Vitamin supplements for the fall

As fall approaches, we have already begun to prepare for the rigours of winter. What about vitamin and mineral supplements?

Vitamins and diet

In summer it’s easy to add colour in our plates—yellow corn on the cob, red cherry tomatoes, and green cucumbers from the garden. Fall also brings its share of colours, embellishing the landscape, but what happens to the quality of our diet when the cold settles in?

It’s a well-known fact—a balanced diet is the basis for healthy living. One of the issues that are at the heart of current social concerns is eating well. There is a variety of television shows on cooking and gastronomy, a marked interest for organic products and the endless battle against fast food are all examples of people’s interest for healthy eating.

Just like certain animals make provisions for the winter, why not take advantage of the approach of fall to ask yourself about nutrition and taking vitamin and mineral supplements? Many people wonder about that, especially individuals who worry that their diet may not provide all of the essential nutrients for good health. Here is some information on the subject.

The Canada Food Guide

One effective strategy to ensure a balanced diet is to follow the Canada Food Guide.

Among other things, it provides recommendations on the number of servings that should be eaten every day for each food group. Vitamins mostly come from one food group in particular: fruits and vegetables. The number of recommended daily servings for this food group varies between 4 and 10 servings, depending on the person’s age. For example, if you are a man between 19 and 50 years of age, the Canada Food Guide recommends that you eat between 8 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Quite a feat, isn’t it?

Vitamin D: the summer vitamin

One of the most important functions of vitamin D is maintaining bone health. This vitamin is mainly produced by the skin in response to sun exposure. Certain foods also provide vitamin D. It is estimated that sun exposure is the main source of vitamin D; therefore, it is easier to meet daily needs during the summer when the sun is most present.

For the remainder of the year, many people should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in particular. For example, if you are 50 years old or more, experts recommend taking 800 to 2000 IU of vitamin D per day. In reality, few people manage to meet their recommended vitamin intake. Ask your pharmacist to help you determine what your vitamin D intake should be and how you should go about achieving it.

Vitamin and mineral supplements: an interesting option

If, like many North-Americans, you do not follow the Canada Food Guide’s recommendations to the letter, you could consider taking a daily vitamin and mineral supplement. These supplements do not replace healthy eating, they complete it. There are several formulations on the market and it can sometimes be difficult to make an informed choice. Ask your pharmacist to help you determine which product is best for you by keeping in mind the following information:

  • your age
  • your gender
  • your lifestyle
  • your health
  • the medications you take, and
  • your budget

Here are a few tips concerning vitamin and mineral supplements:

  • Take them every day as indicated by the manufacturer of the product.
  • Do not take more than what is recommended.
  • Take them with food unless indicated otherwise by your pharmacist.
  • Ask your pharmacist if you should take the supplements at a different time than your other medication, as they may reduce the absorption of certain medications.
  • Choose a supplement according to your specific needs. For example, you may choose a product containing more calcium, iron or vitamin D.

Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist for additional information about vitamin and mineral formulations.

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Vitamin supplements for the fall

As fall approaches, we have already begun to prepare for the rigours of winter. What about vitamin and mineral supplements?
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