Most people today depend on vitamins to give their body all the necessary elements to keep the body working at its optimum. The dependency on vitamins is mainly due to the fact that there is often no time for a person to stop and have a well-balanced meal and a lot of food choices today are definitely do not make up the complete vitamin body needs. Get all the info you need here.
The Role Of Vitamins For Body Nutrition
The vitamins are essential nutrients, which are part of a necessary process that helps to release energy from foods within its makeup and from those consumed to keep the skin, nerves, and red blood cells in constant rejuvenating mode.
The two types of vitamin groups would be categorized as fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they are all usually found in the fat content in foods. Sources of these may also be found in food items such as vegetable oils, nut, egg yolk, fish oil, whole grains, and deep green leafy vegetables.
As for the water-soluble vitamins these come in the form of vitamin B, C, and B complex. Containing elements such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, and Pantothenic acid which are all that the body needs to carry out specific functions to ensure optimum working if all the body systems.
All these vital ingredients that the body needs and cannot get from the daily diet can be gotten by taking the appropriate combinations and amounts of multivitamins and mineral supplements. However, caution should be exercised when taking these vitamins and minerals as some of them don’t work well together and for some body systems, it may end up being stored and may eventually cause toxic conditions. This is especially so other medications are being consumed at the same time.
The Risk Of Vitamin Deficiencies
Vitamin consumption has not yet reached the ideal where anyone and everyone is able to get the body’s daily needs on a regular basis. Some of the reasons include the high cost of supplements and minerals, the inappropriate diet plans, the lack of nutritional food intake, the lack of availability of fresh food produce such as fresh vegetables and fruits, and of course the ever-prevalent consumption choice of unhealthy food items.
Vitamin deficiencies can contribute to a host of diseases and also the lack of total optimum body functions. These may be clearly shown in the person’s inability to function daily with mental alertness and physical execution of functions accurately and precisely, and the presence of frequent tired spells.
The high-risk groups that would more likely suffer from vitamin deficiencies would be the elderly, adolescents, young or pregnant and lactating women, alcoholics, cigarette smokers, vegetarians, people fasting or on dietary interventions, laxative abusers, users of contraceptives and analgesics and other medication for chronic diseases and people with specific disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Besides these people who live hectic lifestyles or those who have very little physical activity in their daily schedules will also be another group that would most likely suffer from vitamin deficiencies.
Some of the more pronounced deficiencies such as lack of vitamin A are known as the leading cause of preventable blindness, diseases, and severe infections occurring in children. Lack of vitamin D in the diet could lead to brittle bones as this vitamin is essential for strong bone formation and growth.
The vitamin E supplement will play a role in supporting brain growth, cardiovascular, and respiratory system functions. Lack of vitamin B is also detrimental to the overall health condition of the body system as it is the main element in the manufacturing of the red blood cells that keeps the nervous system working efficiently.
Types Of Vitamins
Getting all the body’s nutrient requirements can be done so through the consumption of vitamins on a daily or regulated basis. There are two basic categories of vitamins which are water-soluble and fat-soluble.
The water-soluble vitamins would be vitamins B and C, while the fat-soluble one would be Vitamins A, D, E, and K. The water-soluble vitamins would be flushed out of the body system on a regular basis, thus the need to consume daily doses of this type group.
The fat-soluble vitamins are usually stored in the body’s fatty tissues, thus the need to use these to prevent unnecessary retention that would and could cause negative medical complications.
Types: The following is a list of some of the more prominently featured vitamins that are commonly recommended and consumed:
- Vitamin A – this plays a role in improving eyesight and maintaining healthy skin conditions. It can be sourced from eggs, milk, apricots, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
- Vitamin B – this particular vitamin has other breakdown sections which includeB1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin, and Pantothenic acid.
- These generate energy that the body needs for daily functions and it also actively participates in making red blood cell that carries the oxygen throughout the body system.
- These can be sourced from wheat, oats, fish, seafood, leafy greens, milk, yogurt, beans and peas.
- Vitamin C – this vitamin helps to strengthen the gum and muscles, while also helping to heal wounds and overcome infections. The main source of which is from tomatoes, cabbages, broccoli and strawberries.
- Vitamin D – strengthens the bones and teeth and also aids in the absorption of calcium. It can be found in fish, egg yolk, milk, and some other dairy products.
- Vitamin E – takes care of the lung functions and also helps in the formation of red blood cells. It can be found in nuts, leafy greens, oats, wheat and milk.
