The Importance of Vitamins and Supplements In A Healthy Lifestyle

‍Did you know that there are over 50 different vitamins and minerals needed to maintain good health? Most of us probably don’t. It’s no secret that the majority of people living in western societies lead a very busy and stressful life – especially for those who work long hours or have families to care for. The pressures of everyday life can take its toll on our bodies and minds, and eating a healthy diet may not always be possible in the fast-paced world we live in. Therefore, it is essential to have an understanding of the importance vitamins and supplements can play in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The Importance of Vitamins and Supplements In A Healthy Lifestyle

What Are Vitamins?

We often hear the word Vitamin being used in every day language. However, many of us may not fully understand what vitamins are and how they affect our health. Vitamins are essential micronutrients that play an essential role in the growth and development of our bodies. They cannot be produced by our bodies and must be obtained from our diets. Vitamins can be categorized into two types: – Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are stored in our bodies for a longer period of time and are found in animal fats like eggs, meat and fish. These vitamins are easily stored in our bodies and only in higher doses do we require more of these vitamins. – Water soluble vitamins (B vitamins and C) on the other hand are not stored in the body for a long time and are excreted. Therefore, we must have a regular intake of these vitamins in our diets.

Why Are Vitamins Important?

As previously mentioned, vitamins are essential in maintaining good health. A healthy and balanced diet is the best way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. However, it is not always possible to get everything you need from one meal. The stresses of life can often get in the way of eating a healthy and nutritious diet. Therefore, vitamins and supplements can be a great way to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need. Some vitamins and minerals can also play a role in maintaining a healthy weight. By eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of vitamins and healthy nutrients, you can reduce your chances of developing certain chronic diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, certain cancers and depression. Vitamins also have a role in boosting your immune system, which can be extremely beneficial when fighting off cold and flu bugs.

Which Vitamins Are The Most Important?

As we’ve previously outlined, all the different vitamins and minerals are essential for good health. However, there are a few that are often overlooked in our diets and should be taken as a supplement to ensure you are getting all you need. Vitamin A is needed to maintain healthy skin and is often found in fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach. Vitamin A is important for eye health and can reduce your chances of developing certain eye diseases like macular degeneration. Vitamin B is needed for the proper functioning of the nervous system and to aid the production of red blood cells. B vitamins are found in a variety of foods like fish, eggs, whole-grain cereals and milk. Vitamin B is also very important for pregnant women as it aids their baby’s development. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, kiwis and strawberries and is necessary for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C can also help to prevent colds and can boost the effectiveness of vaccinations.  It is important for bone health and is also known to lower your risk of developing certain cancers.

Which Vitamins Should You Stay Away From?

There are a few vitamins that you should avoid taking as a supplement due to the potential side effects they can have on your health. Vitamin A is known to be stored in the liver and can cause damage to the organ if taken in excess. Vitamin E can cause potential harm to your heart if taken in high doses. Vitamin B6 and B12 can cause nerve damage if taken in high doses. Folic acid can mask the early signs of anaemia and should only be taken if you are pregnant or planning to conceive.

How To Get The Most Out of Your Vitamin Supplement

When purchasing a vitamin supplement, always ensure you read the label and look for the words “100% vitamin”. Avoid any that include minerals, additives or sweeteners as these can reduce the effectiveness of the vitamins. Always take a daily multi-vitamin and ensure that you take it with a meal to aid in absorption. A multi-vitamin is a safe way to get all the vitamins you need on a daily basis. However, it is always recommended to eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Vitamins and supplements can be an easy way to increase your intake of essential nutrients. However, it is important to understand what each vitamin does and how they can benefit your health. Choosing the right multivitamin can be the first step in improving your diet.

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