Your body needs many essential vitamins and minerals to function properly. Ideally, you’d get all the vitamins and essential nutrients your body needs from your regular diet. However, most people, even those that eat healthily, don’t get enough vitamins through food. While consuming all the different food groups throughout the day is ideal, it’s unrealistic. Most adults do not get their nutritional requirements from their diet alone, making taking vitamins a crucial part of many people’s daily routines.
Taking vitamins can help supplement your diet and improve your physical and mental health. When your body isn’t getting enough nutrients, you’ll feel it and maybe even see it. Everything from fatigue to hair loss is a sign of vitamin deficiency. Vitamin deficiencies are serious, so getting enough vitamins every day is important. This article will discuss the importance of taking vitamins and what vitamins you should take.
Importance of Vitamins
Vitamin production in our bodies slows as we age, leading to deficiency in many different nutrients. Vitamins play a significant role in our health and wellness, preventing disease and improving general health. Taking a multivitamin daily can lower your risk of many diseases, including cancer. In addition, multivitamins can help boost your immune system and fight off toxins and germs. Always consult your doctor before taking a new vitamin or supplement to ensure it’s healthy for you based on your unique health needs.
What Vitamins to Take
Everyone is different; many people are deficient in vitamins, while others are deficient in other vitamins. What vitamins you need to take will mostly depend on your diet. The nutrients you’re not getting from food are those that you’ll need to take in supplement form. Here are the vitamins you might need to take daily.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin maintains vision, immunity, and skin health while promoting fertility and regular cycles in women. You get vitamin A from eggs, shrimp, fish, dairy products, and of course, carrots. Animal products typically contain higher amounts of vitamin A, making them the more efficient option if you need more vitamin A in your diet.
- B-vitamins: There are many different types of B vitamins, but this group is typically known as the energy vitamins because they help metabolize food into energy. However, vitamin B also helps detoxify the liver, promotes nerve function, and produces hormones. In addition, B vitamins improve brain function, and deficiencies in B12 and B6 have been linked to cognitive decline and mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
- Vitamin C: Many people take vitamin C when they’re under the weather because it’s an antioxidant that can protect your cells from free radicals. It also strengthens the immune system while killing viruses in the body. However, vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron and enhances collagen production to improve skin health.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is created through the skin from sunlight. However, you can also obtain some amounts of this vitamin through food. Vitamin D works with magnesium, vitamin K, and calcium to support healthy bones. However, it can also decrease inflammation and protect your immune system while providing essential brain support. Unfortunately, vegans often lack enough vitamin D because food sources are animal products or byproducts, so if you live in a place that doesn’t get sun year-round, you’ll likely need a vitamin D supplement.
- Vitamin E: This is another antioxidant known for promoting skin health. Vitamin E decreases inflammation and helps repair damaged skin while preventing the signs of aging. When taken alongside vitamin C, it can also help reduce skin problems like acne and eczema.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K has two forms, one known for its ability to help the blood clot and the other known for its effects on bone health. Vitamin K2 enhances calcium and vitamin D absorption to help your bones stay strong. It can also increase bone mass.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that improves bone health and enhances energy production. However, it can also improve the nervous system, aid sleep, and regulate muscle and nerve function. Unfortunately, many people are magnesium deficient because they’re not eating foods rich in this nutrient, including nuts, pumpkins, and spinach.
- Calcium: Like magnesium, many people are deficient in calcium. Calcium is necessary for strong bones and teeth, so it’s an important nutrient, especially as you age. Women start losing bone density earlier than men; they may need a supplement to strengthen their bones.
- Zinc: Zinc supports your immune system and helps your body convert nutrients, like carbs, protein, and fat, for energy. It can also promote wound healing.
- Iron: Iron increases energy and improves brain function. However, some individuals need more iron than others daily. Those who eat red meat likely get enough iron. However, women who have menstrual cycles or are pregnant may need to increase the amount of iron they consume.
Is Supplementing Your Diet Necessary
Many people may wonder if they need to take vitamins every day. Some people don’t need vitamins, especially those with strict diets or individuals working with a nutritionist or doctor to improve their health. Supplements should not replace healthy meals, so even if you’re taking vitamins daily, you should still aim to eat enough fruit, vegetables, and protein to avoid vitamin deficiencies. You can ensure that you’re getting enough vitamins daily by checking food labels or using an app to help track your nutrient intake.
Supplementing your diet can be beneficial or necessary, depending on your health. For example, if you have a vitamin deficiency, a change in your diet might not be enough to get your levels back up to normal. Additionally, individuals with chronic diseases may take supplements to improve their health.
Your body’s natural production of vitamins decreases as you age, so talking to your doctor can help you determine which vitamins are right for you based on your unique circumstances. Vitamins significantly impact your health, so there’s no reason to let a deficiency get in the way of how you feel. Getting enough nutrients is key to living a long, healthy life. A multivitamin may help you build your immune system and address deficiencies that negatively impact your health.