Source Of Vitamins From Food
Although natural foods are rich in a variety of vitamins, it should be noted that a lot of these vitamins are lost due to storage, cooking, and handling.
Therefore it is important to take careful care of the natural food items so that the integrity of the item is kept intact. Some vitamins should not be taken with other medications and some combinations of vitamins are also not suitable.
For the best results, a medical professional should be consulted so that a suitable combination can be designed to suit the individual’s needs and lacks.
The following is a general outline of the various food sources of the more common vitamins:
- Vitamin A – beef liver, fatty fish, milk, egg yolks, and cheese.
- Vitamin C – oranges, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, broccoli, collard greens.
- Vitamin D – canned sardines, mackerel, herring, shrimp, fortify milk.
- Beta carotene – peaches, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, acorn squash.
- Vitamin E – wheat germ oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, spinach, wheat germ, butter, eggs, and oats.
- Vitamin K – turnip green, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and beef liver.
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – wheat germ, ham, beef liver, peanuts, green peas, pork, and brown rice.
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – beef liver, milk, yogurt, avocados, collard greens, and yeast.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) – chicken, salmon, beef, peanut butter, potatoes, sunflower seeds, and prunes.
- Vitamin B% (Pantothenic acid) – beef liver, eggs, avocados, mushrooms, milk, nuts, and green vegetables.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – bananas, avocados, beef, chicken, fish, seeds, and cabbage.
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) – beef liver, clams, tuna, yogurt, milk, cheese, and eggs.
- Folic acid (vitamin BC) – beef liver, spinach, orange juice, romaine lettuce, beets, carrots, egg yolk, avocados, and apricots.
- Biotin – beef liver, almonds, peanut butter, eggs, oat bran, unpolished rice, meat and dairy products.
Choosing The Right Vitamins
Even the most comprehensive diet plan often fall short of meeting all the daily needs of nutrition intake for anyone from children to adults. Some of the reasons for these imbalances are such as improper diet plans, too much fast and convenient food consumption, not enough fruits and vegetables being featured prominently in the daily diet.
Here is where the nutritional support of the vitamins can come in handy. However, it would be folly to simply assume and all vitamins are suitable for everyone alike.
Some considerations should be made such as lifestyles, availability of natural food products, individual health concerns, and many other factors that play a dominant role in deciding the suitable vitamin choice to be consumed.
Selecting: Almost all medical experts still believe the best source of vitamins is still from natural foods but due to a variety of reasons it is not always possible to get the daily requirement through this one source, thus the need to create a balance with the addition of vitamins into the daily nutrition regiment.
Most experts advocate the consumption of a daily dose of multivitamins, which is usually enough to adequately address any lack if the individual is already on a fairly healthy diet plan.
However, if the individual is already on other medication for treating other medical conditions this may not be a suitable option to consider. Some vitamins do not react well to certain medications and this should be carefully considered to avoid any adverse effects to the body system while taking both without a doctor’s consultation.
Lactating women and pregnant women require a whole range of other vitamins to help balance any lack due to the conditions they are in. Similarly, those who are in the older age group may also require higher doses of vitamins or a different variety when compared to the younger group, as older people tend to eat less and their daily diets usually do not contain all the necessary vitamins that the body needs.
Vitamins For Infant
It has long been an established fact, that most infants who feed on breast milk really do have a complete and wholesome nutritional balanced diet and the parents do not have to worry about any lack.
However, in recent years, research has shown that a lot of pregnant and lactating women do not follow a complete and healthy diet plan for themselves and this in turn affects the infant’s overall health.
In some cases, there may be a need to supplement an infant diet plan with specifically identified vitamins. Under no circumstances should an infant be fed with over the counter vitamins without the approval of an experienced medical practitioner.
Some infants may need vitamin D supplements if the daily consumption of milk is less than 32 ounces of formula or breast milk, although it may be a little harder to gauge the amount of milk being consumed if it is not expressed into a bottle.
Premature babies and babies who are born with medical problems may need the assistance of vitamin supplements to help in their fight to stay healthy and grow accordingly.
This is also applicable to mothers who have had previous medical problems thus may not be able to provide all the complete and necessary vitamins to the fetus when carrying the child to term.
Some mothers who follow a vegetarian diet while pregnant may also need to consider some sort of vitamin supplement for the infant at some point after the initial first 6 months of the infant’s life.
Some popular recommendations that doctors may suggest for infants would include an iron supplement, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and DHA which is an important omega 3 supplement.
