Good Nutrition & Weight A Salt Life Cut the Salt Table salt is made up of the elements sodium and Choosing foods low in salt and sodium are chlorine. Your body needs some sodium to work a key to healthy eating. Doctors recommend properly. It helps with the function of nerves and you eat less than 2.4 grams per day. That muscles. It also helps to keep the right balance of equals about 1 teaspoon of table salt a day. fluids in your body. If you eat too much salt then, Reading food labels can help you see how sodium builds up in your blood. This can lead to much sodium is in prepared foods. high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to other health problems. B Vitamins Folic acid is a B vitamin. It helps the body make healthy new cells. Everyone needs folic acid. For women who may get pregnant, it is really important. When a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, it can prevent major birth defects of her baby’s brain or spine. Foods with folic acid in them include leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas and nuts. Enriched breads, cereals and other grain products also contain folic acid. If you don’t get enough folic acid from the foods you eat, you can also take it as a dietary supplement. Supplementing ABC’s of Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other Vitamins substances meant to improve your diet. They can come as pills, Vitamins are substances that your body capsules, powders and liquids. Supplements do not have to go needs to grow and develop normally. through the testing that drugs do. Some supplements can play an There are 13 vitamins your body needs. important role in health. For example, pregnant women can take the They are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and vitamin folic acid to prevent certain birth defects in their babies. the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). You can usually get all your vitamins from taking supplements safely the foods you eat. Your body can also make vitamins D and K. The best • Tell your doctor about any dietary supplements you use. way to get enough vitamins is to eat a • Do not take a bigger dose than the label recommends. balanced diet with a variety of foods. • Stop taking it if you have side effects. In some cases, you may need to take a • Read trustworthy information about the supplement. daily multivitamin for optimal health. However, high doses of some vitamins can make you sick.