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How To Take Vitamins and Minerals Naturally and Stay Healthy

11 Essential Vitamins and Minerals For A Health Body

The benefits of multi vitamins is becoming more doubtful as more research seems to conclude that getting your vitamins naturally over taking supplements is best for the human body, with few exceptions. In fact you can get most of your vitamins through a well-planned diet. The only exceptions may be vitamin B12 and D3. And that’s only for some people who have trouble absorbing these vitamins naturally.

1. Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral needed for maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth where 99% of the calcium in your body is found. It also plays an important role in many of the body’s functions such as:

  • Transmitting nerve signals
  • Releasing hormones
  • Regulating how our muscles contract
  • Enabling our blood to clot
  • Functioning our blood vessels

The human body cannot produce its own calcium. That’s why it’s important to get enough calcium from the foods we consume. You can get more than enough calcium from just dairy products. But if you don’t like dairy products, you can still get calcium by eating vegetables that are high in calcium like spinach, broccoli and beet greens. You can also get calcium from legumes such as soybeans. Don’t forget that fruits like dried apricots, figs and dates also have a lot of calcium. Also, fruit juices and cereals are fortified with calcium to make it even easier to get enough calcium without taking a multivitamin supplement.

How much calcium does your body needs?

While there is some controversy over how much of this vitamin you need, however, it depends on your age and gender. The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for calcium from the Mayo Clinic are indicated below.


  • 19-50 years: 1,000 mg (daily upper limit: 2,500 mg)
  • 51 and older: 1,200 mg (daily upper limit: 2,000 mg)


  • 19-50 years: 1,000 mg (daily upper limit: 2,500 mg)
  • 51-70 years: 1,000 mg (daily upper limit: 2,000 mg)
  • 71 and older: 1,200 mg (daily upper limit: 2,000 mg)

Anything more than the recommended amount of calcium may have some side effects such as nausea, poor appetite, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, confusion, heart rhythm abnormalities and frequent urination.

If you don’t eat enough calcium-rich foods, you should consider taking calcium supplements. Otherwise,your body will get it from your bones and teeth making them weak and brittle leading to osteoporosis.

Calcium supplements

Calcium supplements come in many forms such as tablets, capsules, chews, liquids and powders. The primary difference between these forms of supplements is the form of calcium they contain. Also, some calcium supplements are combined with vitamins and other minerals.

There are two main forms of calcium supplements which are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. These two forms differ in how much mineral or elemental calcium they contain and how well they’re absorbed.

  • Calcium carbonate is cheapest and most widely available form of calcium containing 40% elemental calcium. It is usually recommended that calcium carbonate be taken with food for better absorption by the body.
  • Calcium citrate is more expensive as it only contains 21% elemental calcium. This requires you to take more of it to get the required amount of calcium you need. However, as it’s more easily absorbed than calcium carbonate and can be taken with or without food, it is more suitable for people for digestive problems.

2. Chromium

Research is out on this trace mineral on what exactly it’s important for, but it is found plentifully in nature from foods like broccoli, grape juice, whole wheat, potatoes, beef, orange juice, turkey, red wine, apples, bananas and green beans.

How much chromium an individual needs is still unknown, so there is only an estimate of 23 to 54 mcg’s each day. Higher if the woman is pregnant and lower if closer to adolescence. There are suggestions of other health benefits of chromium but most of it is controversial.

Chromium is thought to be an important component in glucose intolerance. For those suffering getting levels as high as 200 to 1000 mcg’s may be helpful to prevent or even reverse type II diabetes. In addition, some studies have suggested an improvement in “bad” cholesterol with higher levels of chromium.

There aren’t any known side effects from too much chromium however; there are some medication interactions you should be aware of, most just impair the absorption of chromium by blocking it or increasing it. Consider that when taking antacids, insulin, NSAIDS, corticosteroids, H2 blockers or using a proton pump inhibitor.

3. Folic Acid

Actually one of the B vitamins, folic acid also called folate is needed by all humans, especially pregnant women. It keeps the blood healthy, prevents anemia, protects the heart and lowers the risk of developing cancer. It also prevents birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.

Folic acid is found naturally in many foods like leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, legumes and whole grains. It’s also fortified in food such as breakfast cereal, bread, flour, pasta, cornmeal and white rice. While it’s unlikely to happen without supplementation you don’t need more than 1000 mcg of folic acid each day.

