The key to healthy body, as we all know, is founded on a balanced diet and regular exercise.


However, having a diet that successfully contains just the right amount of carbs, fruits, vegetables, protein, fats and the like is easier said than done. Not everyone has the privilege of time, nor the discipline, to meticulously plan their meals.

With the aid of over-the-counter vitamin supplements, though, consumers are able to fill in whatever nutritional gaps their existing diets may have. Vitamins (with the exception of Vitamin D) cannot be produced by the body and must come from food sources.

Here is a summary of the health benefits of different vitamins: 

B complex (B1, B6 and B12) – helps with metabolism, production of blood cells, proteins
Calcium – for bone density and strength, helps prevent osteoporosis
Folic acid – promotes fertility among males and females, prevents neural defects in fetus if pregnant; reduces the risk of stroke 
Iron – oxygen transport
Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid – promotes healthy absorption of iron and reduces the risk for heart disease
Vitamin D – improves absorption of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc and phosphate; maintains blood levels of calcium; typically sourced from moderate sun exposure 
Vitamin E – reduces signs of aging, improves immunity
 
So which vitamins are best to take during your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond? We break them down here:*

In your 20s and 30s:

Your body, essentially, is at its strongest during this period. Your skin will pretty much still retain its luminosity, no matter if you have vices or irregular sleeping habits, because it still has plenty of collagen. It's also the time when your body will start feeling the effects of your lifestyle. Your body is at its prime for getting pregnant during your 20s.  It's important to start stocking up on calcium, too.
In your 30s, your metabolism will start to slow down, and you'll probably notice the extra weight. Bone loss starts, and your muscle mass will also be reduced. Fine wrinkles will also start appearing during this time.

Your recommended vitamins*:
• B Complex
• Calcium (1,000 mg/day)
• Folate (100 mcg/day)
• Iron
• Vitamin C (at least 75 mg/day)
• Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol (20 mg/ day)
• Vitamin E (at least 15 mg/day)

* Not intended to replace a professional medical practitioner's opinion. Consult with your doctor before taking any vitamins. 

For more information about the vitamins and supplements for each age group, visit smartparenting.com.ph

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Photo: Flickr via Creative Commons 

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