Maybe you are someone who eats perfectly balanced meals—every day. Maybe you also get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, regular exercise, and have zero stress. Oh and just the right amount of sun so as to get adequate vitamin D without damaging your perfectly smooth skin. If so, I’m jealous. Very jealous.
Over the years I have succeeded at accomplishing some of these things—for example, before kids I was at the gym at 6 a.m. five days a week like clockwork—but I don’t think I’ve ever managed to do all of these things at once. So I’ve come to appreciate the reinforcement I can get from vitamins and supplements, and apparently I’m not alone—designer vitamin services are popping up everywhere these days, and you know what that means? Vitamins are so hot right now!
My daily go-to solution is a multi-vitamin, but I also turn to supplements for specific ailments (or aspirations—thicker hair, please!) that arise. Here’s our list of some of the common complaints that may be relieved (or in the case of my hair, improved!) by over-the-counter vitamins and supplements. Maybe someday I’ll achieve that utopian goal of natural balance on my own, but for now, I’m headed to the vitamin aisle.
Melatonin is one of the most common natural sleep aids. Our bodies produce melatonin already—for most people levels rise as the sun goes down and that’s why we gradually start feeling sleepy. But if you are having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, you may want to try a melatonin supplement. Experts caution it should not be used as a long-term solution, so don’t take it for more than a month or two.
Natrol Melatonin Time Release 5mg
For Hair & Nails
Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, is part of the B vitamin family and can be helpful for treating hair loss and brittle nails. If you’re not getting enough biotin in your diet—from things like whole grains, mushrooms, cauliflower and bananas—give this supplement a try.
Sports Research Biotin Softgel 5,000mcg
For Bone Health
The two main nutrients to support strong bones are calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is of course plentiful in dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk and in dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale. But your body is best equipped to absorb calcium when you have enough vitamin D in your system. The problem? Very few foods naturally have vitamin D. Another source is sun exposure—but we all know the risks associated with that! So vitamin D is one of the most commonly prescribed supplements by doctors when it comes to boosting your bone density.
Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy Vitamins
You’ve probably heard the term probiotics—these are live bacteria and yeasts that are naturally found in our bodies and help keep our digestive systems healthy. When we don’t have enough of this “good” bacteria in our systems, we may experience problems such as gas, bloating and constipation. Get your gut back on track with a probiotic supplement.
Nutrition Essentials Probiotic
For Stress Relief
When life gets a bit too hectic, consider a supplement to help you stay positive and relaxed. Kava kava is root from the South Pacific islands that has been used as medicine for centuries. It’s said to have a calming effect on the brain and muscles.
Natrol Kava Kava
For Mental Sharpness
If you feel like your brain is foggy or you’re having trouble remembering things, you may have a deficiency in vitamin B12. Other signs of low B12 include weakness, tiredness and problems with balance. (Good to know: Vitamin B-12 is also commonly prescribed for vegetarians since it is primarily found in animal foods.)
Nature Made B-12 500mcg
Studies have found that people with migraines often have lower levels of magnesium than people who do not have migraines. Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is said reduce the frequency and duration of migraines—definitely worth looking into if you’re suffering from these often!
Vita Sciences Migravent
For General Wellness
When you’re looking for an overall energy boost and want to ensure your body and brain are operating to their full potential, consider a multi-vitamin. These combine several vitamins and minerals, and ones made specifically for women generally have the added calcium, iron and folic acid that females need.
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women
Any health-related information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, or before embarking on any diet, exercise, or wellness program.
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