Women need 400 to 800 mcg’s of folic acid every day. These amounts may change if you’re pregnant, nursing, certain birth defects run in your family like spina bifida, or you have the same birth defect. In addition, you may need more folic acid if you’re taking certain medications for epilepsy, type II diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis or other autoimmune disorders as these medications interfere with the absorption of folic acid.

Folic acid is an important vitamin for men too. Not having enough folic acid can put men at risk for stroke.

4. Iron

When people think of Iron they usually automatically think of liver or a rare steak. Since it’s one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the United States you probably have some knowledge that this is an important nutrient. It helps transport oxygen throughout the body.

The amount of Iron you need each day depends on your health status, age and gender. Infants and toddlers need more due to the rapid growth they experience. Until they reach the age of puberty boys and girls need the same amount 10 milligrams until age 8 and then 8 milligrams until age 13. After that women need about 18 mg of iron until they reach menopause then it goes back down to 8 mg.

Iron deficiency will make you feel tired, speed up your heart rate, making you short of breath. You may have cold extremities, experience pica which is a strange craving for items like clay or dirt. In addition, you may have hair loss, brittle nails, and sores in your mouth and a sore tongue. If you feel any of these symptoms get a blood test immediately.

Iron supplementation should only be under a doctor’s supervision after testing as taking too much iron is also dangerous. You can get iron from your diet. You don’t have to eat liver but it is high in iron. Other food with iron include beef, oysters, chickpeas, fortified cereal, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, legumes, lentils and cooked spinach.

5. Vitamin A

You might not hear as much about vitamin A but it’s very important for immune function, good vision, reproduction and cellular communication. It keeps your heart, lungs, kidney and other organs regulated. The body’s vitamin A is stored in the liver.

You need approximately 700 to 800 micrograms each day if you’re over 14 years of age, a little more if you’re a nursing mother at 1,200 to 1,300 micrograms per day. A deficiency is very rare in most developed countries. Unless you have cystic fibrosis it would be unlikely to develop a deficiency. But, deficiency can cause blindness. Plus, if you are deficient you’re more likely to contract measles.

You can get vitamin A through food which is preferred because getting too much vitamin A can be dangerous. It can cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches and may turn your skin orange. There is plenty of vitamin A by eating a healthy diet.

It’s a fat soluble vitamin that can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squash, lettuce, bell peppers, tropical fruits, fish and liver. It helps to add some health fats to the fat free items listed like squash to ensure proper absorption of the vitamin.

6. Vitamin B

There are a lot of benefits to including a wide range of B vitamins. Ensuring that you get the recommended amounts of all the B vitamins each day is essential for good health. They help maintain a healthy metabolism, reduce the risk of stroke, congestive heart failure and contribute to healthy skin and hair.

You can find B vitamins in a variety of foods from fortified cereals, to whole grains, yeast, beans, nuts and meat. The main B vitamin that many people suffer shortages from is B12. In this case, most people should supplement. Get tested for your B12 levels every year during your physical. If needed, you can supplement with 2000 micrograms every week.

There is no harm in taking too much B12, but there is extreme harm including irreversible nervous system damage if you develop a deficiency long term.

7. Vitamin C

This amazing vitamin boosts your immune system, can lessen the length of the common cold, and improve cardiovascular health, prevent prenatal problems, eye disease and improve skin condition, even prevent wrinkling. In fact, the benefits of vitamin C keep growing.

Many health professionals believe the RDA of 75 to 90 milligrams a day for an adult is actually lower than it should be. Most people will need to take a supplement to get enough unless they eat a primarily fruit based diet. If you eat the recommended 5 servings of fruit and vegetable every day, then take a supplement of 500 milligrams a day.

For some people supplements cause tummy discomfort and diarrhea so you may need to experiment to find the best supplement for you. You can take as much as 2000 milligrams a day safely if it doesn’t cause you any discomfort. Since there are many health benefits to vitamin C, test what works best for you.

With the right levels of vitamin C, you’ll experience stress relief, fewer colds, and a lower chance of stroke.

8. Vitamin D

This vitamin, which is really a hormone and not a true vitamin, is important as it aids in the absorption of calcium which is important bone development, tooth formation, and rickets. If you have low levels of vitamin D you will have weak muscles, increased risk of cancer, lower immunity, high blood pressure, and eventually develop neurological issues and even diabetes.

