The best way to get all of our required daily nutrients is to obtain most of them from food sources. Food not only provides us with vitamins and minerals but also supplies us with fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. These components interact with one another in ways that supplements are not able to do. However, even with the best nutritional habits, we can sometimes fall short of meeting all of our dietary needs.
Recent studies indicate that Americans are falling short of meeting the minimum daily recommendations for several vitamins and minerals. How can this happen when we eat plenty of food? One reason is we are eating the wrong types of foods. Americans tend to have a very busy, fast-paced lifestyle where we are consuming too much fast food and not enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Researchers have found that taking a good quality supplement can assist with making up for nutritional deficiencies. However, it is important to remember: Supplements are meant to assist with your diet; it is not meant to correct a bad diet.
Even if your diet is filled with good nutritious foods, it is sometimes hard to get all of the vitamins and minerals we need from food sources alone. For individuals who are restricting calories, it is especially beneficial to add supplements to ensure your body is functioning as efficiently as possible for weight loss. Taking a daily multivitamin is recommended, but it is also important to highlight some of the specific vitamins and minerals that are particularly helpful when it comes to weight loss.
B Vitamins: These are essential for metabolism. They help to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They help body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. If the B vitamins are low, your metabolism will not work at it’s best which will make losing weight more difficult. Look for a supplement that contains all eight B vitamins. They will be listed as B-complex vitamins. Good food choices for vitamin B include eggs, lean meat, lentils, milk, whole grains, and bananas.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the growth and repair of bones, a healthy immune system, and a healthy body weight. Research has shown that people who are obese tend to have lower than normal levels of vitamin D. This very important vitamin also helps to prevent depression. Having a positive outlook and attitude can certainly come in handy during a weight loss journey. Most vitamin D requirements can be obtained from the sun, however, people today spend way too much time indoors. Supplements and food sources must also be considered. Foods with vitamin D include fortified milk and yogurt, fortified cereals, egg yolk, salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Iron: Iron helps the body create energy from nutrients. It assists with carrying oxygen to all of the cells in our bodies, including muscles. This, in turn, will help muscles burn fat. Iron deficiency (anemia) is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the United States. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, low energy levels, and weakness. Food sources with high iron include beans, spinach, shellfish, and lean meats.
Fish Oil: Fish oil has many great benefits for our bodies. Some of these benefits include: supports cardiovascular health, normalizes blood pressure, improves circulation and brain function, lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, lowers blood sugar, increases HDL (good cholesterol), boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation.
If you are considering taking vitamins, talk with a health care provider to discuss the benefits and risks. They will be able to provide further information on the proper dosing or possible interactions with any medications you are currently taking.
We at Blue Sky MD are here to answer any questions you have regarding supplements and weight loss. We offer an excellent supplement pack that provides a prescription strength multivitamin, fish oil capsule, prescription strength vitamin D, and a high potency B-complex vitamin. Our packs also include a capsule containing a blend of natural herbs to help address all of your body’s core needs.
Remember that most of your required vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients should be coming from food. However, supplements can help to fill any gaps in your diet that could be occurring due to restricted calorie intake.