Vit­a­min Guide: What you need to know

“When your body is get­ting all the nutri­ents it needs, it’s far eas­ier to lose fat” – life​time​fat​loss​.com

That state­ment sum­ma­rizes one of the impor­tant fea­tures of Vit­a­mins and Min­er­als: there are very good for weight con­trol. How­ever, their main func­tion is to make your body work prop­erly. They pro­vide a boost to the immune sys­tem and sup­port nor­mal growth and devel­op­ment. When choos­ing foods, you should check the accom­pa­ny­ing labels and choose those that are high in vit­a­mins and min­er­als. Sup­ple­ment­ing vit­a­mins is not as nec­es­sary as you may think; in fact, some­times too much of these sub­stances can have harm­ful effects on the body (although iron should be sup­ple­mented in women who are still menstruating).

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Vit­a­mins are organic com­pounds (i.e made by plants or ani­mals) that aid in individual’s growth, repro­duc­tion and over­all health. They work with enzymes to release energy from food that has been digested and they also facil­i­tate the chem­i­cal activ­i­ties occur­ring inside our bod­ies. Some vit­a­mins are water sol­u­ble, while oth­ers are fat sol­u­ble. Water sol­u­ble vit­a­mins need to be dis­solved in water before the body can absorb them. They also can­not be stored in the body and are excreted daily and thus should be taken into the body every day. The water sol­u­ble vit­a­mins are the B vit­a­mins and Vit­a­min C. Fat sol­u­ble vit­a­mins are stored in the body’s fatty tis­sue as well as the liver. These include Vit­a­mins A, D, E and K. These are required in smaller amounts since the body already stores them for a period of time.

Vit­a­min AThis is a pow­er­ful antiox­i­dant; it pro­tects from can­cer, heart dis­eases, and stroke. It is good for skin and eye health and also has anti-​aging prop­er­ties as it elim­i­nates wrin­kles and slows aging. In addi­tion to low­er­ing cho­les­terol, Vit­a­min A is good for the for­ma­tion of bones and teeth. It is also good for the immune sys­tem and repro­duc­tion, impor­tant to the devel­op­ment and main­te­nance of healthy cell growth and aids in the proper devel­op­ment of the foetus.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 700800 micrograms

Vit­a­min B1 (Thi­amine)This is good for the blood (cir­cu­la­tion and for­ma­tion) and the brain (has a pos­i­tive effect on learn­ing and other func­tions). It is also good for energy, car­bo­hy­drate metab­o­lism and growth. Thi­amine is needed for ner­vous sys­tem func­tion­ing, diges­tion and also for the mus­cles and the heart.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 1.1 milligrams

Vit­a­min B2 (Riboflavin)This vit­a­min is nec­es­sary for anti­body pro­duc­tion, cell growth and red blood cell for­ma­tion. It aids in the con­ver­sion of food to energy; it is vital for good vision and healthy skin and has also been found to be good for the nails and the hair.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 1.4 milligrams

Vit­a­min B3 (Niacin)This is great for the skin and ner­vous sys­tem. Niacin aids in cir­cu­la­tion and diges­tion, as well as the metab­o­lism of car­bo­hy­drates, fats and pro­teins. It also assists in nor­mal growth and devel­op­ment and can treat per­sons who have high cho­les­terol levels.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 14 milligrams

Vit­a­min B5 (Pan­tothenic Acid)This has anti-​stress prop­er­ties and is there­fore help­ful in treat­ing depres­sion and anx­i­ety. It pro­vides sup­port to the adrenal glands, neu­ro­trans­mit­ters and the gas­troin­testi­nal tract and also helps to con­vert car­bo­hy­drates, pro­tein and fat into energy.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 5 milligrams

Vit­a­min B6 (Pyri­dox­ine)Good for the brain, ner­vous sys­tem and blood for­ma­tion. It keeps the sodium and potas­sium lev­els of the body in bal­ance and facil­i­tates the pro­duc­tion of hydrochlo­ric acid and the absorp­tion of fats and pro­tein. Pyri­dox­ine aids in the growth of cells, boosts the immune sys­tem, influ­ences cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties and helps to make red blood cells.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 1.3 milligrams

