How To Tell Which Supplements You Should Be Taking

To eat or supp? That is the question.


Women's Health |

Anyone who’s ever stood in the supplement aisle will know the feeling: so many supplements, all shiny and promising to boost your energy and brain and even help you shed a few. But do you need all that? We break it down for you…

Iron

You need at least 18mg per day. Find it in food: It’s found mainly in meats, shellfish and beans. Three quarters of a cup of fortified cereal has a day’s worth. One cup of lentils has 6.6mg. Red meat doesn’t contain as much per gram, but your body absorbs it more efficiently.

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Solal Iron Plus Formula is made with chelated iron, which is easy for your body to absorb and less likely to cause the tum troubles associated with ordinary iron supps.

R 220

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Or a supp: Always look to your diet first, but if you do supplement, buy gut-friendly “elemental iron” because too much can lead to constipation.

Vitamin D

Get 600+ IU per day. Find it in food: An 85g serving of salmon has 447 IU. One cup of milk has up to 124 IU. One egg has 41 IU (keep in mind the D is in the yolk). Or 15 minutes of sun on your arms and face every second day will also do the trick.

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This is a vegan-friendly vitamin D3, derived from lichen rather than from animal by-products.

R 270

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Or a supp: Food alone won’t be enough for the seriously D-deficient. Look for easy-to-absorb daily D3 cholecalciferol supplements of up to 2 000 IU.

READ MORE: 7 Fat-Melting Supplements You Need To Include In Your Diet

B12

Get 2.4mcg per day. Find it in food: Dairy foods and eggs contain a bit of B12. Fortified soy products or breakfast cereal can give you your full daily value.

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Solgar’s vegan-friendly B12 supp comes in a nugget dosage that dissolves quickly, for optimum absorption.

R 150

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Or a supp: Don’t do meat, dairy or eggs? A good-quality B12 supplement is definitely in order.

Magnesium

Get 320mg per day. Find it in food: A half cup of edamame has 50mg. Half a cup of black beans packs 60mg. One baked potato provides 40mg. “Green leafy vegetables and bananas are also rich in magnesium,” says nutritionist Kristen Beck.

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Sally Ann Creed’s Magnesium Citrate treats insomnia, anxiety, constipation, muscle cramps and headaches.

R 242

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Or a supp: If you skip all wheat, rice and fortified cereals, look for a daily magnesium citrate supplement.

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