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Home/Blog/What Vitamins Should I Take Daily?

What Vitamins Should I Take Daily?

By Rachel Link, RD, MS

October 8, 2023

What vitamins should I take daily?

Eating a near-perfect diet isn’t easy to do — plus, many healthy foods, such as fruits and veggies, that are grown conventionally (non-organically) often lack nutrients we’d expect them to have. 

Supplements, or what we often call “vitamins,” are one way we can help meet our needs for vitamins and minerals. So what kinds of vitamins should you take daily? This depends on factors such as your age, gender, activity level and diet. 

While supplement routines should be individually tailored to our specific health goals, some vitamins that are commonly recommended for adults include vitamins C, D, B12 and others.

Of course, you should always consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including taking dietary supplements. Likewise, if you are pregnant, nursing, allergic, have a medical condition or are taking any medications, consult a doctor first. 

Reason No. 1 to Take Daily Vitamins: Missing Certain Nutrients in Your Diet

Is it really worth taking vitamins every day? If you know or suspect that you’re lacking certain nutrients in your diet, then yes, it most likely is. 

In general, a balanced and nutritious diet can provide most or all of the vitamins and minerals we need to maintain good health. However, in certain cases, such as if someone eats a restrictive or limited diet, then supplements may be very beneficial. Certain vitamins and minerals may also be supportive for the general population because they play beneficial roles in functions, such as supporting a healthy immune system and promoting overall metabolic health.

To understand how much of each vitamin and mineral to take, we refer to Recommended Daily Allowances (or RDAs). RDAs are guidelines that specify the average daily intakes of essential nutrients that are required to meet the nutritional needs of people of different ages and genders.

RDAs are set by health organizations, such as the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board. Suppose we meet our RDAs for vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (such as protein, carbohydrates and fat) with help from our diets and supplements. In that case, we can be confident we’re covering our nutritional bases.

What Vitamins Should I Take Daily?

For the most benefits, you’ll want to tailor your supplement routine to any health goals you have, as well as your age and gender. Below, we're covering both vitamins and minerals that most adult men and women should consume daily, ideally from a combination of healthy food sources and supplements.

1. Vitamin D

What are the top three most important vitamins to take if you only get to choose several? Most experts would agree that vitamin D tops the list, considering it’s a common deficiency. We get most of our vitamin D from sunlight exposure; however, many adults (and children) don’t spend enough time outdoors to absorb enough.

You can either take vitamin D as part of your multivitamin or take it individually. However, it’s best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains some fat, since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin.

Benefits: 

  • Supports healthy immune system function

  • Supports bone health

  • Supports cardiovascular function

Foods with vitamin D: 

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel

  • Beef liver

  • Egg yolks

  • Fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereal

  • Cheese

  • Mushrooms exposed to UV light

 Recommended Daily Intake:

  • Adults (19-70 years): 600-700 IU/day

  • Adults over 70 years: 800-1000 IU/day

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that’s generally involved in a variety of biological processes, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, normal blood glucose control, and normal blood pressure regulation. Many people run low in this mineral; therefore, seeking out more is often a wise idea for most adults.

Magnesium can be taken alone, either in powder or capsule form, and is also found in multivitamins, such as our Ancient Multis for Men and Women’s Fermented Multivitamin.

Ancient Nutrition's magnesium supplement benefits include:

  • Supports a positive outlook and calmness

  • Supports cardiovascular and bone health

  • Supports healthy immune system function

Foods with magnesium:

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach

  • Avocado

  • Coffee

  • Nuts and seeds, such as almonds

  • Whole grains

  • Dairy products

  • Dark chocolate

Recommended Daily Intake: 

  • Adult men (ages 19-30): 400 mg/day

  • Adult women (ages 19-30): 310 mg/day

  • Adult men (31 and older): 420 mg/day

  • Adult women (31 and older): 320 mg/day

  • Pregnant women: 350-360 mg/day

  • Breastfeeding women: 310-320 mg/day

3. Iron

Because iron helps to support healthy blood and circulation, it’s one of the best vitamins for women, especially premenopausal women who lose blood each month due to their menstrual cycles. Iron functions to support hemoglobin formation and the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

It’s also involved in immune system functions and the production of white blood cells, as well as energy metabolism. You’ll find 100 percent of your daily needs for iron in our Ancient Multis for Women and Ancient Multis for Men.

Benefits:

  • Supports healthy fertility

  • Supports prenatal and postpartum health

  • Supports cognitive health

  • Supports restful sleep

  • Reduces fatigue

  • Supports cardiovascular and blood health

  • Supports cognitive health

Foods with iron:

  • Meat such as grass-fed beef and lamb

  • Organ meats such as liver

  • Poultry

  • Fish

  • Legumes and beans

  • Leafy greens

  • Fortified cereals

Recommended Daily Intake: 

  • Adult men (19 and older): 8 mg/day

  • Adult women (19-50 years): 18 mg/day

  • Adult women (51 and older): 8 mg/day

  • Pregnant women: 27 mg/day

  • Breastfeeding women: 9 mg/day

4. Vitamin C

Considering it has antioxidant effects and supports immune defenses, vitamin C is among the best supplements for men as well as women. It also helps the body produce its own collagen, a structural protein that forms connective tissues found in our skin, joints, hair, nails and more.

