What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are a specific group of organic compounds needed in small quantities by the body. They can also be found in small amounts in plant and animal foods or synthetically produced sometimes.
Some functions of Vitamins include:
Vitamins are essential in the body for:
- Growing tissues
- Regulation of metabolism
- Maintaining a healthy immune system.
Asides from the vitamins required by the body, sometimes, the word ‘vitamins’ can also be used to refer to minerals, fatty acids, amino acids.
Essential Vitamins include:
Magnesium: Magnesium is an excellent mineral that plays a vital role in the contractions of the muscles. It naturally relaxes the muscle and helps smoothen the muscles, including the intestines. It helps calcium, which is also an essential vitamin to absorb.
Magnesium can be gotten from natural sources such as spinach and other leafy greens, almonds, and beans.
Calcium: Calcium is a very significant mineral for bone and teeth health. Some natural sources of calcium are dairy milk and fortified plant-based kinds of milk, including almond and cashew milk.
Vitamin C: This is a water-soluble vitamin. It plays a prominent role in the function of the immune system. It is also an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals known to cause cell aging.
Sources of Vitamin C include Orange juice, cherries, red peppers, kale, and grapefruit.
Vitamin B-12: This is also one of the essential vitamins. It is a co-enzyme that is important for food conversion to be used as energy.
It is generally available in many forms, such as pills, liquids, and even injections. But the most effective way to get Vitamin B12 is through foods such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Omega-3: Omega-3 is the fatty acid found in fish, fish oil, Algal oil, or hemp seeds. It is very beneficial to human health.
Benefits of Omega 3 fatty acid include:
They help boost cardiovascular health.
They improve the proper functioning of the brain as well as improve mood swings too.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for both bone and colon health. The body generates this vitamin when the skin is being exposed to sunlight.
In recent times, many people prefer being away from the sun and thus supplement Vitamin D3 to ensure a high level of good health.
Foods containing vitamin D include broccoli, egg yolks, cereals, and fatty fish.
Iron: This vitamin is responsible for the red color of the blood. The deficiency of iron in the body, known as anemia, has been linked with autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
Foods that contain iron include clams, liver, beans, and spinach.
Potassium: Potassium is an electrolyte (like magnesium and calcium) that plays the role of keeping the body well-hydrated. Potassium helps maintain blood pressure levels.
Many of the diets in the western continents and areas are low in potassium levels. Unfortunately, Potassium cannot be easily supplemented due to its amount being limited in over-the-counter tablets and capsules.
Due to its limited amount of OTC tablets, finding natural sources such as vegetables and fruits (like bananas, citrus, and spinach) is vital to human health.
Vitamin A: Also known as Carotenoid. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin commonly found in carrots and other vegetables that contain color.
Vitamin A can also be gotten from food sources such as meat, especially liver. It is confirmed as a good source for the eyes’ health, and it also assists in fighting chronic (long-term) diseases.
Ubiquinol: Also known as Co-Q10. Ubiquinol is a co-enzyme that takes care or improves the cardiovascular (heart health).
Ubiquinol helps to increase the oxygenation of the blood and could also pass for an antioxidant.
Food sources of ubiquinol include liver, peanuts, shellfish, beef, legumes, spinach, broccoli, and caulr.
Zinc: Zinc is an essential vitamin that supports and boosts the immune system and nerve function. It is also important for reproduction.
Food sources of Zinc include some seafood, red meats, and fortified cereals.
Phosphorus: This vitamin helps in bone growth and development. Helps also in the proper functioning of cells as well as helps provide energy.
Food sources include milk and other dairy products such as eggs, meat, peas, some cereals, and bread.
Iron: Helps make thyroid hormones.
Food sources include seaweed, seafood, dairy products, processed foods, iodized salt
Manganese: They help form bones and enzymes.
Food sources include nuts, beans, and other legumes, tea, whole grains.
Copper: Helps the body process Iron.
Food sources include seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole grains.
It is important to note that vitamins and minerals should be first of all gotten from food first. As long as we are eating balanced and different varieties of diets, Our bodies are designed to get nutrients from the food we consume, and we will get all the nutrients we need.
Conclusively, supplements are considered as bonus boosters and not replacements for food. It is recommended you eat well, most especially natural food sources that contain essential vitamins, and do not rely on supplements.
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