Did you know that three in four Americans aren’t eating enough fruits? Or that 80% of the US population doesn’t meet the recommended vegetable intake?
So, it’s no wonder that as many as 10% of people in the US suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, such insufficiencies are a huge contributor to preventable illnesses, like heart diseases.
This is why, as early as now, you should learn what and how to take vitamins the right way. Knowing which foods and supplements contain which vitamins will help you avoid deficiencies.
Ready to make your brain and body healthier with the most important vitamins? Then let’s get right into it!
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a key role in maintaining vision and immune system functions. It’s also key for the proper functioning of the major organs, such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Moreover, the skin needs enough of this vitamin to produce new cells and to heal itself.
Deficiencies in vitamin A can result in temporary, or worse, permanent eye damage. In fact, it’s the number one culprit behind preventable blindness in children!
Vitamin A deficiency can also cause immunosuppression. This, in turn, can then increase the risks of infections and diseases. The skin can also develop problems, like follicular hyperkeratosis, due to a lack of vitamin A.
The good news is, there are many sources of Vitamin A, such as meat, poultry, and fish products. These contain preformed vitamin A.
2. Beta Carotene
Beta-carotene is a type of pro-vitamin A, which means that it’s a vitamin A precursor. It’s mostly in plant-based products like fruits and veggies.
To prevent the overconsumption of vitamin A, it’s best to focus more on Beta-Carotene. The body only converts an amount of Beta-Carotene that it needs into vitamin A.
3. Vitamin B Complex
This is a group of eight different B vitamins. Each of these plays a crucial role in converting food into much-needed energy. They’re also important for maintaining brain functions and preventing infections.
B vitamins also help keep the eyes healthy. They also promote better digestion, nerve function, and muscle tone. Moreover, certain B vitamins, like B-3, can help reduce skin wrinkles and fine lines.
Vitamin B deficiency can result in symptoms like anemia, skin problems, and infections. The severity of these side-effects depends on which type of vitamin B you lack.
However, you can easily prevent such maladies by taking vitamin B complex supplements. You should increase your intake of foods rich in B vitamins, like chicken and red meat, fish, and shellfish. Dark leafy greens, particularly kale and spinach, are also rich in these vitamins.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it helps keep oxidation and free radicals at bay. Too many free radicals in the body can result in cellular damage. The immune system will also take a hit, leading to an increased risk of infections and disease.
The body can’t produce its own vitamin C, but you can get it from citrus fruits and berries. Kale, spinach, and broccoli are also excellent sources of this vitamin.
5. Vitamin D
One of the main benefits of vitamin D is that it helps raise the body’s mineral absorption, such as calcium. A lack of this vitamin can lead to an increased risk of bone loss, which can then increase the risks of fractures. In older people, vitamin D deficiency can make them more prone to osteoporosis.
The problem is, vitamin D isn’t naturally produced by the body. The sun is a good source of this vitamin, but too much of it can result in serious skin problems. Your vitamin D food sources are quite limited, but you can get it from salmon, eggs, and mushrooms.
The easiest and best way to take vitamin D is through dietary supplements.
6. Vitamin E
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant. It promotes immune system health, which is key to fighting pathogens.
It also plays a role in the proper widening of the blood vessels. This, in turn, prevents improper blood clotting.
Vegetable oils, like soybean and sunflower oil, contain some amount of this vitamin. Nuts, especially almonds and hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds are good vitamin E sources. Dark green leafy veggies, such as spinach, are also good sources of this vitamin.
You may also want to add vitamin E supplements to your diet. If you lack more than vitamin E, ask your doctor about taking a prescription multivitamin. These are supplements that combine various vitamins that many people often lack.
7. Vitamin K
If vitamin E prevents improper blood clotting, vitamin K encourages healthy blood clotting. If you don’t take enough vitamin K, your bruises and injuries will take longer to heal.
Meat, animal liver, fish, and eggs are great vitamin K sources. Dark leafy greens, especially kale, turnip, and collards are also great sources. Prescription multivitamins also contain vitamin K.
Follow These Tips on What and How To Take Vitamins Today
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the essential vitamins you should be taking ASAP! However, just as important is to follow the correct way on how to take vitamins. This way, you can be sure that you’re not taking more (or less) than what you should, and that your body really does benefit.
Ready for more tips and guides to help you keep your health in tip-top condition? Then be sure to check out the rest of our posts under the Healthcare section! Bookmark our site too, while you’re at it, so you can stay in the loop of our latest updates!