Due to the prevalence of sun avoidance and sun screen it’s possible that up to 80 percent of the population suffers from a vitamin D deficiency at some time. It’s especially prone to affect people of dark skin tone and people who suffer from obesity who don’t spend enough time outside in the sun without sunscreen.

They say that you can get enough vitamin D naturally if you stay out in the sunshine, allowing as much of your skin to be exposed as possible for 20 minutes each day. But, since most people can’t or won’t do that, the option of supplementation is an important one.

The best type of vitamin to take is D2 or D3 as it will work better to improve blood levels of the vitamin. You can find it in fish, liver and eggs, but it’s not in large enough amounts to make a difference. Most people will need to supplement at least 1000 IUs a day.

9. Vitamin E

This antioxidant is important to protect cells from damage. Longer cell life means longer life and slower aging. It’s available in many foods, and it’s very rare to need supplementation. Although some people who are exposed to pollution, too much sunlight and other environmental concerns, a little extra supplementation might help.

It’s very difficult to get too much Vitamin E just from eating, but taking a supplement can cause side effects such as brain bleeding, so only supplement under doctor’s supervision. The recommended daily amount for people age 14 and up is 15 mg, and never any more than 1,000 IUs, safely. The best supplement to use is the natural form, which synthesizes in the body faster which means you should take a lower dose.

You can get vitamin E in sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, spinach, broccoli, kiwi, mango, and tomato. You can also use wheat germ oil too. Just one tablespoon will provide a full day’s requirement.

10. Vitamin K

This amazing vitamin regulates blood coagulation, bone mineralization and vascular health. It shows us a lot of promise for treating conditions like osteoporosis, coronary artery disease and blood clots that cause heart attack or stroke. It is a vitamin that we produce ourselves via the beneficial bacteria. We produce about 75 percent of our needs with the rest needing to come from diet or supplementation.

This vitamin works with calcium to regulate bone health. Low vitamin K often accompanies increased fracture risks. Unfortunately, deficiency can happen quickly with a bad diet or poor gut bacteria. It’s one reason infants receive vitamin K at birth, and again later for breast fed babies.

Lots of food has vitamin K, such as leafy greens like turnips, spinach, fruits and veggies and even meat and protein. It is plentiful, and one of the best ways to get enough vitamin K.

11. Zinc

This is actually a mineral and is on this important list of vitamins because it’s essential to life. It’s a crucial element in helping the egg meet the sperm. The national health institute believes that zinc is the only known cure for the common cold in that it will reduce symptoms and end the cold faster if given within 24 hours of onset. That’s pretty powerful because all our modern science can’t cure the cold.

Most people get enough zinc just from a well-balanced diet. Supplementation of at least 15 milligrams a day of zinc is helpful during illness and even helps with depression and irritability. It’s a good supplement to take for PMS (premenstrual syndrome).

Foods with the most zinc include oysters, beef, lamb, wheat germ, spinach, cabbage, pumpkin, squash seeds, nuts, cocoa, chocolate, pork, chicken, beans and mushrooms. Eating normal serving sizes will provide enough zinc in your daily life.

There are many different brands of supplements that you can use and can be important for some individuals who are unable to get enough through diet. If you have Wilson’s disease, which is too much copper in your body you may be prescribed zinc. If you don’t have too much copper, and take too much zinc you could end up with a deficiency.

Special Vitamins

Some of the vitamins mentioned above may have some special circumstances that require additional concern and attention. Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Niacin are very important to health.

1. Vitamin D

This nutrient is actually a hormone, and unfortunately a large percentage of the population has a recorded shortage. The reasons vary from genetic traits such as dark skinned people and very light skinned people having shortages to the wide spread use of sunscreen that perpetuates the problem.

The way we used to get our vitamin D was through the sun. During the right time of year in your zone it should only take 20 minutes a day of sun exposure to get enough vitamin D. But, if you have very light skin you probably actively avoid sun exposure due to the high probability of sunburn. If you have dark skin your genetics make it harder to process the sun into vitamin D.

Most professionals do not suggest supplementation unless your blood serum levels are low. But, if you have an autoimmune disorder, arthritis, are post-menopausal, and or house bound you should probably take a supplement. It can make a big difference in your overall feeling of wellbeing.

If you choose to take a vitamin D supplement you should choose to take D2 or D3 in a natural form. It’s important also to have your levels checked regularly to make sure you’re not too high or too low. You should be careful and only supplement under doctor’s orders if you have any chronic condition like kidney disease. (

Types of Vitamin D

Most professionals recommend that you take D3 in the form of cholecalciferol. This is the same as the natural form your body makes from sunshine. Most supplements are made from lamb’s wool fat. You can also take vitamin D2 which works just as well according to studies.

