Vitamins are crucial to your good health. Some vitamins help to improve your immune system so your body can fight off harmful bacteria. Some vitamins work with the protein you eat to help regulate the metabolic activity in your body, giving you more energy throughout the day and aiding in weight loss. There are many other health benefits of taking vitamins such as stress reduction, burning fat, fighting arthritis, anti-aging, etc.
Vitamins are organic compounds, meaning they are naturally found in the foods you eat. They are divided into two groups, fat soluble and water soluble. Under each group, vitamins are labeled with letters. See letter assignments below:
1) Fat Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, K
2) Water Soluble Vitamins: B complex, C
Vitamins and Food
Almost all foods contain some form of vitamins. Some vitamins are found in certain foods more than others. For example, Vitamin C is found abundantly in citrus fruits and can improve blood cell health. Milk has a high content of Vitamin D. Most fish contains a lot of Vitamin E, which can help improve skin health and other bodily functions.
Since many foods contain a high content of one certain type of vitamin, it’s wise to eat balanced meals, tasting a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, breads and milk or juice. When you eat a balanced meal, you’re not only getting vitamins, but also an abundant amount of minerals and nutrients, which work together with vitamins to help your body function properly and keep you healthy.
Avoid Too Many Vitamins
Getting the right amount of vitamins is important for good health, but don’t overdo it. Too many vitamins can be harmful. You can follow the Recommended Dietary Allowances or food guides for the four food groups to find out how many are right for you.
Someone getting a balanced diet may not need to take supplementary vitamins. However, someone with an unbalanced diet or chronic illness might benefit. Also, the need for vitamins may increase during pregnancy. Consult with a doctor before taking vitamins if you are in one of these conditions. Certain vitamins could be a health risk.
Vitamins in Your Food
Some vitamin loss can occur when preparing foods. To minimize this, follow these suggestions:
*Peel skin thinly or cook foods in their skins
*Use a small amount of water if possible while cooking
*Leave the lid on while cooking
*Store foods in the refrigerator
*Cut foods in larger pieces
*Serve foods immediately after cooking
If you feel you are not getting enough vitamins in your daily diet, try eating balanced meals, and perhaps, taking a whole vitamin or multi-vitamin supplement. Most whole vitamins are available over the counter at your local pharmacy or you can just buy them online from your home computer. You can take several different vitamin supplements to improve your health (such as Vitamin B, Vitamin C or Vitamin E) or you can take one supplement that contains all the vitamins you need in only one bottle.
If you’re still not sure of your vitamin intake needs, speak with your physician to learn how vitamins can help you. Your health is too important to risk.