Even if it may seem obvious to most, it begs repeating—getting the proper amount of vitamins is essential to your health. The problem is that there is so much conflicting information out there about vitamins that it can be extremely difficult to determine exactly which vitamins you should be taking and how much.
Although there are a wide range of vitamins and minerals that are important to your health, some are obviously more important to others. Furthermore, there are some vitamins where it is fairly easy to get your recommended daily intake through diet alone and there are others that are much more difficult. For this reason, we’ll now present you with a handy guide to help you understand about the most important vitamins you should consider taking to improve your health.
Often considered a cure-all for colds and various other ailments, vitamin C has many benefits that go far beyond protecting you from common illnesses. Sure, there have been studies that have suggested that taking vitamin C can lower the length of the common cold by a day on average, but the truth is that this vitamin is an outstanding supplement to take even when you’re not ill. Among the many benefits vitamin C can provide include boosting the immune system, protecting against cardiovascular disease, eye disease and pre-natal health problems. There is also some evidence that vitamin C can even help improve the look of your skin and fight against wrinkles, fine lines and the signs of aging.
There are eight different B vitamins, all of which perform vital roles in helping to maintain your overall level of health. Also known as folic acid, vitamin B9 is one of the most important of the various B vitamins, which works to help keep your red blood cells healthy and can also fight against cancer. There is also some evidence that folic acid is essential for pregnant women as it helps to protect against a range of birth defects. Vitamin B12 is also an essential supplement for pregnant women for the same reason. As well, all of the other six B vitamins also perform various essential roles. Luckily, unless you’re a vegetarian or have undergone gastric bypass, you should be able to get most of the essential B vitamins through your diet.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body to fight against free radicals, which means that it has the potential to be one of your first lines of defense against various types of cancer. In addition, it has also been shown to help strengthen the immune system, and it also plays important roles in your eye health and may be able to slow the development of macular degeneration and some other eye issues. However, it is important that you monitor your vitamin E intake and only ever take supplements if you have a deficiency. The reason is that too much vitamin E has been shown to increase the risk of bleeding of the brain and other health issues.
Beta carotene is another important antioxidant, which is converted by the body into vitamin A. Among the various other health benefits of beta carotene, it can promote a healthy immune system and plays an important role in eye health and skin health. Although it is an antioxidant, there is not yet sufficient evidence that beta carotene can lower your risk of developing cancer. Despite this, it is still essential that you get the recommended daily amount of this important vitamin—whether through your diet or through supplements.
As you’re probably aware, calcium plays a vital role in maintaining bone health. Making sure to get the recommended amount of calcium can help to prevent osteoporosis, and this mineral is especially important for women due to their higher risk of developing this bone condition. Luckily, the vast majority of people do not suffer from a calcium deficiency since it is quite easy to get the recommended amount of this essential mineral. That being said, many doctors still recommend that women start taking a calcium supplement as they enter their later years due to the increased risk of osteoporosis.
Iron is the most important mineral for the health of your blood and muscles. It helps to promote proper functioning of your red blood cells, which makes it vital in helping to prevent and also combat the effects of anemia. Its vital function in preserving healthy blood also makes it an essential supplement for women who suffer from a heavier menstrual flow, and there is also evidence to show that iron is vital for maintaining healthy immune system function. The fact that iron is so important helps to explain why breakfast cereals and so many other foods are fortified with the mineral. In turn, this means that it is usually fairly easy to get all of the iron you need through your diet—unless you happen to be a vegetarian or vegan—in which case, you should definitely consider a supplement.
Despite its huge importance for health, most people don’t actually get the recommended amount of magnesium through their diet. This is quite unfortunate since the mineral plays a vital role in many crucial bodily functions—from maintaining blood sugar levels and preventing cramps to synthesizing proteins and promoting proper nerve and muscle function. The fact is that magnesium supports a range of critical bodily functions, but the problem is that the body only absorbs approximately 30 to 40 percent of the magnesium that you take in through your diet. Therefore, this is definitely something that everyone should consider taking a supplement.
At the end of the day, it is definitely possible to get all of the essential vitamins and minerals solely through your diet. Unfortunately, the fast-paced, modern lifestyle that most people live makes it much more difficult to actually get everything you need. Unless you go around constantly focusing on your diet, there is a high chance that you could be missing out on some of the most important nutrients. For this reason, you should definitely consider taking supplements to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.