The average man needs to be eating 350% more vegetables and 150% more fruit. Those are some staggering numbers to look at, and the statistics can be more than a little discouraging. This is especially true for men who are just beginning to start a healthy lifestyle. If you are someone or were someone, who maintained a diet of highly processed foods, then you were most likely missing several essential vitamins in your diet. The good news is that starting a diet that allows you to consume a wide variety of foods will do most of the work to bridge the gap of nutrient deficiencies, and a multivitamin can entirely close that gap.
To narrow down the information, the following are the seven most essential vitamins that men should be getting in their everyday diet.
Unless you spend a good amount of time outdoors in the sunshine, you probably are not getting an adequate amount of vitamin D. Your body will naturally manufacture this vitamin after being exposed to the sun’s rays, but the majority of men don’t get to spend that much time outside. Vitamin D is essential because it is used to balance calcium throughout the body. Over 50% of the population has a vitamin D deficiency, which is a very serious concern. A severe lack of this vitamin can cause major issues such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.
The good news is that a deficiency can be easily avoided by supplements, or by adding foods such as these to your diet:
- Fatty fish;
- Egg yolks;
- Fortified yogurts and cereals;
- Vitamin C.
Everyone knows that vitamin C is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. However, this mainstream vitamin provides men with many other health benefits that should not be ignored. Vitamin C is essential for the health of your muscles, bones, skin, gums, tendons and ligaments, and cell membranes. So, if you have only been making sure to get your recommended daily amount during cold and flu season, you should start upping your intake on a daily basis to keep your body healthy year round.
Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it will have to be replenished on a daily basis. Your body does not store water-soluble vitamins as they are flushed out of your system every day. Thankfully, vitamin C can be found in many foods that are easy to work into your diet. Foods like dark leafy greens, orange and broccoli, are just a few options to choose from that contain high amounts of the vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is essential for nervous system function and can help stave off memory loss as you get older. Most men don’t need to worry about getting an adequate amount of this vitamin, but should still make sure to get enough daily because of its importance in the body. However, men that will find it difficult to get an adequate amount of B12 are vegetarians and vegans. This is because there are not many sources of B12 that come from vegetables, fruits or nuts.
Luckily, the recommended daily allowance for B12 is only 2.4mcg. This amount is easily found in one serving of fortified breakfast cereal. However, if you aren’t a cereal fan, you can find B12 in foods like:
- Niacin – B3.
One major health concern among men, as they get older, is high cholesterol. If you are looking for a natural way to keep your cholesterol in check, then making sure your diet contains ample amounts of niacin, otherwise known as vitamin B3, is an important step.
Scientists have linked niacin to reducing bad cholesterol, treating circulation problems, migraines and dizziness. For many men getting enough B3 through their diet is an easy task. However, for those that steer clear of grains and nuts it is easily supplemented by a daily multivitamin. If you are not on a restricted diet, whole grains, meats, avocados, tomatoes, nuts and seeds can be added to your diet to get B3 through natural sources.
Vitamin A is not a widely spoken about vitamin, but those that have noticed their vision beginning to deteriorate should pay attention to this one. Maintaining eyesight is the main benefit people receive from vitamin A, and it also promotes a healthy immune system.
Most men will find that they do not have a deficiency when it comes to this vitamin because it is found in an abundance of foods, such as:
- Sweet potatoes;
If your diet is filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables, you should be getting enough vitamin A in your diet. However, if you are someone that has an aversion to fruits or vegetables, it is best to find a multivitamin that offers a good amount of the vitamin to keep your eyes and immune system healthy.
Riboflavin – B2
If it is not already obvious, B vitamins are essential to men’s everyday health. Here we find yet another friend from the B vitamin category, B2, which plays a significant role in energy production. This vitamin can increase your metabolism, aid in blood movement, and may also help with migraines and tinnitus.
Riboflavin is another water soluble vitamin that needs to be replenished every day like vitamin C, and it can be found in a wide variety of meat, nuts and vegetables. For men that are going through a growth spurt or working towards building muscle mass, it is important to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of B2 through diet and supplements.
Possibly the most important vitamin in the body, B6 works with other B-complex vitamins and other vitamins to contribute to men’s overall health. This vitamin promotes brain, cardiovascular and bone health. It can also boost your mood and has been linked to a reduction in colon cancer rates. The best natural sources for B6 include:
- Garbanzo beans;
- Fortified cereals;
With so many abundance resources for this vitamin, a B6 deficiency shouldn’t be a concern. However, if you feel you may not be getting enough, purchasing an over the counter B-complex supplement will be sufficient to replenish your B6 and other B vitamins on a daily basis.
Thankfully, most of these vitamins are present in many of the same foods, which makes setting up a healthy meal plan much easier. Although, if you believe that you are suffering from a severe vitamin deficiency or know that you will not be able to get enough of these vitamins naturally, it is best to consult your doctor for the best advice on how to set up your diet. However, in most cases, taking a multivitamin that you can get at your local pharmacy will be enough to fill in any gaps your diet will leave behind.