Supplements are important – even for celebrities

Did you know singer Katy Perry takes 26 vitamins and supplements every day? She must know how important taking a daily supplement can be to help fill in the nutritional gaps you may have in your diet. Registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer says most people would benefit from a well-chosen supplement.

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 How do you know which vitamins and supplements you could benefit from? Of course, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor on the nutrients he or she recommends adding to your diet. Elizabeth Somer has provided some tips on choosing supplements.

  • Select a broad-range multiple that supplies as close to 100 percent, but no more than 300 percent, of the Daily Value for a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. A multiple should complement an excellent diet and fill in the gaps on days when you don’t eat perfectly. It’s not a substitute for a healthy diet, it’s a supplement.
  • Add a separate calcium plus magnesium supplement. You need calcium to keep your bones, skin, nerves, and muscle in tip-top shape, while magnesium is critical for coping with stress, maintaining a healthy heartbeat and blood pressure, and improving muscle, nerve, and bones. Unless you include at least three servings daily of calcium-rich milk or soymilk products and lots of magnesium-rich soybeans, nuts and wheat germ, you should supplement these two minerals into your diet.
  • If your multi-vitamin or calcium vitamin does not have at least 1000 IU of vitamin D, then consider a separate vitamin D supplement. Optimal intake of the vitamin D is associated with lowered risk for muscle weakness, gum disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension and certain cancers, including colon, breast, pancreas, and prostate cancers.
  • If you don’t consume at least two servings a week of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, or herring, then take a DHA omega-3 supplement. You need at least 220mg of DHA, and possibly up to 900mg/day, to lower the risk for heart disease (the number one killer for both men and women).
  • More than half of Americans are worried about their vision worsening later in life, according to a recent survey by DSM Nutritional Products/Kelton. Ninety-four percent of Americans are unfamiliar with zeaxanthin, which is found in spinach, broccoli and kale. This nutrient, which may help improve eyesight, (along with lutein) can be taken in supplement form.

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