Vitamin D. We need this nutrient to help support normal immune and muscle function, but it can be tricky for most of us to get enough of it through food alone—in fact, 97% of teenage girls and 92% of teenage boys are falling short. On top of that, sunlight isn’t always a reliable source either, which is why supplementing might be the way to go.* (4)
Magnesium. Magnesium is essential for supporting bone and heart health, and works alongside Vitamin D to help support normal muscle function. But while it’s found in certain foods (leafy greens, avocados, dark chocolate), we need a lot of it to meet our daily levels—and many teens simply aren’t getting enough. 78% of teenage boys and 89% of teenage girls are not getting enough magnesium from their diets.* (4)
Vitamin E. This antioxidant also helps support normal immune function—something we can all get behind. But teens are falling behind on this one, too: 95% of teenage girls and 88% of teenage boys, to be exact.* (4)
Omega-3 fatty acids. Less than 5% of all teens are getting their fill of key omega-3s†—a big no-no, since these healthy fats are kind of a big deal when it comes to helping support heart and brain health.* (4)
†Key Omega-3s = DHA+EPA. There is no established Daily Value but experts suggest 250 mg per day of DHA+EPA.
→ Level Up: Make no mistake—when it comes to meeting daily nutrient needs, food comes first. But even if we’re ticking all those boxes when it comes to eating a nutritious, balanced diet, some of us can still be vulnerable to gaps—due to factors like genetics, dietary restrictions, and more. Either way, a quality multivitamin can help bridge some of those common nutrient gaps. Pro tip: Choose one that’s formulated with teens’ specific nutrient needs in mind, like Essential for Teens (Hers) and Essential for Teens (His).*
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015.
- Reedy J, Krebs-Smith SM. Dietary sources of energy, solid fats, and added sugars among children and adolescents in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(10):1477-1484.
- Horst, K. V. (2012). Overcoming picky eating.... Appetite, 58(2), 567-574. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2011.12.019
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service. Usual Nutrient Intake from Food and Beverages, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2013-2016. 2019.