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Vitamins and Minerals

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals
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From the Nutrition Experts at
Harvard Medical School

Vitamins and minerals

This newly revised Special Health Report explains how to boost your health with the right vitamins and minerals.

If you’re serious about your health, you need to understand vitamins and minerals — the best sources of these nutrients, how your body processes and benefits from them, and the risks to be aware of when you’re getting too many or not enough.

Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate the world of nutrition on your own. Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals, a Special Health Report from the experts at Harvard Medical School, is here to help you get the right nutrients for a lifetime of good health.

At the core of this information-packed report is a detailed look at the vitamins and minerals most associated with good health and wellbeing.

For each nutrient, Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals lets you know the Recommended Dietary Allowance, and when it’s OK— and not OK — to surpass the RDA. You’ll also learn which foods contain the highest amounts of each nutrient. In addition, the report tells you when supplements can be beneficial (while emphasizing that getting your nutrients from food is usually your best option).

As you’ll read in Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals, many foods are rich in other beneficial compounds beyond vitamins: omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like salmon and tuna, and in flaxseed and walnuts), phytochemicals (a.k.a. bioactives, the compounds in plants that give them their taste, color, and scent), and probiotics (found in fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut).

And if you’re a coffee or tea drinker you’ll be happy to learn that your favorite beverages may also deliver some powerful health benefits — you’ll read all about them in the report.


Inside Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals you'll learn:

If taking a multivitamin, make sure the vitamin A is in the form of beta carotene, not retinol or retinyl compounds.
A half cup of sweet red peppers contains roughly a third more vitamin C than a medium-sized orange.
It’s important not to exceed the recommended levels of vitamin B6, as nerve damage could result.
Pregnant women should get at least 400 micrograms of folic acid (vitamin B-9) a day, either through a healthy diet or a supplement.
While Vitamin D may help reduce osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones, there is no evidence it reduces the risk of cancer.
Taking vitamin E supplements to prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease is NOT recommended.

Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals is brimming with helpful information, such as:

A “vitamin A to zinc” rundown of the vitamins and minerals you need for your best health
20+ nutrient-packed foods that are a great alternative to supplements
When vitamins and minerals are beneficial — and when they’re not
A Special Section on how to get the most nutrients out of every meal
How you could be getting too many — or too few — nutrients, and the effect on your health

Does your diet deliver the daily recommended doses?

This special section of Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals helps you maximize the amount of nutrients you get from your diet. You’ll discover tips on choosing healthy fats; how to get the right amount of fiber; and way to ad fruits and vegetables to your diet. You also get a recipe for a tasty, nutrient-rich smoothie and a sample breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu chock-full of vitamins and minerals.