When it comes to vitamin and mineral supplements, you’re spoiled for choice with literally millions and millions of supplements in various strengths, combinations and concentrations. In fact, the choice can be daunting, and you can be forgiven for wondering which vitamins and minerals are essential for your everyday health.
The short answer is “all of them.” You need small amounts of every vitamin and mineral you can find supplements for to be as healthy as possible every single day. Fortunately, you’ll get most of them from a balanced diet.
However, there are seven essential vitamins and minerals that you need to ensure you get - whether by changing your diet, or taking single supplements or a multivitamin.
These are the seven essential vitamins and minerals to improve your everyday health:
Vitamin D is a vitamin we’d all absorb through sunlight if we didn’t live in rainy, overcast Britain. And while the weather is being British, there aren’t many foods we can get this essential nutrient from. So a daily vitamin D supplement can help you fight off diseases, reduce bone and back pain, and even help combat hair loss.
Magnesium is the stress-beating mineral. It’s used by our nervous system to reduce stress and make us calmer, and it can improve muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also regulates your blood sugar levels, and is a building block of protein, bone and even DNA. So to make sure you get enough of this essential mineral, you’ll need a few handfuls of Brazil nuts, a huge helping of spinach, or a daily Magnesium supplement.
We all know what calcium does for our bodies - it helps us have strong bones and teeth. Women in particular need lots of calcium to maintain bone density, and it’s a mineral you’ll find most readily in dairy products like milk and cheese. But if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or one of the 25% of people who’ve ditched cow’s milk for oat, coconut and soy, a daily calcium supplement is just what you need.
In the A-Z of vitamins and minerals, zinc often appears at the end of the list. But it shouldn’t, because it’s an essential mineral that helps your immune system, improves your ability to heal wounds and injuries, and helps your body break down the carbs and fat in your food to release energy. Add Zinc to your diet, and your everyday health will improve.
Red meat eaters, relax. You’ll be getting plenty of iron, and it’ll help increase your energy and boost the number of red blood cells in your veins. But if you don’t eat red meat (and one in three of us have reduced the red meat in our diets or stopped entirely), or you’re menstruating, going through puberty or trying to get pregnant, it’s essential that you supplement your iron intake.
Folic acid isn’t just essential for pregnant women or those trying to conceive - it’s also crucial for your body’s ability to fight depression, combat inflammation, or grow healthy hair and nails. So add some folic acid, folate, or a multivitamin with folic acid to your diet.
The final essential vitamin for your daily health is vitamin B12. While all of the B vitamins are important, it’s B12 that does the hard work to support your nerve, blood and heart health, generate DNA in your cells, and regulate your body’s energy supply. Like iron, this is a vitamin that vegans can struggle to get enough of from their diet, so everyone should look to add a vitamin B12 supplement to their regime.
So there you have it. You don’t need millions of different supplements to improve your everyday health. You just need to add vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 to your diet. Maybe with a Millions & Millions multivitamin supplement?