The human body is an amazing machine, and just like your car needs fuel to run properly, your body requires a variety of important nutrients to function properly. However, according to experts, most Americans are deficient in many important nutrients. Over time, these deficiencies can lead to countless ailments and health problems, some of which can be severe, debilitating, and even life-threatening. One reason why many of us are deficient in important nutrients is because it’s difficult to get adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals we need from the foods we eat alone. That’s why fortifying your diet with well-chosen daily supplements is a great way to ensure you’re getting all the important nutrients your body requires every day for peak performance and optimal health.
So what exactly are the most important nutrients your body needs to support your heart health, strong bones, clear vision and sharp mind? Here are the top 10 nutrients you should be getting every day from your diet and health supplements:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients your body requires. Researchers have discovered that up to 2,000 different genes (about one-sixth of the human genome) are directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin D. This means vitamin D is involved in nearly every function in your body.
“It affects cell death and proliferation, insulin production, and even the immune system,” says Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D., director of the vitamin D, skin, and bone research laboratory at the Boston University Medical Center.
Vitamin D also enhances the absorption of calcium for strong bones and teeth, helps maintain joints and muscle comfort, supports breast, colon and prostate health, and provides mood support.
Despite how critical vitamin D is for our overall health, it’s estimated that nearly 70% of Americans are currently deficient, and many experts say this creates a public health crisis in the U.S.
How much do you need: The recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin D is 400 IU (international units); however, experts consider this to be the bare minimum required to avoid serious health problems. Many studies have shown that 2000 to 4000 IU of vitamin D per day may be needed, depending on individual factors such as age, diet and geographic location in proximity to the Equator and the amount of sunshine your region gets. Some people may even require as much as 10,000 IU per day to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D. To put this into perspective, your body is capable of producing 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 from just 30 minutes of moderate sun exposure.
Sources: One way to get your daily vitamin D is from safe exposure to sunshine. However, many experts argue that there is no “safe” sun exposure. And who has the time to lounge around in the sun every day to get their daily dose of vitamin D? A simpler solution is to take a natural vitamin D supplement, such as Healthy Choice Naturals Vitamin D Essential Complex. It is packed with 4000 IU along with vitamin K-2 and five other key ingredients that improve absorption and enhance vitamin D benefits by up to 274%.
CoQ10 is used by every cell in your body. In fact, it is so important for daily functions that it is known as “ubiquinone” because it is “ubiquitous” in the human body. It is required to convert fats and sugars into cellular energy; however, natural production of CoQ10 drastically declines as you age. CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant, helping to protect the proteins, lipids and DNA of mitochondria from oxidation, and supporting mitochondrial function.
However, in order to benefit from the form of the nutrient needed to produce cellular energy and help reduce the signs of aging, your body must convert ubiquinone into the reduced form called ubiquinol. If you’re under 25, your body is capable of converting CoQ10 from the oxidized to the reduced form. However, as you age, your body becomes more and more challenged to convert the oxidized CoQ10 into ubiquinol.
Not getting enough CoQ10 can cause premature aging because this essential vitamin recycles other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E. A deficiency in CoQ10 also accelerates DNA damage. Additionally, because CoQ10 is beneficial to heart health and muscle function, a deficiency can cause muscle fatigue, weakness and soreness (including the heart muscle), and can eventually lead to heart failure.
How much do you need: The RDA for adults 19 and older is 30mg to 200mg of CoQ10.
Sources: Try Healthy Choice Naturals Ubiquinol which provides 50mg of the highly absorbable form of CoQ10 in every daily dose and is up to eight times stronger than ordinary CoQ10.
Probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria that keep your digestive system and immune system functioning properly. There are many things that deplete your probiotic gut bacteria, including taking antibiotics, stress, artificial sweeteners, chlorinated water, etc. This depletion can make you susceptible to illness and predispose you to premature aging.
