Diversity Woman Magazine

WIN 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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44 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N W i n t e r 2 0 1 7 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m e recommendations are very specific for different deficiencies. For example, pregnant women should take a prenatal vitamin that includes iron or a separate iron supplement; adults age 50 or older should eat foods fortified with vitamin B-12 or take a separate B-12 supplement; THINKSTOCKPHOTOS and adults age 65 and older who do not live in assisted living or nurs- ing homes should take 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily to strength- en bones and reduce the risk of injuries from falls. DW Life > Proceed with caution Remember, the aim is to focus on a healthy diet and then supplement with vitamins, rather than continue eating an unhealthy diet and make up the difference with supplements. Whole foods contain micronutrients, as well as fiber and sub- stances called phytochemicals that protect against diseases, all of which aren't found in supplements. For people who are concerned about getting enough vitamins in their diet, Dierks recommends taking advantage of nutrition trackers like MyFitnessPal or Lose It!, which track specific nutritional data when you input your food intake. Not sure if you should supplement? See a doctor or nutritionist, who can recom- mend blood tests based on symptoms such as fatigue. Experts stress that it's important to take supplements with cau- tion; certain ones could be toxic when con- sumed in the wrong dose. ey point out that too much iron can become toxic, for example, since it's one of the few miner- als that the body cannot eliminate, except through blood loss. High doses of vita- mins A, E, and B-6 can also accumulate in the body and cause symptoms that range from moderate to serious. In the case of vitamin A, too much can cause problems including irritability and hemorrhage. If you determine that you need an extra boost with supplements, see the adjacent chart for the top vitamins rec- ommended. Not everyone should take all the vitamins listed; your need should be determined by your health-care provider. And, of course, ask about possible side effects and interactions with any medica- tions you take. DW Nora Isaacs is a freelance health writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. WHAT IT DOES TIP DAILY MINIMUM REQUIRE- MENT FOOD SOURCES VITAMIN A Supports the im- mune system and healthy teeth and skin. Vitamin A can be harm- ful in large doses. Varies Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes B VITAMINS Regulate metabo- lism, energy, and iron absorption. If you are pregnant or want to become pregnant, take extra B-9 (folate). Varies Whole grains, beans, ba- nanas VITAMIN C Boosts immune system and pro- motes healthy skin and strong blood vessels. There is no evidence that vitamin C prevents a cold. 75 mg Oranges, red peppers, broc- coli, kiwifruits CALCIUM Builds strong bones, teeth, and nervous system. To absorb calcium, your body needs enough vi- tamin D, which you can get from sun exposure, salmon, and egg yolks. 1,000 mg Yogurt, milk, cheese, molas- ses, broccoli, kale, sardines CHROMIUM Helps body break down proteins and fats and use sugar properly. Anecdotally helps with sugar cravings, though the science behind this is inconclusive. 20–25 mcg Whole grains, brewer's yeast, wheat germ VITAMIN D Enhances calcium absorption. Most people need to supplement because food sources only have a small amount of the recommended daily amount. 600–800 IU Milk, orange juice, fish, mushrooms VITAMIN E Promotes blood circulation in people with vitamin E deficiency. Cooking and storing foods might destroy some of their vitamin E. Case-by-case basis Almonds, sun- flower seeds, tomatoes, eggs, meat VITAMIN K Helps with normal blood clotting. Too much or too little vitamin K supplements can have serious conse- quences. Case-by-case basis Kale, spinach, brussels sprouts IRON Builds healthy muscles and main- tains healthy blood cells. Cooking in a cast-iron pan or pot adds to your daily iron intake. 10–15 mg Red meats, liver, pumpkin seeds, lentils, beans ZINC Boosts immune system. 11 mg Spinach, ca- shews, beans

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