The Essential Vitamins You're Likely Missing, According To An MD

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
Variety of Vitamins and Supplements

Image by Tatjana Zlatkovic / Stocksy

While it's always tough to maintain a "perfect" diet, it's especially been a struggle the past few weeks. With the world around us constantly changing, it can be hard to make sure we're always eating the right thing. We consulted integrative physician Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., for her tips on what vitamins are essential during this time and some of the best ways to optimize their levels. Gandhi notes that deficiencies in these key nutrients can lead to decreased immune function, so here's what you need to know.

Calcium

According to Gandhi, "Calcium is essential for bone turnover." Bone growth is essential to our body's ability to function and helps to support our overall well-being. Deficiencies can be common in females who are menstruating, pregnant, or breastfeeding. Gandhi suggests consumption of broccoli and salmon as natural ways to get your calcium intake up.

For an additional boost, try Vitafusion's Calcium Gummies.

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Magnesium

"Magnesium is essential for a majority of biochemical processes in the bio," says Gandhi. "Symptoms of deficiency include anxiety, muscle aches, sleep issues, cramping, and more." She suggests snacking on foods like nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate as an easy way to increase the body's amount.

For an additional boost, try Nature Made's Magnesium Citrate

Vitamin D3

Gandhi warns that a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to much larger issues. "There are studies that deficiency is linked to depression, heart disease, decreased immune system, and more." Symptoms can consist of fatigue and exhaustion, so it's important to listen to your body and take note of what feels off. For a natural way to increase levels, getting sun can make a big difference. In terms of food, eggs, fish, and mushrooms can all help.

For an additional boost, try Garden of Life's Vitamin Code Raw D3.

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B Complex

Vitamin B complex has a direct effect on a person's energy levels and brain function. According to Gandhi, "It's a vitamin essential for numerous metabolic biochemical processes in the body." She says deficiencies are common in those who eat mostly plant-based or anyone who has methylation issues. Leafy greens, nuts, and beans are all foods high in vitamin B.

For an additional boost, try The Vitamin Shoppe's Bioactive B-Complex Capsules

Vitamin C

"Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant great for immune function in the body," says Gandhi, "along with helping collagen production, skin repair, and more." She recommends veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts to help increase levels. For fruits, she suggests kiwi, papayas, and oranges.

For an additional boost, try Country Life's Vitamin C Crystals. 

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The bottom line.

Gandhi was quick to note that "supplements are exactly that, supplements—meaning they are additional." The first way to obtain any nutrients is through food. Most importantly, she emphasizes that it's important to talk to your doctor before starting any kind of supplementation. For more ways to stay healthy during quarantine, check out our tips.

And are you ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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