Growing up my mum would give me enormous vitamins. Sometimes I would swallow them but mostly I'd hide them in the sofa. I'd wine to my mum over and over "do I have to take my vitamins?"
Are vitamins essential to a healthy diet? This question has been asked by so many people small and tall. What is the answer? Well, there is no clear cut answer because it depends on each individual. If you a perfectly healthy human being who consumes a healthy diet, that includes the suggested daily amount of fruit and vegetables then you are probably apart of 10% of the population (USDA). Sadly, the majority of the population isn't eating healthily enough to get the vitamins and needed nutrients from their food.
If you can get vitamins from your food DO IT! Food rich in nutrients is the best way to go. Eat fresh produce, whole wheat grains, nuts and beans. Store and cook food in ways that will maintain their freshness and nutrients. Eliminate processed food.
Many foods are packed with nutrients that have properties that can maintain our body's health and disease fighting mechanisms. Vitamins are essential in maintaining an alert and competent immune system. In order to efficiently fuel the body it is essential to develop some basic knowledge about Vitamins.
There are two types of Vitamins: Fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat -soluble vitamins are vitamins A,D,E and K. These vitamins are found in foods such as eggs, milk, fish, oils, nuts, leafy vegetables, avocados, whole grains, wheat germ etc... These types of vitamins will not loose their goodness when cooked. The nutritional values of these vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. These vitamins are absorbed slowly, so it is important not to bombard the body with too many as there is a risk of toxicity. A well balanced diet will not lead to any toxicity. Just follow the rule that balance is essential.
Water-soluble vitamins are vitamins C and B-complex (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate). These vitamins are found in foods such as red berries, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and juices made from guava, grapefruit, cheese, pasta, orange etc...These vitamins are absorbed in water and are not stored within the body, instead whatever the body does not absorb through digestion will be expelled through urination. Because these are not stored we need a continuous supply of water-soluble vitamins in our diet.
A great way for the body to absorb these vitamins is juicing the vegetables and fruits which you eat. In liquid form the body is able to more readily access and absorb the nutrition.
If daily nutrition is missed out of your diet a multi-vitamin supplement might be a great way to boost your immune system. Perhaps, your diet is pretty good on the whole but you are lacking in one area, for example; many women do not have a sufficient amount of calcium in their diet. This can become particularly problematic with postmenstrual women as they are commonly threatened with osteoporosis. This being the situation a calcium supplement would be a great addition to a diet. Also, pregnant women are strongly advised to take pre-natal vitamins and folic acid supplements to provide assistance in developing a strong and healthy baby.
When buying vitamins it is essential to realize that the supplement industry has not been standardized. With this in mind you need to make sure you buy your supplements from credited companies. It is pointless buying tablets that profess to be vitamins but in reality they are worthless dust.
Vitamins are an essential aspect to a balanced diet and if you are not getting them from your food them a supplement is a great addition to enhance your health.
By Worldwidehealth Editor
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