A well-balanced diet is vital to health and these 7 essential vitamins are what your body needs most. They help with your bone health, heal wounds, and improve your immune system. They also convert food into energy and strength and repair cellular damage.
More often than not, people do not get all the nutrients they need from diet alone. That is why additional supplements are an essential part of your daily life if your diet is not enough. Here are seven essential vitamins you need to know.
Vitamin B1 is lesser-known than vitamin C but no less important. For those with vitamin B1 deficiency, thiamine supplement can help. Found in foods such as meat, whole grains, beans, peas and even cereals, thiamine helps your body metabolize fat and convert food into energy by breaking down carbohydrates and is a key part of proper heart, muscle and nerve function.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is key to maintaining bone health as you age because it helps your body absorb calcium. It is best to get vitamin D from the sun, but that can be hard to do depending on the season and your geolocation. Because it is hard to get vitamin D from food, taking supplements is important if you are not getting enough natural sunlight. The recommended amount is 10 to 30 minutes of midday sunlight several times a week.
Vitamin A, one of the 7 essential vitamins which is essential for healthy vision, as well as normal immune system function. With antioxidant properties, vitamin A can also support reproduction and cell division. It can also help treat acne. It is found in foods such as liver, carrots, green leafy vegetables like spinach and dairy products.
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Many people know to take vitamin C to help support their immune system. However, it also supports various other functions. It can help prevent iron deficiency as well as gout attacks, and even lower your risk of heart disease and manage high blood pressure. Vitamin C can also be found in fruits such as oranges, kiwis and strawberries, as well as vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and bell peppers.
Vitamin B12 is another of the lesser-known 7 essential vitamins but still important. It helps keep your brain and nervous system functioning properly and also helps your body make red blood cells. It can be found in animal protein such as eggs and meats. Older people have a more difficult time absorbing vitamin B12 with age and can experience confusion or even hallucinations as a result.
You need vitamin E for healthy skin, eyes and even your immune system. Vitamin E supplements are known for their antioxidant properties. A deficiency in vitamin E can cause nerve pain. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, peanuts, olive oil and margarine, as well as fortified cereals, dairy, meats and leafy greens.
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Vitamin K, a group of compounds, helps blood clot to prevent any excessive bleeding. Vitamin K1, derived from vegetables, and vitamin K2, from eggs, meats and cheeses, are the better-known compounds of vitamin K. Some have also said vitamin K2 can help osteoporosis, though there is not enough supportive research.
As with anything, however, be sure to consult with your doctor before making any changes in your diet or lifestyle. Especially for those with existing conditions, it is important to only make changes under the supervision of a health care professional.