We all know that eating processed foods is bad for us for a number of reasons. One of them is that processed, high-sugar, chemically-laced foods interfere with the natural intestinal microflora in the body. Yet, despite this fact, Americans spend approximately 90% of their food budget on processed foods, and the number one source of calories in the U.S. is high fructose corn syrup—a standard ingredient in processed foods such as frozen dinners, sauces, condiments, cookies, sodas, etc. Alarmingly, in laboratory studies, researchers have found that when excessive processed and artificial foods are consumed, it causes genetic mutations and malfunctions that create diseases in future generations.
How much do you need: No recommended daily amount has been set, but experts recommend 1 billion CFU (colony-forming units) or more of probiotics per day.
Sources: To help maintain the balance of your gut microflora, you should include cultured and fermented foods in your daily diet. Look for foods that contain extra probiotics like lactobacillus, thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Good probiotic food choices include yogurt (with live, active cultures), sauerkraut, dark chocolate, kefir, miso soup, pickles, etc. In addition, you can take a probiotic supplement such as Healthy Choice Naturals Balanced Probiotic, which provides more than 5 billion friendly bacteria per daily dose from seven of the key strains known to minimize irregularity, gas, constipation and bloating, and to support colon, digestive health and immune system health.
4. Krill Oil
Krill oil is a rich source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) including Omega-3, 6 and 9, as well as phospholipids, which are the building blocks of cell membranes. EFAs are called “essential” because they are required for your survival, yet your body cannot produce them, so you must get them from the foods you eat and from supplements.
Krill oil provides a number of benefits that make it superior to fish oil. Besides fish oil’s increased potential for toxic contamination, fish oil supplements also have a higher risk of oxidation damage and becoming rancid. Krill oil is nearly 200 times more resistant to oxidative damage compared to fish oil because it contains natural astaxanthin. And krill oil is more potent gram for gram because its absorption rate is much higher than fish oil. You get between 25 to 50% more omega-3 per milligram from krill oil than from fish oil, which means you don’t have to take as much.
How much do you need: A recommended daily value has not been established, however, experts recommend a daily dose for adults of 1000mg of krill oil.
Sources:Take Healthy Choice Naturals Purified Krill Oil which provides a super potent 1000mg of pure, cold-pressed Antarctic krill oil in every daily dose.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions to take place in your body. It supports nerve impulse transmissions, helps maintain a steady heart rhythm, supports a healthy immune system, helps regulate body temperature, and strengthens bones. Plus, magnesium supports healthy blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and it is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis, among many other processes.
Magnesium helps with the absorption of calcium, which is why taking magnesium can be particularly beneficial for women of all ages. There are many other health benefits of this important nutrient such as enhancing the bio-availability of vitamin B6 and cholesterol, supporting muscle function, and guarding against osteoporosis, insomnia, constipation, heart attacks, hypertension, constipation, migraines, kidney stones, and gallstones.
How much do you need: The RDA for magnesium is as follows: men age 19-30: 400mg/day; men 31 and over: 420mg/day; women age 19-30: 310mg/day; women 31 and over: 320mg/day; pregnant women age 19-30: 350mg/day; pregnant women 31 and over: 360mg/day.
Sources: Good dietary sources of magnesium include almonds and legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, fish, and leafy green vegetables. Similar to other important nutrients, it’s difficult to get adequate magnesium from food alone. That’s why magnesium supplements can be highly beneficial. Healthy Choice Naturals Full Spectrum Daily Multivitamins provide 250mcg of magnesium (63% of the RDA) in its complex of 56 all-natural important nutrients your body demands for optimal health, energy and vitality.
Polyphenols are secondary metabolites that act as micronutrients and potent antioxidant compounds which are found in plants and derivatives. Polyphenols provide a multitude of health benefits, and many of them have been linked to anti-aging and a reduction in health problems. Forms of polyphenols include flavonoids, phenolic acids, lingans and stilbenes.
How much do you need: To date, limited data exists on the quantitative intake of polyphenols and no daily ecommendation has been set by the FDA. However, considering the traditionally recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, the expected intake of polyphenols would be between 500 to 1,000mg daily.
