Vitamins play a vital role in our body’s day to day functioning without us even noticing. Most people don’t need to take vitamins as they are able to get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy balanced diet. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients such as iron, calcium and vitamin C that your body needs in small amounts to work properly. There are many circumstances where taking vitamins within your diet can be useful, it’s about knowing which you need, how much you need and for how long. Let’s take a look at the vast benefits of vitamins and the safest way you can bring them into your lifestyle.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in very small amounts for supporting normal bodily functions, especially since our bodies often struggle to synthesize them quickly enough to meet our daily needs. Most people should get all the nutrients they need by having a varied and balanced diet, although some may need to take extra supplements to keep their body performing at its best.
Vitamins have three key characteristics. The first is that they are natural components of foods and are usually present in very small amounts. Secondly, vitamins are essential for normal functioning of the body, such as growth and reproduction. Lastly, when absent from your diet, specific deficiencies will start to develop. Vitamin deficiencies can cause serious problems, making it all the more important to make sure you’re getting all the right vitamins for your body.
What’s out there
There are many different types of vitamins with each and every one playing a different role in your body’s functions and systems. There are two types of vitamins, these being fat-soluble and water-soluble. When you consume foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins, they are stored in your body’s fat tissues and in your liver, waiting here until your body needs them. Water-soluble vitamins, however, aren’t stored in your body. Instead, they travel through your bloodstream and whatever your body doesn’t use is filtered out. There are many different types of vitamins within each of these categories which we all need in balanced amounts to be able to function well. When we aren’t getting enough from food and sunlight alone, we may need to look at vitamin supplements that can be taken as and when needed. Gaining a good understanding of which vitamins you need and how much of each will let you better support your body’s performance; if you’re unsure, seek the advice of your GP or a medical professional for the answers you need.
Selecting the right vitamins for you
Your requirements for vitamins will change across life stages with your age, gender, lifestyle and any medical conditions all affecting the vitamins you need. The best way to know if you’re choosing the right vitamins for you is to make sure you know what the benefits are, what risks are associated with it, how much you should be taking and for how long. Considering these factors will let you gain the right balance of vitamins for your body to see more relevant results, below are just a couple of examples of when certain vitamins are more worthwhile, however, it’s important to seek advice from a healthcare professional if you’re unsure.
Vitamin D isn’t present in most of the foods that we eat, that being said, it is a critical factor that keeps our bones strong by helping us to absorb calcium more effectively. Getting sunlight helps our bodies to produce vitamin D, making it tough to get enough in the winter seasons and on dark days. Taking a vitamin D supplement can highly benefit your body as calcium makes for strong teeth and bones, especially during the colder months when there’s less sunlight to produce this important vitamin. Vitamins are also highly important for women who are pregnant or thinking of conceiving. Folic acid supplements can help to prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, helping to ensure a safer pregnancy. If you have any queries or doubts about what vitamins you should or shouldn’t be taking, you can always seek the advice of your GP or a medical professional to clarify any woes.
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