5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Body | Vitamins vs Minerals

The multivitamin/mineral (MVM) industry is booming, and for good reason. Research shows that few Americans follow the national dietary guidelines with regularity. The solution? Take supplements to counteract our lacking diets. But with the huge variety of vitamin and mineral supplements, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed about what to take. What do you need in terms of vitamins vs. minerals? How are vitamins and minerals different, anyway? Here’s what you need to know.

How to take care of your body
Fig: How to take care of your body

1. Understand How Your Vitamins Are Absorbed:

Vitamins are organic compounds that come in two categories: water-soluble or fat-soluble. As their category indicates, water-soluble vitamins will dissolve in water, which is why our water-laden bodies absorb them so easily. If you’ve taken vitamin C for an immunity boost or vitamin B12 for energy, you’ve taken a water-soluble vitamin.

Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, naturally occur in many high-fat foods. If you’re taking a vitamin supplement of these vitamins—A, D, E, and K. It will be best absorbed when eating a high-fat meal.

2. Know How Many Minerals You Need:

Minerals are inorganic, and their chemical structure doesn’t break down. They come in two types: major minerals and trace minerals. Your body needs more major minerals to function, and these include things like calcium, potassium, and sodium. On the other hand, most of us don’t need to worry as much about trace minerals, which our body needs less of. These include minerals like zinc, selenium, and copper.

3. Know How to Take Vitamins vs. Minerals:

Certain supplements should be taken with foods that make it easier for the body to absorb them. Alternately, some shouldn’t be taken alongside other supplements. For example, iron is best paired with vitamin C for maximum absorption. On the other hand, you should avoid taking calcium, zinc, or magnesium at the same time. Talk to your doctor to learn more about the best practices for the supplement you’re taking.

4. Remember That Quantity Matters for Vitamins and Minerals:

Many of us are familiar with the “macronutrients” our body needs in large quantities for energy creation: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Vitamins and minerals are on the other end of the spectrum. Both of these are considered “micronutrients,” meaning that our body only needs small amounts of them.

In fact, getting a high intake of some vitamins and minerals can be toxic! This is why anyone taking vitamin or mineral supplements should stick to the expert recommendations instead of trying to double up on their dosage.

5. Know When to Take Different Supplements:

In most cases, your doctor will help you decide when it’s necessary to take supplements. However, there are a few common situations that should raise a red flag that you may need one:

  • Iron: Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, so if you show signs of it, consider reaching out to your doctor to see if supplements are right for you.
  • B12: If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you may get less of this vitamin in your diet and need a supplement for better health.
  • Calcium, vitamin D: People who are lactose intolerant may have a hard time getting these from dairy-free foods.

Besides, you should always feel free to ask for expert advice about taking supplements for better skin, hair, or overall health.

Getting Different Vitamins and Minerals You Need:

Whether you’re seeking supplements for dietary or cosmetic reasons, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor about the best kind for you and recommendations on your daily dosage. From there, it’s easy: take one a day at the recommended time and with the right food. With a little research on the front end and an understanding of vitamins vs. minerals, you’re good to go!

Looking for more health and wellness tips? Check out our other posts for more of the dietary tips you need to know.

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