As we all know, the recommended nutritional guidelines are always changing. For example, there was a time when eggs were considered bad. But now, the guidelines say it is okay to eat eggs again. As such, keeping up with what is healthy and what is not these days can be quite a challenge, especially when it comes to what vitamins we should be taking.
Essential Vitamins Our Bodies Need To Live
The vitamins that our bodies rely on to function can be classified into two types: fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins. Bear in mind that in order for our bodies to run smoothly, we need these two types of vitamins.
Fat soluble vitamins, as the name suggests, require body fat in order to be properly absorbed and used by our organs. And because this type of vitamins require fat, we need to consume a diet consisting of healthy fats. A diet absent of healthy fats may cause a deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins which may lead to malnutrition and disease. Additionally,excessive levels of fat soluble vitamins can be toxic as they are stored in fatty tissues. Vitamins A, E, D and K are all fat soluble vitamins.
Unlike fat soluble vitamins, water soluble vitamins cannot be stored in our tissues. Instead, they are found in the food we eat and are excreted in the urine once our bodies have used them. And because water soluble vitamins cannot be stored in our bodies, we need to replenish the supply by eating food or taking supplements. Some examples of water soluble vitamins are folate, Vitamin C and the Vitamin B-complex group.
Why We Should Be Taking Supplements
With many individuals lacking basic nutrition from food, experts agree that a supplement regimen can be beneficial for our health and well-being. Furthermore, it is unlikely to get all of our vitamins from food because of the state of our farmland soil. The soil that our foods are grown in are almost depleted with vitamins and trace minerals. Aside from that, they have to be transported from thousands of miles away so that by the time the fruits and vegetables reach our dinner table, the vital nutrients will have been dissipated.
Below are some of the crucial vitamins we need to be taking everyday and why our body needs them, where to get them and the proper dose.
6) Vitamin A
Vitamin A boosts our immune systems, lowers risk for heart diseases, improves eyesight and slows down skin aging. It can be potentially toxic in large doses though so make sure that you get the right amount. You can get vitamin A from beta-carotene sources like carrots and cantaloupes. The recommended daily dosage is 2,300 international units.
5) B Vitamins
The 8 B vitamins namely, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, B12 and Folic acid aid in maintaining a sharp mind, healthy metabolism and good muscle tone. Folic acid is especially important for women as it helps keep red blood cells healthy and also protects against birth defects and cancer. You can get your daily dose of B vitamins from most fortified breakfast cereals. Other options include beans, asparagus and whole-grain breads. The recommended daily dosage is 400 micrograms. However, pregnant women are advised to take at least 600 micrograms a day.
4) Vitamin C
Although it is reputed to fight colds, vitamin C has never been proven to prevent or cure the common cold. This antioxidant however helps in boosting your immune system as well as preventing heart disease. Aside from that, vitamin C lowers the risk of prenatal problems and eye illnesses. It also wards off wrinkles and helps wounds heal faster. You can get vitamin C from foods like citrus fruits like orange and veggies like bell pepper and broccoli. The recommended daily dosage is 75 milligrams.
3) Vitamin D
Considered as a wonder drug by doctors, vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent. Doctors also believe that vitamin D protects against diabetes and ovarian cancer. You can get small amounts of vitamin D from milk, orange juice and salmon but it is not nowhere near enough the recommended daily dosage of 1,000 to 2,000 IU everyday so it is advised by doctors to take a supplement to meet our daily vitamin D needs.
People, especially women, start to lose bone density in their twenties. This why we should be taking calcium as it is the single best defense against bone density loss. It also nourishes your nervous system as well as build strong teeth. You can get calcium from milk, yogurt and cheese but the amount is not ideal so it is suggested that we take calcium supplements to meet our body’s daily needs which is about 1,000 mg.
Too little iron in your body can cause anemia (too little red blood cells) and a depleted immune system. Iron is especially important to women who have heavy periods. If you don’t enough iron-rich foods like red meat and cereals, it is best to take a supplement. Just make sure that you talk to your doctor first as too much iron can also be harmful to our bodies.