The teenage years are an important stage of life when the body goes through numerous physical and mental changes. To provide what the body needs during this time, teens should eat healthy foods that contain specific vitamins and minerals. The time of life when tremendous change occurs, both physically and mentally, is around the age of 12 to 13 for boys and 10 to 11 for girls. Apart from eating foods that contain certain nutrients, taking the right amount of vitamins is also an important consideration.
The importance you give to taking vitamins should be similar to the importance you place on being actively involved in sports that you like and maintaining a proper diet. Vitamins and minerals can offer growing teens a number of benefits essential to healthy living. The good thing is that you can take a vitamin supplement anytime and anywhere. However, before you take any supplement, make sure it is safe for use by people your age and created specifically for teens. To be on the safe side, check with your physician before taking anything.
Healthy Vitamin Supplements for Teenagers
The importance of supplementation for teenagers cannot be stressed enough. According to the American Dietetic Association, adolescents who take vitamin and mineral supplements are healthier than those who don’t.
Vitamins and minerals you may need include:
- Vitamin B12 and folic acid for tissue development
- Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 enhance mood and wellness
- Vitamins B6 and D for bone and tissue growth
- Vitamins A, C and E for newly developed cells
- Calcium, magnesium and zinc to aid development of strong bones
One of the most important vitamins you need is vitamin C. It can help boost your immune system, which protects your body against attacks from viruses and wards off common illnesses.
Possible Dangers of Supplementation
Although taking vitamins and minerals is important, don’t take everything that comes your way or everything that is endorsed by a celebrity on television or the Internet. In fact, some vitamin supplements can lead to bad health. Be extremely careful with vitamins for weight loss because they may interact with other medications you are taking. If you are taking medication for a co-morbid condition, you should secure parental consent and your doctor’s advice. Remember that advertisers for weight loss and diet products target teenagers, as this age group is known to be overly conscious of their body image. When considering buying a certain product for weight loss and diet, make it a point to consult your physician before making a decision.
Risks Associated With Protein Supplements
Are protein supplements safe for teens like you? In short, you’re better off getting protein from your regular diet. While some teens take protein supplements in an effort to bulk up, it’s not necessary. In fact, there is no evidence that protein supplements have a significant effect on growing muscle. Teens should simply eat healthy, well-rounded diets that supply adequate protein levels.
Possible Vitamin Interactions With Medications
For safety purposes, teenagers should take a vitamin supplement only if their physician has given them permission to do so. If not, it is possible that a supplement can interact with stronger medications teens are currently taking. Just make sure to ask your doctor before adding specific vitamins into your diet.