healthy adult needs 2.4 micrograms of B12 daily. A lack of this leads to fatigue or mental confusion among men and women. Get your hands on some fish, poultry or eggs, or take some supplements to keep up the B12 stores (10).
You need to be mindful of what vitamins and minerals your body requires. Vitamins are game changers. They can make or break the game of being healthy. So, go get stocking!
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