Sources: Dietary polyphenols are found in leeks, blueberries, curly kale, broccoli, red wine, leafy vegetables like cabbage and lettuce, celery, parsley, dates, grains, citrus fruits, tomatoes, soy, tea, chocolate, apple cider, beer and root vegetables. Additional sources are red fruits, black radishes, onions, plums, apples, kiwis, cherries, coffee, algae, lentils, triticale, wheat, garlic, asparagus, carrots, pears and prunes.
7. Folate (AKA: Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid)
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements and is added to fortified foods. Folate is needed to produce and maintain new cells. It is especially needed during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as during pregnancy and in infancy. Folate is required to make DNA and RNA, which are the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to serious health conditions. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and to protect against anemia. Folate is also essential for the metabolism and maintenance of the amino acid homocysteine.
Folate is useful for combatting depression, seizure disorders and brain atrophy. A folate deficiency can lead to elevated homocysteine levels, which can be a major contributor to heart conditions and Alzheimer’s. Some experts believe folate deficiencies are on the rise due to the increased prevalence of obesity in our society because obesity adversely affects how folate is metabolized in the body.
How much do you need: The RDA for folate or folic acid is 400mcg.
Sources: Folate is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and turnip greens, citrus fruits and juices, and dried beans and peas. Plus, you can take a supplement that contains folate such as Healthy Choice Naturals Full Spectrum Daily Multivitamin which provides 400mcg of folic acid (100% of the RDA) in its formula of 56 vitamins, minerals and nutrients to promote your overall health and wellness.
8. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is known as “the energy vitamin,” and it’s required for many vital functions including energy production, blood formation, DNA synthesis, and myelin formation. Myelin is insulation that protects your nerve endings and allows nerves to communicate. Experts estimate that 25% of American adults are deficient in this vital nutrient.
How much do you need: Men and women age 14 and over: 2.4mcg/day; pregnant women age 14 and over: 2.6mcg/day; nursing women age 14 and over: 2.7mcg/day.
Sources: Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal meats like beef, beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry and eggs. It’s not readily available in plants, so if you are a vegetarian, you may be deficient. To make sure you’re getting enough daily B12, take a nutritional supplement such as Healthy Choice Naturals Stress-B Complex. The all-natural formula combines a generous supply of all the B vitamins, including 50mcg of vitamin B12, which is 833% of the RDA. Plus, it includes the powerful antioxidant benefits of high-potency vitamin C, folic acid and Biotin for better absorption.
9. Turmeric Curcumin
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice Turmeric that enhances immunity and acts as a potent anti-inflammatory. Excessive inflammation in your body can lead to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s, arthritis, heart conditions, prostatitis, irritable bowel syndrome and asthma. Curcumin’s greatest strength may be its anti-cancer potential, which is backed by substantial evidence-based literature. Curcumin affects more than 100 different cell pathways, including a key biological pathway needed for the development of serious health conditions. Research studies found Curcumin actually stops lab strains of melanoma from proliferating and causes the demise of its cells by shutting down nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein known to induce an abnormal inflammatory response that leads to various disorders.
How much do you need: A recommended daily amount has not been established, however, nutrition experts recommend adults take 1000mg to 1800mg of standardized Curcumin per day.
Sources: Since it’s a spice, Turmeric Curcumin can be added to soups and sauces or used to make tea. Perhaps the easiest way to get the full benefits of Curcumin is to take a 100% natural supplement that contains no additives, fillers, or artificial colors or flavors, such as Healthy Choice Naturals Pure Turmeric. Each daily dose provides 1000mg of pure Curcumin extracted by a proprietary process from the highest quality Turmeric.
10. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for your eyesight, especially for your ability to see clearly in low lighting. It is required to maintain healthy skin and surface tissues, particularly the ones that excrete mucus. Beta-carotene is a form of this important nutrient that the body converts into vitamin A.
How much do you need: The recommended daily amount of vitamin A is 5000 IU.
Sources: Sources of vitamin A include milk, butter, cheese, eggs, chicken, fish oils, trout, herring, etc. Beta-carotene is found in orange, yellow and green colored fruits and vegetables. To make sure you’re getting your daily vitamin A, take a supplement such as Healthy Choice Naturals Full Spectrum Daily Multivitamin, which provides 10,000 IU of vitamin A, which is 200% of the recommended daily amount.