Q:

How do you know what type of vitamins you need?

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Quick Answer

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has established recommended daily allowances, or RDAs, and upper tolerable intake levels, or ULs, to help consumers understand how much of each vitamin they need daily, states ConsumerLab.com. The best way to get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients is to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, advises Harvard Health Publications. A registered dietitian can help you plan your diet.

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Full Answer

The amount of vitamins and minerals a person requires varies depending on age and gender, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding also have different needs, states WebMD. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a free tool called My Pyramid Tracker that allows you to track your daily food intake and analyze your nutrient intake, states Harvard Health Publications. This can help guide you in choosing the best foods to ensure you consume the correct nutrients in the proper amounts.

The USDA notes that vitamins A, C and E as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber are lacking in most people's diets, so it is best to make an effort to incorporate foods rich in these nutrients in the diet, explains the American Academy of Family Physicians. Of these, potassium is the nutrient most lacking in the diet. Good sources of potassium include skim milk, fish, beans, and fruits such as bananas and melons.

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