TEENS AND PRE-TEENS
Children typically need 1300mg a day but only 12% of teenage girls get enough calcium in their diets. Make sure their diet is rich in cheese, milk, yogurt, tofu and beans.
Girls need 15mg daily as they lose iron through their periods; boys need 11mg. To help absorption, pair iron-rich foods like red meat, eggs, poultry, fish and beans with foods rich in Vitamin C, such as broccoli, tomatoes, mango, oranges and capsicum. Always consult your doctor before giving children iron pills – high doses can be toxic.
Folic acid is said to help prevent birth defects so pregnant women and those trying to conceive should take 400mcg daily. Folic acid is also thought to protect against some cancers and heart disease, so other healthy adults should take a slightly lower supplement. Everyone should try and eat lots of beans, dark green veggies and lentils.
Studies suggest that Vitamin D can reduce the risk of several cancers. Your body produces Vitamin D from sunshine, so slap on the sunscreen and get outdoors.
B vitamins are great for a healthy immune system and a sharper memory. Many older adults aren’t getting their daily 2.4mcg of B12, found in meat, poultry, milk, liver and fish. Vegetarians may need a supplement.
Calcium + Vitamin D
To prevent osteoporosis, aim for 1200mg of calcium daily, coupled with up to 1000mg of vitamin D for absorption.