However, none of these should be incorporated into the infant’s diet without the specific recommendation of a doctor and even then it should be done only after a thorough medical examination has been conducted.
Vitamins For Adult
Most adults today are not able to get complete nutritional needs from their daily diet plan due to a variety of reasons. Even if the most healthy choices of foods are prepared and consumed daily, it does not necessarily mean that the optimum nutritional intake is achieved.
This may be due to the fact that some farming and preserving methods and even cooking or preparation methods contribute to the negative effects on the integrity of the natural food product itself, therefore by the time it is ready for consumption some of most of the original content value has been lost.
Lifestyles also affect the nutritional body’s needs, thus only after taking into account all these various factors should the ideal supplement choice be made.
Ideally, the daily diet should contain all the food groups such as fruit groups, vegetable groups, nut and grain sources, meat and protein sources, and legume groups.
However, for some reason or another, it is almost always impossible to create a balanced diet with all these groups included daily.
Deciding to take doses of vitamins as a substitute for proper food intake is also not something to consider as this is definitely not adequate for the body’s daily needs.
All adults should have all the following vitamins included in their daily diet plans:
Vitamin A – for daily cell reproductions and optimum immunity conditions to fight diseases. This is also needed for the formation of some hormones, helps in vision and bone growth, maintaining healthy skin, hair, and mucous membrane conditions.
Vitamin B – this is for production and maintaining of energy levels, conversion of carbs into energy sources, optimum functioning of the heart muscle, and nervous systems.
Vitamin B2 – important for body growth and reproduction capabilities, along with red cell growth and also releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamins For Senior
For the senior person creating and sticking to an ideal diet plan for that age group can be quite a challenge. This is because there are many connective factors that dictate the well being of those in this age group.
These contributing factors may include the use of medication for certain ailments, the lack of energy or interest to prepare nutritional meals especially if it for only one person’s consumption, no access to shopping for fresh produce, and financial constraints.
None the less serious consideration should be given to ensuring the senior age group makes an attempt to keep to a diet plan that is both balanced and nutritious. This can be done with the assistance of vitamins to supplement any lack found in the diet plan or in the person’s medical makeup.
For Elders: The following are some of the vitamins that ideally should be considered for the consumption of this particular age group:
Vitamin D – this vitamin will help the body absorb the calcium since this age group is more prone to contracting osteoporosis. This vitamin also helps in the fight against most heart diseases which again is something this age group is susceptible to.
All the various vitamin Bs – the senior group often has trouble with creating its own stomach acid which is essential in being able to assist in converting certain foods into elements that the body can use.
Besides assisting in this area, it also helps with keeping the brain in prime condition so that memory loss and other brain debilitating diseases are kept at bay.
Vitamin K – this is especially useful to combat any onset of Alzheimer’s disease. It also helps the blood to clot more efficiently as most aged people will attest to having significant problems when it comes to controlling bleeding. In some cases, this vitamin has also been noted to be able to help in improving osteoporosis conditions.
Avoid Vitamins Overdose
There are a lot of reasons people tend to overdose on vitamins, and in some cases, they are not even aware of this condition until it shows up in some medical test which is brought on by an illness. Overdosing could be due to a number of reasons and most are simply due to the individual being careless or ill-informed.
Too Much: Taking vitamin supplements without proper medical supervision is also not advised as some vitamins don’t react well to other medications that the individual may be taking for certain medical conditions.
Taking these vitamin supplements may cause the other medications to mutate or at the very least become non-effective in treating the ailment it was prescribed to treat.
This of course could result in a very dangerous situation for the individual. Then there are also some vitamins that have been known to take away the effects of other vitamins when taken together. Following the dosage prescribed on the container is also very important for any deviation that could result in an overdose especially when taking extra just to make up for the skipped sessions.
Another way to ensure the individual is not likely to overdose on the vitamins taken is to have periodic blood tests done, as any negative elements will show up clearly in the reports drawn up from the rests.
Taking vitamin supplements simply because it is the thing to do is not enough a reason to start on this regimen. Also taking vitamins without considering the overall lifestyle of the individual is also not a good idea.
For some taking vitamin supplements is done so, in place of proper food intake, and this too is not wise. All these scenarios can and usually leads to either the body not being able to absorb the vitamin fast enough thus retaining them to possible negative medical complications, or having them wasted, as it simply flushes out of the body system unused.
I hope that now you are on your way to a better understanding of vitamins.