Miss Nutrition, professional athlete and model Rhionnon Harris has come runner-up in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness competition and understands the importance vitamins and minerals has on achieving optimal health. With an abundance of shakes, supps and pills saturating the marketplace, consumers are spending thousands of dollars on multi-vitamins that, if taken incorrectly, can do more damage than good. Here’s her guide on the vitamins and minerals in common use:
A quality daily multivitamin is your first step to fill in the gaps in micronutrients. Some specific vitamins and minerals will need to be taken in larger amounts than can be found in a once daily capsule however. A multi should encompass your daily needs of all the B vitamins which enhance energy production and cognitive ability. Some B vitamins are also heavily depleted in those taking antidepressants.
Plays a role in cortisol metabolism and synthesis as well as strengthening the immune system and antioxidant status. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties protect cells and their DNA from damage and mutation- It supports the body’s immune system, the first line of defence against cancer, and prevents certain cancer-causing compounds from forming in the body.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Found in all meats and in higher amounts in salmon and fresh water fish. Can also be supplemented with a fish oil capsule. Look for quality products screened for heavy metals. This essential fatty acid help maintain a healthy hormonal balance, increase serotonin (our “happy” brain chemical) and manage blood sugar levels as well as a host of other benefits.
I recommend checking blood levels of vitamin D before supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in many people and a deficiency can lead to all sorts of problems including immune system dysregulation and depression.
For women who are menstruating, iron is lost during menses. It is very important to replace this iron which can be found primarily in red meat and spinach. I recommend looking for a multi that contains iron. For non-menstruating women then iron may be avoided. Iron free multi-vitamins are easy to access.
Another nutrient many people are deficient in. A dose before bed helps promote good quality sleep and restfulness.
I call this the antioxidant of the womb. Vitamin E encourages healthy communication between cells and a healthy menstrual cycle
Couple the above with healthy eating habits and some external stress management like meditation, yoga and good sleep patterns to help combat the daily stresses of being the wonder woman you are.