Vitamins are essential nutrients your body needs to support your metabolism and bodily functions. Many vitamins are found in the nutritional food you eat in your daily diet. Ideally, vitamins should be taken in by your body through consumption of foods, but if an individual is lacking vitamins supplements should be taken. For a college-aged individual, it is recommended to take a daily multivitamin every day. This multivitamin contains essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. Vitamins are broken down into fat solubles and water solubles. The fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, are stored in your body’s liver and fat for long periods of time. While water soluble vitamins, B and C, are eliminated rapidly through the body and need to be replaced regularly.  For fat soluble vitamins, Vitamin A can be found in foods like milk and eggs, Vitamin D is absorbed by your skin through sunlight, Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils and nuts, and Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables. For water soluble vitamins, Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and Vitamin B is found in meats, fish and dairy products.

Another important supplement your body needs is calcium. As a child, you were told to drink your milk for this particular reason, to get your recommended amount of calcium. Calcium is not only important for your growth as a child, but also to ensure strong bones.

As a young adult, most people do not obtain calcium from drinking milk, therefore a supplement of calcium is recommended along with your daily multivitamin. It is important to not take the calcium supplement at the same time as the multivitamin because it can interfere with absorption. It is recommended to take between 600 and 1000 milligrams of calcium a day. 

Vitamin D is different than any other type of vitamin because it is comes from sunlight and is absorbed by your skin. On average a person should spend some time of the day in the sun to obtain Vitamin D, but this is difficult for individuals during the winter.

Therefore, supplemental Vitamin D can be taken up to 600 international units a day. Vitamin D is essential for your bones, calcium absorption, proper muscle movement, and for your immune system to fight off harmful viruses and bacteria.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for your health. These fatty acids protect your heart, help with brain function, and help with movements of the joints. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of fish oils and some plant and nut oils.

If you are not a frequent fish eater, it is likely you are not getting enough of these fatty acids. A supplement of 600 milligrams of DHA omega-3 fatty acids can be taken daily to ensure proper nutrition.

Proper knowledge about vitamins and supplements is important because you may not be receiving your nutritional needs. Be mindful of what you are consuming through your diet and take necessary supplements and vitamins if needed.

A simple talk with your doctor or a nutritionist can also be helpful in understanding what your body needs!

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