KEY VITAMINS FOR THE GROWTH SPURT

KEY VITAMINS FOR THE GROWTH SPURT

B VITAMINS

B vitamins (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, and B-12) are needed for converting food into energy; healthy eyes, skin, muscles, and red blood cells; and having a healthy nervous system. Good sources of B vitamins are leafy green vegetables, milk (1 percent low-fat or skim), legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, eggs, and chicken.

FOLATE

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of routinely eating foods that are rich in folate, since it reduces your heart disease and cancer risks. Folate is a vitamin that has special importance to women of childbearing age. Good sources include dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach and romaine lettuce), fruits (like oranges), dried beans, whole grain breads, and enriched grain products like fortified cereals. (For more sources, see here.)

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Too little folate in pregnancy causes birth defects. So women are advised to take folic acid (the form of folate found in vitamin pills) for a few months in advance of becoming pregnant. Some (not all) doctors recommend that girls who have reached puberty take a daily (complete) multivitamin/multimineral supplement for kids that contains folic acid. Ask your doctor if he or she recommends this for you.

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D and calcium work together in the bone-building process. Our skin makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. But to make sure we get enough vitamin D, it’s added to milk. Fortified breakfast cereals have vitamin D and calcium added. Check out food labels (see here).

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