I was walking through the supermarket the other day, and I couldn’t help but stop and marvel at the size of the vitamin section. It’s huge! Two or three rows at least, filled to the brim with all kinds of vitamins, supplements and minerals.
Many people might not know that vitamins and nutritional supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, companies can make some pretty interesting claims about the benefits of some vitamins. When talking about the delicate balance of vitamins and minerals, more is not always better.
For example, taking too much vitamin C could lead to some unwanted side effects, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps and nausea. Though not life-threatening, it might be a little…err…uncomfortable.
“Let your food be medicine and medicine be your food.” Hippocrates, father of Western medicine
Though he lived centuries ago, this guy was onto something. A study published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine and reported on by the LA Times showed that young girls, ages 5 to 15, who drank soda regularly were five times more likely to have a fracture than those who did not. These children are drinking soda in place of healthy alternatives like milk or fortified orange juice that are full of vitamin D—a critical ingredient for healthy bones.
Though, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that vitamin D supplements are fine for most infants and children. Don’t forget that vitamin D is found in fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel and almost all milk is fortified with it. But, where is one of the best sources of vitamin D? The SUN! Just being outside causes your body to make vitamin D. But remember to limit your exposure and wear sunscreen.
Add plenty of outside time with exercise (even just with playing!) while eating a healthy, balanced diet that steers clear of sugary beverages (like soda), and most families may not need to supplement vitamin D in their diets (unless your doctor tells you otherwise).