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Help your family’s health while giving back this holiday season

(BPT) – The holidays are full of stressful tasks such as event planning, gift buying and last minute errands. But when you get to see your family, all of the business seems worth it.

As the caretaker of the household, you often take this time to check in with your loved ones. Are they getting enough sleep? Are they too stressed? Are they getting the nutrients and supplements they need? You know vitamins are an easy preventative measure to fill the gaps in your nutrition, and vitamins can make a big difference over time, both for your family’s well-being and the health of those around the world. When you purchase vitamins at Walgreens, a donation will be made to Vitamin Angels, a non-profit that provides vitamins to undernourished families near and far.

Here’s a breakdown by age of crucial vitamins to talk with each member of your family during this holiday season:

Children (5 to 13). If your child is a picky eater or has a poor appetite, one of the easiest ways to ensure he or she is getting important nutrients is with a multivitamin. While not a substitute for whole foods, multivitamins can help fill nutritional gaps in your children’s diets. Look for a multivitamin that contains calcium and vitamin D, which are essential nutrients for strong bones. Vitamin D also helps the immune system work properly.

Teens (14 to 19). Growing teenagers require all the necessary vitamins each day, but some are more important than others. 

Vitamin D: Even after the major growth spurts are over, your teenager’s bones are still rapidly developing. Vitamin D helps bones and teeth take in calcium, to ensure they’re sturdy and able. Vitamin D is also essential for cell growth. Boys and girls ages 14 to 19 need an average of 15 micrograms of Vitamin D per day.

Vitamin B12 and B6: These B vitamins make red blood cells and hemoglobin, which transport oxygen throughout the body. B12 and B6 are also vital in maintaining energy levels and metabolizing carbs, fat and protein to keep your teenager functioning all day.

Young adults (20 to 30). If you have kids coming home from college or their young professional lives, take time to make sure they’re getting the nutrition they need.

Calcium: This is a time to focus on bone health to maintain bone mass. Adults ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. If you suspect your young adult isn’t getting enough in his or her diet, consider adding a supplement from Walgreens into their holiday gifts this year. When you purchase vitamins and supplements at Walgreens, Walgreens donates a portion of it sales to Vitamin Angels.

Folic Acid: Folic acid is especially important for young adult women who are thinking about becoming pregnant. Taking a folic acid supplement before and during pregnancy can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. The daily recommendation for folic acid is 400 micrograms.

Middle age (30 to 50). While you’re busy taking care of everyone else in your family, don’t forget to think about yourself and your spouse.

Fish oil: The healthy fats found in seafood can offer a range of health benefits. For those that don’t eat an adequate amount of seafood regularly in their diets, a fish oil supplement can provide a source of these healthy fats.

Boomer generation (50-plus). Help educate your grandparents or great grandparents on which vitamins are vital to their health.

Multivitamin: Men and women over 50 can benefit from a multivitamin to help meet their dietary needs if they follow a restrictive diet, suffer from loss of appetite, or take medications which interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

Vitamin B12: Older adults may need to take B12 supplements due to changes in digestion that affect the ability to absorb the vitamin from food.

Vitamin D:  As we age, changes in the skin can reduce the ability to make the vitamin in response to sunlight. If your diet is also low in foods that contain this vitamin, you may need to take a vitamin D supplement.

For more information on vitamins through Walgreens and Vitamin Angels, visit walgreens.com/vitaminangels.

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