Have you ever caught yourself munching on your child’s leftovers? You’re not the only one. Most moms can barely muster up enough energy to make lunch for the kids, much less themselves. However, consistently scraping uneaten food off their plates and filling up on snacks can leave your body low on essential vitamins and nutrients.
If your diet is missing leafy greens, fruits, proteins and complex carbs, taking a supplement can replenish your nutrient stores. Here are a few you might consider taking, so you can be the best mom you can be.
1. Vitamin D
Humans absorb vitamin D by basking in the sunshine and eating foods like salmon, herring, sardines, eggs and red meat. This essential nutrient can prevent cramps and muscle spasms, fortify your bones, reduce inflammation, and promote cell growth, immune function and glucose metabolism. Some research even suggests that vitamin D can lower your risk of contracting respiratory infections, especially in people who are deficient.
Thus, if you want to fight off colds and keep up with the kiddos, taking a vitamin D supplement may be a wise choice. Aim for 600 international units a day.
2. Vitamin B
There are eight different types of vitamin B, all of which can help maintain overall health. This nutrient is especially important for maintaining cell health and can give you a boost of energy when you need it most, which is helpful for busy moms.
Older adults, pregnant women and those with alcohol abuse disorder are at an increased risk for vitamin B deficiencies. If you experience fatigue, confusion, anemia or even skin rashes, you may have a deficiency. Take a supplement to up your intake and combat these nasty symptoms.
3. Vitamin A
Leafy vegetables, dairy products, fruits, fish and fortified cereals are some of the best sources of vitamin A. Eating a variety of these foods can boost your intake and ensure you’re getting at least 700 micrograms. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women may be at a higher risk of vitamin A deficiency, even if they fill up on vitamin-rich foods.
A consistent deficiency can negatively impact your oral health, vision, immune system and reproductive system. Therefore, it’s important to take a supplement if you don’t think you’re consuming enough vitamin A through your diet.
Feeling a bit more tired than usual? For many new moms, fatigue and an inability to concentrate or remember things is part of their daily routine. However, iron deficiency may be to blame, at least in part. About 20% of women and 50% of pregnant women have low iron levels.
If you suspect that you may be deficient, eat more foods like kidney beans, baked potatoes, spinach or raisins to up your intake. You might also take a supplement to meet your daily need of 18 milligrams.
Looking for something to help you get your mood swings under control? A magnesium supplement may help. This essential nutrient is found in soy products, legumes, nuts and seeds, but is also available in pill form for moms that don’t have these foods on hand.
Getting 100% of your daily intake can help reduce tension, mood swings, anxiety and irritability that often accompany premenstrual syndrome. Plus, magnesium works alongside calcium and vitamin D to build strong, healthy bones. Aim for 310 to 350 milligrams a day if you’re between the ages of 19 and 50.
6. Vitamin E
If you’ve been trying to shed that stubborn baby weight or lose a few pounds, you might be vitamin E deficient. In avoiding fats and oils, you’ve likely cut many vitamin E rich foods out of your diet. Luckily, you can still give your body this vital nutrient by taking a supplement.
Consuming 15 milligrams a day will promote a healthy heart and strong immune system. Plus, it’ll protect your body from the effects of free radicals, molecules that may have ties to heart disease and cancer. Get your full daily dose to prevent preeclampsia, Alzheimer’s, liver disease and more.
Pregnant and breastfeeding moms typically have low levels of choline because the body uses this nutrient to make every cell in an infant’s body. Subsequently, moms need between 450 and 900 milligrams during these important stages.
Milke, lettuce, cauliflower, beef liver, steak and eggs are all excellent sources of choline and many women get all they need from their diet. With a single egg providing 20% to 25% of your daily requirement, filling up on choline is relatively easy. However, if you don’t eat animal products and don’t enjoy cauliflower or broccoli, taking a supplement is a good alternative.
Moderation Is Key
Of course, it is entirely possible to have too much of a good thing. Once your body uses the vitamins and minerals it needs, it excretes or stores the rest. If you consume too much of one or another, the side effects can be harmful and, in some cases, deadly. Therefore, it’s best to only consume your daily recommended intake. As with anything else in life, moderation is key.
If you think you might be deficient in a certain nutrient, reflect on your eating habits and talk to a doctor. They can take a blood test to determine where your diet is falling short and recommend different foods or supplements.