Combat Your Vices with Vitamins
Being health conscious isn’t easy. Busy schedules, family, jobs, etc. all make it hard to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. While there isn’t a pill to make up for all the times we slack, there are pills that can help make up for the damage.
You Don’t Eat Green Vegetables
Greens provide valuable fiber and folate, but so do other vegetables, fruits, and grains. The potential risk is missing out on vitamins A and K, so eat plenty of other fruits and vegetables, particularly carrots, cantaloupe, apricots, mangoes, and lettuce.
Vitamin Fix: Take a multivitamin and eat the veggies you do like. Make sure the multi includes vitamins A, B6, and B12.
You Drink a Lot of Coffee and Soda
Moderate caffeine intake is okay, but excessive is linked to high levels of homocysteine, which raises heart risk.
Vitamin Fix: Increase your folate and B vitamin intake. If you can’t bear to cut back on the java, getting adequate amounts of folate, B6, and B12 will reduce homocysteine levels.
You Love Fast Food
Fiber can help. Women with consistent high-fiber diets have been shown to have a significantly lower risk of heart disease, as well as a lower risk of obesity.
Vitamin Fix: Add fiber to your order with a salad. Fiber should come from a variety of food sources, but following your next binge with a Metamucil chaser is an acceptable substitute.
You Don’t Like Dairy
Calcium is a great example of a supplement that’s practically as helpful as the actual food source. As long as you’re taking 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium each day—more than the amount in most multivitamins—you’re storing enough calcium in your bones to help stave off osteoporosis later.
Vitamin Fix: Dairy products are also rich in riboflavin, so if you don’t do dairy, make sure you’re getting 1.1 mg per day from other foods, such as lean meats, eggs, or almonds, or your multivitamin. Keep your bones healthy with adequate amounts of vitamins D and K.
You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Getting less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night affects your immune system.
Vitamin Fix: A multivitamin is great for your immune system. To feel more alert, nutritionists point to two basics—eat breakfast and drink plenty of water
You Don’t Exercise Much
Exercise is great for your heart, blood pressure, weight, and mood. But adding a daily dose of vitamin E, an antioxidant, will provide some of the same protection that exercise does from unstable molecules called free radicals, which can harm cells, tissues, and organs and are believed to be one of the causes of the degenerative processes seen in aging.
Vitamin Fix: Vitamin Fix: Add vitamin E to your diet. The current recommended daily allowance for women is 15 mg a day. The safe upper limit is 1000 mg.
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