The body needs many essential nutrients and vitamins to properly function. Being deficient in one or more vitamins can have negative effects on everyday wellness. If severe enough, vitamin deficiency can even limit one’s ability to carry out daily functions. In today’s post, I will discuss the important role of vitamins for your health.
What Are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic nutrients, essential for proper development and human functioning. They differ from other substances such as carbohydrates and fats in that they aren’t a source of energy or contribute to the building block materials of the body.
Classification of Vitamins
Vitamins are categorized into two groups, fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and water-soluble vitamins (B and C). Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed by the body with other lipids (fats) in the small intestine and are stored in certain cells. The body absorbs water-soluble vitamins in the GI tract, dissolving in body fluids. If you consume more than the recommended amount of water-soluble vitamins, the excess will be excreted in your urine.
In addition to these two groups, vitamins C, E and beta-carotene make up a group known as antioxidant vitamins. This group of vitamins works by inactivating oxygen free radicals, which are believed to contribute to certain diseases and illnesses.
Vitamin Food Sources & Functions
Vitamins can easily be found in a well-balanced diet. Eating the recommended serving size from each food
Read More: Healthy Eating Habits
**Listed below are essential vitamins, their source and the main function of each.
Taking Vitamin Supplements
While we can obtain all of our essential nutrients by eating a well-balanced diet, many individuals take vitamins and mineral supplements as a part of their health regimen. Taking supplements helps to fill certain gaps in nutrient requirements when an individual isn’t meeting the recommended amount through daily diet.
There are varying opinions about taking vitamin supplements and if they are beneficial. As with any dietary change, speak with your health care provider before taking any vitamin, mineral, or herbal supplements.
Depending on your medical history, your physician may decide you don’t need additional supplements. They will also be able to determine if taking certain vitamin supplements will have adverse effects with any medical conditions or medications you are currently taking.
Vitamins are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but are classified as Dietary Supplements. As a result, they can’t claim to cure, treat or prevent any disease
The next time you visit a grocery or local health food store, take a moment to look at the labels. You will notice some contain various emblems and supplement seals. Some of these labels may even state that they are verified, certified, or approved by certain organizations. It’s important to know that even though a label may contain these words, they shouldn’t be interpreted as being FDA approved.
**The chart below provides a list of certain organizations and the requirements needed in order for their seal to be placed on a dietary supplement.
Purchasing Vitamin Supplements
You can find dietary supplements in many of your local grocery and health food stores. If you purchase them from a health food store, a vitamin specialist may be available to assist you with any questions. Vitamins can be purchased online through various retailers and companies. It’s important to do some research and speak with a medical provider if you choose to buy dietary supplements online. With so many dietary supplements on the market, it’s important to make sure what you are taking is safe.
Some of my favorite brands
We live in a busy world that stretches and pushes us in so many directions on a daily basis. In the midst of the everyday chaos, make sure you are treating your body well by providing it with the proper vitamins and nutrients it needs. After all, you want to be in the best health so that you may live your best life.