Undeniably the best way to get nutrients is from natural sources. Air, sun, food and water all provide our bodies with essential vitamins and minerals. But making sure we get an adequate supply of each and every nutrient we need can seem impossible. That's why we're sharing with you which vitamins and minerals are crucial to women's health. If you feel you may not be getting enough of one or more of these, it may be worth talking to your doctor about pursuing supplementation.
Eat Right Ontario recommends getting as much of your calcium from foods as possible. Dairy products, leafy greens and many nuts are all excellent sources of calcium. However, if you are lactose intolerant, dislike milk, are vegan or have a connection with osteoporosis, you may have trouble getting all the calcium you need from natural sources. You can choose to take either calcium citrate or calcium carbonate as a form of supplement, and you may pick from a variety of shapes, sizes and textures for different consumption preferences. Speak with your pharmacist to get a better idea of which option is best for you. Avoid taking more than 500–600 milligrams of calcium at a time, and consume it with lots of water.
If you aren't getting enough calcium from your diet, there is a very good chance you require more vitamin D as well. According to Osteoporosis Canada, vitamin D is crucial to healthy bone growth because it assists in the absorption of calcium. The majority of our supply of vitamin D comes from the sun. Unfortunately, in our northern climate, it is virtually impossible to get the amount of sun exposure we require to attain our vitamin D needs. Osteoporosis Canada recommends all Canadian adults between the ages of 19 and 50 take a supplement daily that is 400–1,000 IU, while older adults or those at risk of osteoporosis should take 800–2,000 IU daily.
Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for proper growth and development, from infancy through to old age. But because the nutrient cannot be produced by the body, it is important that we receive an adequate supply from exterior sources. DPA Gold reports that daily intake of omega-3 can decrease cholesterol, improve bone density, reduce joint pain, improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nuts, beans and fish all supply our bodies with omega-3. If you feel you are unable to incorporate more of these foods into your diet, it may be wise to talk to your doctor about potential supplements.
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