Are You Getting Enough Vitamins?

True or false; you can get all of the vitamins and minerals you need for the day from eating a balanced diet?  To answer that question we need to understand what a balanced diet is.

In 2010, the United States Government replaced the decades old Food Pyramid with new recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Human Services.  The new myPlate guideline recommends choosing your meal from five food groups which are fruits, grains, vegetables, protein and dairy.

To implement these changes in your daily diet we are going to build our meal.  First, you will need to start with an empty plate.  Next, mentally divide your plate into four quadrants.  Finally, to build your meal, add a portion from each of the first four food groups listed above into each quadrant so that no food group takes up more than 25% of your entire food plate.  The final group, dairy, can be your beverage or a dessert.

Now that we know how to build a balanced meal, we need to understand what makes up a “healthy” meal.  A healthy meal consists of choosing lean proteins like fish, poultry, beans, eggs and nuts.  Also, limiting saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and sugars is also important.

While choosing the above recommended meals, it is still likely you will fall short of some of your vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins B, C, E and calcium. In fact, the National Institute of Medicine recommends the daily intake of more than 20 vitamins and minerals.  In addition, a higher dose of certain vitamins is recommended for pregnant women and adults over 50 years of age.  Also, some illnesses and diseases can deplete your supply of essential vitamins and minerals.

If you’re eating a balanced diet and still feel sluggish, this could be a result of a vitamin deficiency.  In fact, a vitamin B deficiency can result in anemia. The Vitamin B family is an important anti-oxidant group for maintaining healthy skin, metabolism and immune system to fight infection.

In conclusion, while it is possible to get some of your daily vitamins and minerals from eating a healthy diet, many people can benefit from multi-vitamin supplements to ensure optimum health.

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