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Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are vital for good health. We normally get our supply of vitamins and minerals from our diet, although the sun stimulates the body to make the vitamin D we need.

Vitamins help make sure your body's cells work properly, by controlling the growth and repair of tissues. Vitamins stimulate energy production. It's important to make sure you have the RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) of each vitamin. You should be able to manage this if you eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day, some cereal or wholegrains, and a helping of lean meat or oily fish.

Some health experts say that we can get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our usual diet. But, as most of us don't eat a recommended diet, supplements can top up our daily needs. If you feel you don't get enough vitamins from your diet, you can try vitamin supplements - but these should be taken with care, because taking too many is unhealthy, too.

For most vitamins - sticking to the RDA is the key. The main exceptions to this are if you have been told by your GP that you are deficient in a particular mineral or vitamin, or if you are aware that your diet is deficient, if for example, you don't eat fruit or vegetables at all.

Special circumstances mean that we sometimes have to rethink our diets. For example:

Elderly people or people on their own can find it hard to motivate themselves to prepare healthy meals, and should think about topping up their vitamin and mineral intake. Supplements that contain calcium and vitamin C can help maintain healthy tissue and bones, also helping prevent infections and colds. These are found naturally in fruit, green vegetables, dairy products, oily fish. You should talk to your GP before taking any vitamin supplements and make sure you're not taking too high a dose and to check that they will not adversely interfere with any medication you are taking.

Most experts agree that women should boost their vitamin intake before and during pregnancy. Multivitamins with iron and folic acid help mums Stay Healthy. Folic acid taken before conception and for the first three months of pregnancy can help reduce the risk of birth defects. Vitamin C assists the absorption of iron, so try drinking a glass of orange juice when you take an iron supplement.

Vegetarians might consider taking protein and calcium supplements to replace the vitamins and minerals that are found in meat and dairy products. This is particularly true if you have simply eliminated meat from your diet, rather than substitute meat with other high protein vegetarian foods such as pulses, beans and so on.(Source: http://www.bupa.co.uk)

All Ages Vitamins
Vitamins and Minerals

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