I’ve been an antioxidant addict for years, ever since I first heard about how these nimble nutrients can bravely fight free radical damage. I’m all in favor of living the best, healthiest life I can! It never occurred to me, though, that you can have too much of a good thing…until I caught a recent episode of my favorite health talk show on TV, which scared me a little. It turns out that if you’re like me and eat a ton of fresh produce and take vitamins and supplements, you really do need to get out your calculator and make sure you’re not overdoing it, because you could increase your odds of developing certain scary health problems if you “megadose,” as the doc calls it.
Here’s some easy math:
Vitamin A: How much do you need? Eat half a cantaloupe or take 2,500-3,500 IU per day. (I had about a quarter of one with salmon for breakfast as part of my new paleo kick!) How much is too much? 10,000 IU.
Vitamin C: How much do you need? You’re fine if you eat half an orange, or supplement with 60-100 MG daily. How much is too much? 2,000 MG.
Vitamin E: How much do you need? ½ cup of almonds (which is actually a lot of almonds!!!) or 20-50 IU per day. How much is too much? 1,500 IU.
The easiest way to avoid antioxidant madness is to go with a multivitamin that doesn’t pile you too high with more nutrients than what your body requires for optimal health. And then check the labels of other supplements you take to make sure you’re not doubling or tripling your recommended intake. Having tried a bunch of different brands and studied the labels on dozens of bottles, I have to say I really like the Vitacost Synergy product because it has exactly the right levels of what you need.
How do you get your antioxidants? Tweet me at @AnitasJourney!