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November 21, 2011
I am on a quest for better health. While there is nothing medically wrong with me, I know I don't feel the best I could feel. I recently lost a lot of weight and I am the smallest I have been since my college years, so now I am looking to take it to the next level and become healthier.
While I was on my diet, I learned to eat right. I learned about portion control, and about eating the right foods. While I am eating better overall, I am still not a big vegetable eater, so I am sure my body is lacking in some essential nutrients. Not only do I not eat many vegetables, I don't consume a lot of dairy products either, which means my bones may not be receiving adequate calcium. As women age, we need to make sure we are getting enough calcium so that we don't suffer from osteoporosis later on in life.
Given all of these factors, I decided to start researching vitamin supplements to see what I might need to take in order to become healthier. I have been taking Vitamin B Complex for a month or so now with the hopes of increasing my energy level, and it has definitely helped. But what else do I need? Walking into a store and looking at vitamin supplements can definitely be overwhelming. There are just so many available.
While I was doing my vitamin research, I found some great tools at the Nature Made website that helped me decide which supplements I should be taking. The first tool I used was the Customized Vitamin Assessment. This tool gathers information about you such as your age, the climate you live in, the foods you eat, how often you are in the sun, etc. and then gives you a list of supplements you should take.
You can also select from a list of health needs and get vitamin recommendations for those needs. Since I want to keep my bones strong in order to fight off osteoporosis later in life, I selected "Joint and Bone Health".
Do you see a common denominator in both screen prints of my results? The one supplement that came up at the top of both was Vitamin D.
Did you know that several adults are Vitamin D deficient? I had no idea. I already knew that our bodies manufacture Vitamin D while exposed to sunlight, and that we also get it from dairy products, so given my lifestyle, I am probably one of those adults that is deficient. As I mentioned before, I don't consume many dairy products, but you would think since I live in Florida that my time in the sun would be plentiful, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. I am actually "allergic" to the sun. There is a medical term for the condition I have, but "allergic" is just easier to say. If I am out in the sun for any extended period of time, I will break out. Couple that with the rise in skin cancer, and I am very careful to limit my time in the sun.
After reading a little more about the benefits of Vitamin D, I learned that it supports teeth and bone health by helping your body absorb calcium in the blood stream. Calcium cannot be absorbed without it. Since I am trying to up my calcium intake, I also need extra Vitamin D. I also learned that Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of a healthy mood, and given all the stress I have been under lately, I need all the help I can get in that department. Here is a great video that explains the benefits of Vitamin D, and why we need more of it...
I have decided to start taking Vitamin D supplements, along with a multivitamin and the Vitamin B I was already taking. I headed out to Walmart last weekend to purchase some. Even though I went in knowing what I wanted to buy there were still so many choices just in Vitamin D alone. Did I want 1000 IUs or 2000? Did I want tablets or softgels?
I decided on the Vitamin D3 1000 IU softgels by Nature Made, and I also picked up multivitamins for me, and some for my husband. He consumes even less vegetables and dairy than I do, and has also been researching vitamins and supplements lately. If you would like to read more about my shopping experience, check out my Google+ "Shopping for Better Health" story.
With the Nature Made Vitamin D now a part of my daily routine, I hope to conquer my quest for better health!
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions are my own.