10 vitamins you should be taking
One in three of us take supplements regularly. But are you popping the right ones?
Look into almost any woman's medicine cabinet and you're likely to find vitamins and supplements of some sort to make up for a less-than-perfect diet, as well as help us feel more energetic, ward off infections, as a preventive measure to keep hearts healthy and joints moving and to help resolve specific health problems.
But do supplements really work? Absolutely, as long as you are taking the right one, for the right reason and in the right dose. We've put together your one-stop top-ten guide to essential nutritional supplements, along with advice on how to take them to see the most benefits.
On buying vitamins and minerals
Go into any health food shop and you'll probably be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of nutritional supplements on sale, with so many brands, different formulations and varied potencies. In addition to using this list, don't be shy about asking staff at any health food shop. They should be trained to advise you on different formulas or refer you to a nutritionist, herbalist or your GP as necessary.
Supplement safety is obviously essential - it is always advisable to check with your GP if there are any conflicts between supplements and medicines you may be taking. You should also not take supplements when pregnant or breastfeeding unless you know they are safe.
Match your needs to a supplement Match up your health needs with the right vitamin, mineral or supplement. Then go to What you need and why you need it to find out the specifics of each, what they need to work best and issues to watch out for.
- Depression, moods, brain health: B-vitamins, Omega-3s, Zinc
- Digestive health: Bowel bacteria and FOS/Inulin
- Energy levels: B-vitamins, iron
- Eye health: Antioxidants, berry extracts
- Fertility: Folic acid/B-vitamins, Zinc Healing
- Antioxidants: Zinc
- Immune health: Bowel bacteria and FOS/Inulin, antioxidants, Zinc
- Heart health: Folic acid/B-vitamins, Omega-3s
- Inflammation: Antioxidants, Omega-3s
- Lung health: Antioxidants, Berry extracts
- Pregnancy: Calcium/magnesium, Folic acid, Iron, Omega-3s, Zinc
- Premenstrual health: B-vitamins, Calcium
- Skin, hair and nails: Hair and nail formulas, Omega-3s, Zinc
- Stress: B-vitamins, calcium/magnesium, zinc