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When choosing a supplement it is important to consider your age individual lifestyle and dietary habits With some basic knowledge about vitamins and minerals you can develop your own nutritional profile which will help you assess your needs In developing your profile ask yourself these questions How well do I eat Do l select foods high in vitamins and minerals Do I eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day Am I dieting or watching my calorie and fat intake Do I smoke Am I over 50 years old Am I taking medications on a regular basis Am I pregnant or trying to become pregnant Are there other health circumstances that may affect my nutrient needs To start you may want to select a multivitamin and mineral supplement If youre a woman of childbearing age be sure your multivitamin includes folic acid to reduce the risk of having a baby with a neural tube birth defect Women also need extra calcium and iron since these nutrients often fall short in the diet You may also want to include a daily antioxidant supplement containing vitamins C and E and beta carotene which are marketed individually as well as in combined formulas
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