We all get those days when we feel run down, lethargic, and just not ourselves. Maybe we get them more often than we’d like. Perhaps you feel like you’re prone to colds and flu, or that you are generally tired a lot of the time when you shouldn’t be. Chances are, you lack one or more of your essential vitamins or minerals from your diet.
It’s very easily done! You might find that you’re short on time, so you get something quick to eat on the go, or it’s been a long hard day and getting yourself a tasty takeout is just the pick-me-up you need to make you feel human again. It all adds up; a few days of not getting your vitamins and minerals can leave you feeling under the weather.
What Exactly Are Vitamins?
We have all heard of vitamins, but do we know what they are? We probably all know that we get them from food, and getting all of our vitamins usually means eating a lot of fruit and vegetables. Vitamins and minerals are organic compounds that the body needs to help it work. They are only required in small quantities. Our bodies can produce some vitamins; however, most we cannot make and must find from our food.
With a healthy and balanced diet, you can obtain all of your vitamins, however, supplements are available with some mixtures designed for focusing on specific aspects that you may need, such bone care while others may be individual vitamins or multivitamins, providing you with the full spectrum, helping you achieve your recommended daily doses.
It is always advisable to look into the maximum your body can take in of a vitamin, as for some too much might have adverse effects.
There are several reasons that we need vitamin C; they keep your cells, skin, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels healthy.
Vitamin C can be found in oranges, blackcurrants, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes. A lot of products may be fortified with vitamin C. Be aware that cooking fruit and vegetables with vitamin C in them, might kill the vitamin.
If you want to help your skin, you might want to look at these vitamin C serum reviews. We need around 40mg of vitamin C every day. Our body cannot store any excess; so it is something we need to consume daily.
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphate in the body, and as such, is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Deficiencies may cause bone issues and rickets.
Our bodies can create vitamin D with enough exposure to sunlight; if you’re not lucky enough to live in a country with abundant, all year round sun; then you will need to supplement this through your diet. It isn’t so easy to find vitamin D in many things; the best sources are mushrooms or oily fish, red meat, liver, or eggs. Again, vitamin D is often used to fortify food products. We need around 10 micrograms per day.
Vitamin E is excellent for building up the immune system. This will help when it comes to fighting all of the germs that cause us to get infections. It is also essential for maintaining healthy skin and eyes.
We can find vitamin E through nuts and seeds, wheat and cereal and plant oils. Our bodies can naturally store any excess of vitamin E that we take in through our diets. It is relatively easy to obtain enough of this to stay healthy as we only require 3-4 mg per day.
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you need to pay particular attention to this vitamin as it is generally found in animal products such as meat, fish, and dairy. B12 helps to produce red blood cells, and a deficiency can cause anemia. For non-meat eaters, the best sources are either through taking supplements or by using products that are fortified with B12 such as yeast spreads or nutritional yeast; a powdery substance which can be used in cooking or sprinkled on meals. The daily requirement is 1.5 micrograms.
B6 helps your body get the energy of the protein and carbohydrates that you consume. It is also used for producing hemoglobin; which is found in red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body.
It is very easy to find vitamin B6 in your diet. You can get this in cereals, rice, eggs, vegetables, fish, bread, pork, poultry, potatoes, milk, and peanuts. We need around 1.4 mg per day.
Calcium is vital for our teeth and bones. It also helps our blood clot and regulations muscle contractions. It can cause rickets and osteoporosis. It can be obtained through milk and dairy, soya, bread, bony fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and tofu. We need about 700 mg a day.
Another vitamin that helps blood clotting is vitamin K and again is essential for healthy bones. It is found in leafy green vegetables, meat, and dairy. We require 1 microgram per kilogram of our body weight and can store any excess vitamin K for future use.
Iron benefits us in many ways. It gives us more energy, helps our brains to focus, and keeps our blood healthy. It’s commonly found in red meats, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and brown rice. Women might need extra iron during their periods and may need to consider supplements, and vegans and vegetarians should also ensure that they are getting enough of this mineral. We need between 8 mg and 15 mg per day.
There are a lot of ways in which vitamins and minerals can benefit us. By making sure that we are trying to eat from each of the main food groups every day, we are more likely to obtain everything we need. Getting plenty of fruit and vegetables is a sure-fire way of achieving this easily.
If you struggle to keep your diet balanced, make sure, and get some supplements. They will keep you feeling more alert, fighting infections as well as making sure your bones, skin, eyes, and blood are all healthy.