CLEVELAND – With so many vitamins and supplements available these days, you might be wondering which ones you really need.
But according to Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, sometimes it can be best to get these nutrients from food.
“We have many studies showing that when we look at food as the bioavailable source of certain vitamin and mineral nutrients, it tends to be one of the best options,” Kirkpatrick said.
Kirkpatrick said for example that you can control what you get more by eating wild fatty fish than by taking fish oil. And that’s because the supplement industry isn’t regulated like the food industry is.
She said if you’re looking to get more vitamins and minerals in your diet, focus on more colorful foods. She recommends including six different colors in your daily meals.
It may seem like a lot, but it’s pretty easy. You can add blueberries to your oatmeal for a meal and then have a cup of antioxidant-rich coffee. That’s three colors right there.
Of course, there are situations where taking a supplement may be necessary.
“Vitamin D is generally poorly absorbed from food and so a D3 supplement more closely mimics the UV rays of the sun, that’s where we get the best vitamin D. And so a vitamin D supplement will be recommended there “, Kirkpatrick explained.
Kirkpatrick said if you’re not sure if you’re deficient in certain vitamins, it’s best to check with your healthcare provider first.