There is a vegetarian version of D2, which is called calciferol. It comes from irradiated fungus. This has shown in studies to work well too, although most doctors will suggest using the other form from lamb’s wool. If you are taking a prescription form of vitamin D doesn’t switch on your own. Ask your doctor if you can try another form if you are concerned.


There are some known interactions:

  • Steroids
  • Certain Weight Loss Drugs
  • Seizure Drugs

These three types of drugs cause vitamin D to not metabolism well which may mean you need to take more. Cholesterol drugs can actually increase vitamin D levels. Check with your health care professional before adding a supplement.

2. Vitamin B12

This nutrient is especially important because a deficiency in this vitamin will cause nerve and neurological damage that is irreversible.

Purpose of Vitamin B12

Some estimates show that up to 80 percent of the population will have a B12 deficient in their lifetime. This is a huge problem because the health issues that manifest due to a deficiency aren’t all reversible like severe neurological damage.

Some of the symptoms manifest itself in chronic fatigue, and it may play an important factor in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s dementia, memory loss and cognitive decline. Even multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders may be stopped or lowered with fighting the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In addition to these issues mental illness, cardiovascular disease, learning disabilities, and even autism spectrum disorders can be traced to issues with a B12 deficiency. There is even a potential role in autoimmune disease, cancer and infertility issues.

In fact, B12 has 7 known purposes:

1. Supports Energy

When your cells are happy and healthy you will feel more energetic. When they’re not, you will feel weak, tired, and miserable. It might be described as feeling as if you have led in your bones. This is because vitamin B12 is essential for energy. Some people even get vitamin B12 injections to help boost their energy level.

2. Protects the Heart

Every part of the cardiovascular system needs B12 to function properly. There is a dangerous protein in your blood called homocysteine, and B12 is responsible for removing this protein keeping your levels down and your heart healthy.

3. Protects Your Bones

There is a belief due to scientific research that shows that people with high levels of homocysteine in their bodies also have low levels of B12 tend to have weaker bone health. If you want to protect yourself from osteoporosis and other bone issues be sure that your vitamin B12 levels are optimum.

4. Prevents Nerve Damage

Many people who have diseases like fibromyalgia also tend to have low levels of B12. If you want to protect your body from nerve damage, get tested to ensure that your levels are high enough. Doing this supports the growth of a nerve protective coating called myelin sheaths.

5. Improves Mood

B12 shortages can make a person feel depressed due to the inability to regulate serotonin, the feel good chemical for your brain. Studies have shown that people who suffer from depression benefit from a B12 supplement.

6. Protects Brain Health

Studies have confirmed that people who suffer from brain disorders like Alzheimer’s have lower B12 levels than people who don’t have memory problems. It’s the same system as nerve damage where the myelin sheaths in the brain are damaged. B12 keeps that protective coating healthy.

7. Has Anti-Aging Property

DNA replication is an important part of staying young. Free radicals, toxins in the blood, high blood sugar, too much omega 6 fats in the blood are all damage that can be prevented if your B12 levels are high enough. Essentially, keeping your cells young means that you stay young by keeping your B12 levels normal, through supplementation if necessary.

The fact is, most of the population likely suffers or will suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency in their lifetime. Our soil is deficient, and we clean our food more than in the past, therefore, supplementation may be necessary for most people at some point. Get your blood tested to ensure that you aren’t deficient.

Types of Vitamin B12

Taking the right type of vitamin B12 is important if you want it to work. There is a lot of discussion and misinformation regarding the two types of B12. The two types are methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin.

1. Methylcobalamin

The most easily synthesized form that comes from nature and is best for use to prevent B12 deficiencies and the potential neurological damage that can occur.

2. Cyanocobalamin

This type doesn’t occur naturally in animals or plants. What’s more is that it has a type of cyanide in it that your body will have to remove to make the B12 useful.

The surprising thing about these two types of B12 is that the second one, the most unnatural form is the one most prescribed and used by the public. But, if you find and use the first kind, methylcobalamin you’ll find that it absorbs better and your blood tests will improve.

There is also an injectable form that your doctor may prescribe to you if you’re having a severe shortage and the oral supplements don’t work. This form is usually the cyanocobalamin form.