Benefits:

  • Supports healthy immune function

  • Supports healthy immune defense

  • Supports healthy gut-related immunity

  • Supports healthy antioxidant activity

  • Promotes proper digestion and nutrient absorption

  • Supports healthy neuron function

Foods with vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit

  • Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale

  • Berries

  • Kiwi

  • Bell peppers

  • Mango

  • Pineapple

  • Broccoli

Recommended Daily Intake:

  • Adult men: 90 mg/day

  • Adult women: 75 mg/day

  • During pregnancy and lactation: 85 mg to 120 mg/day  

5. Vitamin B12

There’s a reason why vitamin B12 is considered one of the best vitamins for energy: It helps support healthy blood production and circulation. Additionally, it’s one of the best supplements for vegetarians because it’s found mostly in animal-derived foods; therefore, people who follow plant-based diets may be lacking this nutrient.

Benefits:

  • Supports cognitive and neurological health

  • Supports restful sleep

  • Supports cardiovascular and eye health

  • Supports cellular energy production

  • Boosts physical performance

  • Supports healthy recovery from exercise

  • Supports healthy muscle integrity and preservation

Foods with vitamin B12: 

  • Grass-fed beef

  • Organ meats

  • Poultry

  • Fish such as tuna and salmon

  • Eggs

  • Dairy products

  • Nutritional yeast

Recommended Daily Intake: 

  • For adult men and women: 2.4 mcg/day

  • For pregnant and breastfeeding women: 2.8 mcg/day

6. Zinc

Zinc is one of the best supplements for skin health, as well as for supporting a healthy immune system. Zinc is typically taken in capsule form, either on its own or in multivitamins, such as our Men’s Fermented Multis and Women’s Fermented Multivitamin.

Overall multi (Including zinc) benefits:

  • Supports healthy immune function

  • Supports healthy immune defense

  • Supports healthy gut-related immunity

  • Promotes proper digestion and nutrient absorption

  • Supports healthy digestion

Foods with zinc:

  • Organ meats such as liver

  • Grass-fed beef and lamb

  • Poultry

  • Beans

  • Nuts

  • Whole grains

  • Dairy products

Recommended Daily Intake: 

  • Adult men: 11 mg/day

  • Adult women: 8 mg/day

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 11 mg to 12 mg/day

3 supplement bottles on a teal background

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Common Vitamin Questions 

Will a multivitamin adequately cover my essential needs for vitamins and minerals?

Each product contains a different quantity of nutrients; therefore, you always want to read the label carefully to understand how much of a vitamin and mineral you’re consuming. Along with many multivitamin benefits, many multis will contain 100 percent of your daily needs for most essential nutrients.

Can I take all of my vitamins together?

When you take a multivitamin, you’ll be taking all of the vitamins and minerals in the multi together. This is still beneficial; however, it can be even more helpful to separate certain nutrients if possible, especially if you take them in higher dosages. To maximize absorption, try taking multis in divided doses, such as 2 to 3 times per day. Note: Always read and follow label directions for use. 

It also generally helps to take iron and vitamin C together, and calcium and vitamin D together. These combinations support the other’s overall absorption.

What vitamins should I not take together?

In general, some vitamins and minerals may have interactions when taken together. This means you might want to take them separately. This way they don’t compete or interfere with each other’s effects. Nutrients to typically NOT take together (or at the same time, anyway) include: 

  • Magnesium and calcium

  • Vitamin C and B12

  • Vitamin D and vitamin K2 (in high doses)

  • Copper and zinc

  • Other minerals in high doses

What time of day is best to take vitamins?

The best time to take vitamins depends on the specific kind. The morning is typically best for multivitamins (with a meal) and any B vitamins. Nighttime is typically recommended for magnesium.

Other types are flexible in terms of timing; however, pay attention to whether they require food or not to be absorbed. “Water-soluble” types can be taken at most times, while “fat-soluble” types should be taken with a meal that contains some fat.

Should I take vitamins with food?

Fat-soluble vitamins should be taken with food. These include vitamins D, E, A and K. 

Other water-soluble types, such as vitamin C and B vitamins, can be taken either with or without food. Most minerals can be taken either with or without food. If you’re taking a multivitamin, take it with a meal to support absorption. Be sure to read and follow all label directions for use, though. 

As I get older, should I take more vitamins? 

Once you reach your 70s, you may benefit from higher dosages of some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D and calcium for example. Refer to each individual nutrient’s RDA to understand how much to take depending on your age.

What other supplements are highly recommended? 

Other supplements, aside from vitamins and minerals, that are often recommended include: collagen protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics/prebiotics. Collagen is among the most helpful for your joint, skin, hair, and nails, while omega-3 fats support a healthy response to inflammation. Probiotics support overall gut health, digestion, and healthy immune system functions.

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