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Vital Vitamins: What's In Your Diet?

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By mia bolaris-forget

A proper diet is essential to both fitness and health......but did you know that especially for women nutritional needs chance at various stages of life. Women who are preparing to have babies need to make sure they get enough folic acid (to prevent birth defects) while those who are a little older and maybe making their way toward menopause require more calcium and vitamin D to keep bones strong.
One of the best ways, as we've all heard is to eat a balanced diet with five serving of fruits and vegetables daily...but for most of us, our daily routine makes that virtually impossible..hence the need for vitamins and adequate supplementation.
In addition, just like many foods offering antioxidant properties, specific vitamins do the same. Among these: Vitamin A---retinol and the carotenoids---vitamin C, and vitamin E....seem to be the top "3" when it comes to protecting the body's cell system by neutralizing highly reactive and unstable molecules know as free radicals.
Other essential vitamins for women include the B-vitamins....specifically B6, B12 and folic acid, which are necessary for proper brain function, red blood cell formation and building DNA. Furthermore, pregnant women need folic acid to help lower risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. And, women (especially of child-bearing age) should note that habits such as poor eating, alcohol abuse, smoking and oral contraceptives have all been linked to low blood levels of folic acid.
Vitamin D is another important vitamin for woman and one that acts as a hormone in the body. Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble vitamin and helps activate calcium and phosphorous, essential for keeping bones strong....and not having enough can thin bones and lead to osteoporosis.
Vitamin K , while (not as of yet) considered a necessary essential is one that is strongly recommended due to its ability to promote strong bones and help maintain normal blood clotting, especially as we get older.
Most dieticians and nutrition experts suggest getting these important vitamins naturally, through whole foods, but also recommend talking to your doctor about your diet and your specific needs, especially with regards to taking at least a daily multi.
In addition they note that while its uncommon to get too much of a vitamin from a healthy diet, overdosing from taking too many supplements "is" possible, and "does" happen. In fact, in large doses, some supplements have documented side-effects that can be quite serious....which is why it's best to talk to your doctor first.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Vital Vitamins: What's In Your Diet?

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