3. Niacin

Niacin is one of the essential B vitamins, is water soluble, and is called B-3. This vitamin not only helps you sleep well at night and reduces depression; it helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the blood stream. It’s also said to work wonders in relieving joint stiffness associated with conditions like arthritis.

There is a reaction known as the Niacin body flush that can happen when you take a high dose of niacin, usually prescribed for high cholesterol. What happens is that you feel an intense flushing sensation over the face and upper body. Some people describe it as heat, others a prickly sensation.

It usually happens within 15 minutes of taking a high dose and is not dangerous. Once your body grows accustomed to the higher doses it usually subsides. There are some sustained release niacin tablets that you can get prescribed that will lessen this effect. Some people find some relief taking an aspirin to help reduce the flushing but you should talk to your doctor about that due to the blood thinning properties of aspirin.

Some doctors warn against taking niacin supplements without doctor’s instructions other than that found in a B complex multi vitamin. Some doctors have conducted research that suggests increased death risk with high dose supplementation and have stopped prescribing it to their patients.

Eating A Healthy Diet To Get Your Essential Vitamins and Minerals

For the most part you can eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals avoiding supplementation. With the exception of B12, and for some people D3, there is no reason to supplement if you eat a varied and healthy diet full of micronutrients.

The following recipes and food groups will help you get most of your vitamins and minerals via diet.

1. Vitamin A

Important for immunity and reproduction, you can make a wonderful, rich and Vitamin A rich soup. Both carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene which is vitamin A.

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

2 Large Sweet Potatoes, chopped in cubes
2 Cups Carrot, chopped in cubes
1 Large Sweet Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, smashed
1 Box Vegetable or Chicken Broth
1 Cup Milk, Cream (Plant based works well too)
2 TBS, Olive Oil
2 Tsp. Curry Powder
1 Tsp. ginger, grated
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt


Caramelize the onion in the oil; add in the garlic until soft. Add the carrots cover with broth. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the potatoes, cover with broth again, cook until carrots and potatoes are soft. Transfer to a high speed blender, food processor, and blend until smooth. Be careful because the heat can cause the appliance to burst, it will work best if you let it cool first until it’s not boiling hot. Transfer back into pot, add milk and spices, stir and reheat then serve.

2. Vitamin B

Important to help blood metabolize, keep blood sugar stabilized and make antibodies fight disease. Foods rich in the B vitamins are fish, liver, and poultry but it’s most abundant in chickpeas also known as garbanzo beans.


1 Can Chickpeas, drained & rinsed (reserve the liquid)
1 Clove Garlic
4 TBS Lemon Juice
6 TBS Sesame Seeds
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 TBS Olive Oil


Put all ingredients in a high speed blender, or food processor, blend until smooth. Add some of the reserved liquid if you need to in order to get the right consistency. Spread on crackers, dip carrots, use celery as a delivery device.

3. Vitamin B12

Essential for neurological health B12 is hard to get from food. But there are still some things that you can eat that offer it. One is clams which offer the highest amount of B12 per serving of any other food source. In fact, just 3 ounces offer more than 1400 percent of your daily recommended amount.

Clams & Spaghetti

2 LBS Clams, Cleaned
12 Ounces Noodles
1 Cup Almond Slivers, raw and unsalted
2 TBS Parsley, chopped
4 Roman Tomatoes, chopped
1 Cup Panko Crumbs
4 Cloves Garlic, sliced thin
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 TBS Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine


  • Start a pot of salted water for the noodles.
  • In a food processor mix almonds, chives, parsley, panko, in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pot to medium heat, cook garlic, red pepper flakes, stirring until garlic is soft. Add wine, and simmer until reduced by about 1/2.
  • Add clams, cover pot, increasing heat to medium-high for five to eight minutes without opening the pot. When clams are open they are done. Clams that do not open should not be eaten.
  • When the pot of salted water is done, start noodles according to package instructions, and drain but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. When done, and the clams are cooked, add noodles and the cooking water to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes.
  • Toss and season with salt and pepper as needed. Make four plates with the combination topping with the almond, panko, herb mixture.

4. Vitamin C

This crucial antioxidant is actually abundant in food like organs, kiwi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers and cantaloupe. This delicious broccoli recipe is simple and teaming with vitamin C.

Roasted Garlic & Lemon Broccoli

2 Heads Broccoli Florets
2 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Lemon to squeeze


Toss all ingredients except lemon to squeeze, in a large bowl, and then pour onto a baking pan covered with parchment paper and place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and put on a serving platter. Squeeze lemon juice over all before serving.

