Vitamins are one of the essential nutrients in the body. From bolstering the immune system to ensuring proper bone health, healing wounds, converting food into energy, and cellular damage repair, vitamins play hundreds of roles in the human body. As you may already know, there’s a wide range of vitamins, each of them with a specific set of functions that keep your body functioning properly. This means that without an adequate supply of vitamins from your diet, your health can suffer in various ways. In this piece, we’ll take a look at some of the vitamins your body needs to stay healthy.
Multivitamin and Supplements
To begin with, many people suffer from vitamin deficiencies due to poor nutritional choices. Multivitamins supplements come equipped with a range of vitamins that your body needs for healthy functioning. If you visit this site, you will realize that supplements from individual vitamins are also available. When looking to support your health with vitamins and supplements, it is important to go for formulations that do not contain sweeteners, artificial flavors, colors, binders, and preservatives. Supplements come in to bridge the gap that is left by our regular diets. In your search for a good nutritional support product, some vitamins to watch out for may include the following:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A includes retinol, retinyl acids, and retinoic acid. It plays a wide range of roles in the body. For instance, vitamin A promotes healthy cell growth and reproduction. During pregnancy, vitamin A regulates and ensures the normal growth and development of the embryo. Later on, in pregnancy, it takes part in the development of the skeleton, lungs, eyes, and kidney. An adequate amount is paramount for reproductive and baby development.
In men, vitamin A has also been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer. A chemical made from vitamin A which is found in our diet from carrots, green vegetables, and liver, can back-pedal specific genes inside prostate cancer stem cells, diminishing the possibility of cancer to storm the surrounding tissue. It also promotes the healthy growth of nails, hair, bones, teeth, and gums. Vitamin A can be found in foods spinach, sweet potato, herring, carrots, salmon, eggs, and tuna.
2. Vitamin D
Popularly known as the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is generated in your skin in response to sunlight. The major function of Vitamin D is regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus while ensuring the normal functioning of the immune system. Other functions of the D vitamin include:
- Fighting diseases – It reduces your risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and heart disease. It also minimizes your risk of getting a flu infection.
- It reduces depression–sunshine brings smiles in faces hence regulating mood and warding off depression.
- It can help to enhance weight loss
Vitamin D can also be found in foods such as fortified milk, soymilk, butter, egg yolks, fatty fish, and fish-liver oil. However, many people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies because it is much harder for the body to absorb the vitamin from food. This is where vitamin D supplements come in.
3. Vitamin E
In the body, vitamin E serves as an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals – the unstable molecules that can harm the cells. It also supports the immune system function and helps protect eyesight. Some common food sources of this fat-soluble vitamin include corn, vegetable oils, whole grains, nuts, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, and margarine.
Additionally, vitamin E is also used in supplement form to help promote healthy skin and appearance. This is why it is used in spot treatment products and facial treatment masks used to:
- Treat hyperpigmentation
- Intercept aging and wrinkles on the face
- Treat acne
- Smoothen and softens chapped lips
4. Vitamin K
Available in various forms like K1, K2, and K3, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that performs several functions in the body. For instance, it helps in the production of prothrombin, a protein that takes part in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and heart fitness. That is primarily the function of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) in the body. Vitamin K2 reduces the risk of developing peripheral arterial disease for people with high blood pressure. Overall, vitamin K also helps in the transportation of calcium to the bones for vitamin D to help with absorption. It also assists in preventing the buildup of calcium in the arteries. Additionally, this fat-soluble vitamin helps to make bones stronger and harder, thus minimizing the risk of fractures.
Some common sources of vitamin K in food include cabbage, liver, broccoli, sprouts, kale, collards, and most leafy greens. Vitamin K2 can also be found in cheese, chicken, pork, egg yolk, and natto.
5. Vitamin C
Commonly known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body in various ways. For instance, it helps protect the cells from free radical damage. Common food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, melons, broccoli, and potatoes.
Apart from cellular protection, other health benefits of vitamin C include:
- Help prevent gout attack – Gout is propelled by too much uric acid in the blood, which when in excess, crystallize and deposit in the joints, causing inflammation.
- Helps prevent iron deficiency by the absorption of iron from the diet
- Boost immunity by encouraging the production of white blood cells and strengthens the skin barrier.
- Being a strong antioxidant, it boosts mental performance, thinking, and memory
6. Vitamin B1
- Prevents complications in the nervous system, brain, muscles, and stomach
- Maintains healthy metabolism
- Crucial for nerve function
Food sources of vitamin B1 include pork chops, brown rice, watermelons, soymilk, cereals, grains, legumes, and seed. Most nutritious foods have a thiamine component in it.
7. Vitamin B3
It is also known as niacin or nicotinic acid. Vitamin B3 is used to treat respiratory disorders. It supports blood circulation and helps with memory. Further health benefits include:
- Regulates digestion – It breakdown fats, alcohol, and carbohydrates
- Improves skin tone and prevents it from sun damage and anti-aging
- Prevents the onset of heart attack by managing cholesterol levels
- Reduces the symptoms of arthritis by improving joint mobility and reducing inflammation in arthritis
Some of its food sources include meat, fish, poultry, peanut butter, mushrooms, and whole grains. It is also known as Thiamine. Vitamin B1 enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. Thiamine is needed by the body to make a molecule known as Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is needed for the transportation of energy within the cells. The water-soluble vitamin plays a wide range of other functions in the body, including the following:
- Help in preventing heart diseases, nerve disorders, and digestive system issues
As you can see from this brief piece, vitamins are so vital to human health. In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are so many other types of vitamins. Getting an adequate supply of these essential nutrients is paramount if you want to stay in good health.