The Importance of Vitamins to Good Health
Vitamins are all natural substances that your body needs in order to stay healthy and function normally. However, your body isn’t able to generate most of them, so they need to be obtained from food and supplements. The vitamins most essential to your health are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid (folate). Each of these vitamins has an important part to play in the proper functioning of your body, and the majority of them cannot be stored in your body; therefore, you need to replenish your body’s supply of these vitamins daily.
We’ve all heard that intake of vitamins is essential to good health, but we don’t always know why. In order to make the best decisions for your own wellness, you should have an idea of the functions of these vital nutrients. Here’s a quick rundown on each of the essential vitamins and why they’re needed, as well as a few foods that contain each one.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins: These vitamins can be stored in your fatty tissue.
- Vitamin A is vital to your eye health, as well as your immune system and your reproductive system. Good sources of Vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
- Vitamin D is made by your body after exposure to sunlight, and is difficult to get from food alone, although it is contained in fatty fish and fortified dairy products.
- Vitamin E (tocopherol) is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage and helps your body use Vitamin K effectively. Sunflower seeds, peanut butter, almonds, and vegetable oils are rich sources of vitamin E.
- Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting and bone health. Vitamin K is found in green, leafy vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens.
Water-Soluble Vitamins: These vitamins can’t be stored by your body.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that helps your body absorb iron and is necessary for healthy teeth and gums. Oranges and citrus fruits contain vitamin C, as well as broccoli and strawberries.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is necessary to help your body change the carbohydrates you eat into energy. It’s contained in whole grain products like bread and cereals.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) supports the making of red blood cells and is also found in whole grain products, as well as milk.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) helps your skin and nerves stay healthy, and helps lower cholesterol. Vitamin B3 is found in meat, fish, and poultry.
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) helps your body metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein and turn them into energy. Cereals, potatoes, oats, chicken and beef are rich in vitamin B5.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) plays an important part in maintaining healthy brain function and metabolism. Chickpeas, potatoes, and organ meats are good sources.
- Vitamin B7 (biotin) helps metabolize proteins and make hormones. Vitamin B7 is found in liver and other meats, as well as in fruits.
- Vitamin B12 helps your body make red blood cells and is important for the health of your central nervous system. Fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products are excellent sources.
- Folic acid (folate) is needed for cell development and heart health. Dark green, leafy vegetables and enriched breads are the best sources of folic acid.
Of course, you should get your daily vitamin and mineral intake from a balanced and varied diet. However, life can sometimes get in the way. In order to help you get all the nutrition you need every day regardless of your schedule, we recommend supplementing with our Advanced Immune Defense™ (AID) multivitamin. Besides important vitamins and minerals, AID contains powerful phytonutrients, plant based compounds that can help keep your immune system at top condition and can help slow down the aging process.
Advanced Immune Defense™ can give you extra immune system support you can’t get from a supermarket multivitamin.