5. Calcium

Calcium is needed to help keep your bones and teeth strong. It’s abundant in many food sources including dairy, yogurt, and even leafy greens. Nothing is better than good old fashioned mac & cheese to get a good calcium boost.

Macaroni & Cheese

2 Cups Macaroni Noodles
3 TBS Butter
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Dry Mustard
1/4 TSP Black Pepper
1/8 TSP Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup Shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Chunked Velveeta Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Cup Panko


Cook pasta according to directions until al dente. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, add butter, flour, salt dry mustard, pepper and paprika, stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the milk slowly along with the cream, stirring the entire time. When the sauce thickens, remove from heat and add the Velveeta and mozzarella cheese. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, spread in a buttered dish. Top with the remaining cheese and panko. Bake for about 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

6. Vitamin D

You need vitamin D to lower body pain and to get a good night’s sleep. It’s found abundantly in salmon and other fatty fishes like swordfish. This easy to make salmon recipe will give you what you need.

Citrus Baked Salmon

32 Oz Salmon Fillets
Sea Salt
Black Pepper, ground
Slices of Fresh Lemon
Slices of Fresh Orange
2/3 Cup Dry White Wine


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Place salmon skin side down. Season with salt and pepper, pour white wine around salmon. Top each of four servings of salmon with slices of lemon and orange. Bake uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes until salmon is done and flakes easily.

7. Folate

This is an important nutrient that pregnant women and nursing moms need in abundance. Thankfully, you can get plenty from leafy greens. This delicious collard’s recipe fits the bill.

Carrots & Collards

1 LB Collard Greens, chopped
4 Carrots, Shredded
1 LG Sweet Onion, chopped
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
1 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
2 Drops Liquid Smoke
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to Taste


In a large skillet with deep sides, heat oil, add onion, cook for about two minutes on medium-high heat, then add in garlic and cook until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until collards are wilted and turn a bright green. Add salt and Pepper to taste.

8. Iron

This essential vitamin cannot be missed. If you are low in it you will become very sick with a disease called anemia. You can get plenty of iron in foods you eat such as in fish, liver, and plants like lentils and quinoa.

Right Start Quinoa Breakfast

2 Dates, pitted and chopped
5 Dried apricots, chopped & toasted
2 Cups Almond Milk
1 Cup Quinoa
1/4 Cup Almonds, chopped
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 TBS Honey


Cook Quinoa according to package directions with the vanilla, cinnamon, honey and milk. Top each bowl with the fruit and nuts.

How To Choose A Supplement

There are times when diet just isn’t enough. This is often the case with vitamin B12 and D3. If you get a blood test and despite your best efforts you show a shortage of any type of vitamin you can find a good supplement to help. You can choose natural supplements as well as synthetic. Usually natural supplements synthesize better than synthetic.

Avoid Artificial Colors

If you see red dye #40 or any other numbers, avoid the supplement as it has fake coloring in it which can, in some people, induce headaches.

Check The Ingredients

Today’s recommendations are higher than they used to be, so it’s important to look and check how much of the supplement is in each dose. Check the RDA.

Check the Types of Ingredients

Also check the types of ingredients in order to avoid extraneous types of vitamins. For example, if the base of your vitamin is soil, your body won’t be able to synthesize it the same way they can from plants.

Checks for Co-factors

Some vitamins need co-factors to help absorb it properly. For example calcium works better when combined with Vitamin D and folate processes better when combined with a fat. When you ensure that they have all the cofactors inside the supplement you’ll have better results.

Watch for Chlorides and Oxides

When you choose natural plant based supplements they will be more alkaline, which will be gentle on your body. Chlorides and oxides are derived from other than plants and tend to make the body acidic which some people believe is disease promoting.

Double Check the Studies

It’s important to find out who commissioned a study before you believe it. You want studies to be independent, and not biased to ensure accuracy. If the company is not transparent about their studies, or ingredients, steer clear.

Final Words

Choosing a vitamin supplement might seem like an impossible task, but it really is not. There are plenty of choices when it comes to taking the right supplement if you feel you can’t get the results you need through foods. Plus, you don’t even need them unless your blood tests show a deficiency.

There are tons of studies that suggest taking vitamins will help people with deficiencies but do nothing for people without. But we are learning more every single day about the role of vitamins, minerals and hormones in our bodies.

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