Vit­a­min B7 or Vit­a­min H (Biotin)This helps in cell growth and the metab­o­lism of car­bo­hy­drates, fats and pro­teins. It pro­motes healthy hair and skin and also aids in reliev­ing mus­cle pains.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 30 micrograms

Vit­a­min B9 (Folate/​Folic Acid)This is also known as “brain food”, is good for energy and strength­ens the immune sys­tem by sup­port­ing white blood cells. It aids in the for­ma­tion of red blood cells and in cell devel­op­ment, pre­vents birth defects and main­tains a healthy heart. Folic Acid also assists in the pro­duc­tion of neu­ro­trans­mit­ters such as sero­tonin (reg­u­lates mood, sleep and appetite).

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 200 micro­grams (400 micro­grams should be con­sumed by preg­nant women daily)

Vit­a­min B12 (Cyanocobal­amin)Great for diges­tion, this vit­a­min aids in the pre­ven­tion of anaemia and is nec­es­sary for the diges­tive process, cell for­ma­tion, metab­o­lism of fats and car­bo­hy­drates and the syn­the­sis of pro­tein. It also pre­vents dam­age to the nerves, aids in the pro­duc­tion of red blood cells, sup­ports mem­ory and learn­ing and enhances sleep.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 2.5 micrograms

Vit­a­min C (Ascor­bic Acid)has antiox­i­dant, anti-​stress, anti-​cancer, anti-​viral and anti-​bacterial prop­er­ties. This vit­a­min is good for heal­ing cuts and wounds, pro­vides sup­port to the immune sys­tem, good for res­pi­ra­tory issues such as asthma, increases the absorp­tion of iron and also reduces the risk of eye dis­or­ders such as cataract. Addi­tion­ally, it also pro­tects against cell dam­age, aids in good bone and teeth health and low­ers cho­les­terol levels.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 80 milligrams

Cholineis nec­es­sary for the health of the ner­vous sys­tem, good for the brain and hor­mone pro­duc­tion, aids in the pro­duc­tion of cells in the body and also main­tains good liver functioning.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 425 micro­grams (women); 550 micro­grams (men)

Vit­a­min Dis the only vit­a­min that can be made in the body, Vit­a­min D aids in the metab­o­lism of cal­cium and phos­pho­rus and is very nec­es­sary for growth. It can not only treat, but also pro­tect against cer­tain dis­eases such as breast and colon can­cer, dia­betes and osteoarthri­tis and enhances immu­nity while aid­ing in nor­mal blood clot­ting. Cru­cial for the func­tion­ing of the thy­roids, it is also needed for the bones and mus­cles and to facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion between brain and the rest of the body.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 5 micrograms

Vit­a­min Ehas antiox­i­dant prop­er­ties and reduces the risk of can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases. It is good for cir­cu­la­tion, main­tains the health of nerves, mus­cles, skin and hair, good for nor­mal blood clot­ting and heal­ing and reduces scar­ring from some wounds. Fur­ther­more, it pro­tects cells against dam­age and is good for the immune sys­tem and DNA repair.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 1015 milligrams

Vit­a­min K — aids in nor­mal blood clot­ting and is also good for the for­ma­tion and repair of bones as well as the pre­ven­tion of bone issues such as osteo­poro­sis. It can decrease the like­li­hood of chil­dren con­tract­ing infec­tions and also pro­motes healthy liver func­tion­ing. Vit­a­min K has anti-​cancer prop­er­ties specif­i­cally against those can­cers that tar­get the inner lin­ings of the body’s organs.

Rec­om­mended Daily Intake: 90 micro­grams (women); 120 micro­grams (men)

Only small doses of vit­a­mins and min­er­als are needed to keep the body func­tion­ing at its opti­mum capac­ity. Thus, the best way to get all the vit­a­mins and min­er­als you need is to eat a vari­ety of foods and have a bal­anced diet. Vit­a­min and min­eral defi­cien­cies can either cre­ate health issues or cause exist­ing chronic health con­di­tions to reoc­cur.

Image taken fron Health​tap​.com

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