Getting healthier is front of mind for many people right now. We can not turn on the news without being reminded of the importance of good health. We look to strengthen our immunity in hopes of preventing illness. As a physician I think this is an important time to look beyond just avoiding COVID. Something we have learned from the pandemic thus far is that those who are most vulnerable to this illness are those with other conditions.
Perhaps now is also the time to look towards improving or reducing those other conditions to not only, make us less susceptible to the effects of COVID but also to help us prevent other health concerns in the future. These conditions, namely heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity all take great tolls on American lives each year. This year is no different, just worse.
Can vitamins play a role in reducing risk factors and improving overall health? They most certainly can, but the challenge is knowing who should be taking which vitamins and in which doses. Just as we are not all the same in the medical conditions we develop, we are not all the same in our vitamin needs. We all eat different diets, have different lifestyle and have different symptoms and health concerns.
Someone with diabetes may benefit from more vitamin D, due to it’s role in controlling blood sugar, while someone with high blood pressure may benefit from magnesium. Those with cardiac risk factors may need omega3s. Who you are determines what you need and in which doses. Many of us looking to support immunity may benefit from vitamin C. Iron and certain B vitamins can be important to some depending on their diet.
So how can you figure out what vitamins to take? The best way to find the right vitamins is with a personalized vitamin. Taking an online vitamin quiz that asks questions about who you are, your habits and your health needs is a great way to get just what you need. A doctor created personalized vitamin can ensure that you are taking medically sound vitamins that are not excessive and potentially dangerous, but are also effective in helping your overall health.
Vitamins are of course not the only steps we should be taking to improve our health. Now is a wonderful time to work on a healthful and balanced diet (we are fans of a Mediterranean style diet), a regular exercise routine (no gym? Walk outside) and of course quitting smoking is always an essential step toward better health. The COVID crisis has kept many of us away from our regular preventive health visits and now may be the time to get caught up these tasks (depending on your local situation). Taking a personalized vitamin can be a simple step to start bettering your overall health. Don’t let COVID get the best of you, rather come out the other side of this pandemic healthier than when it started. Take this opportunity to adapt healthier, practical habits that will last you a life time.
Arielle Levitan M.D.
Co-founder Vous Vitamin LLC
Author of The Vitamin Solution:Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health