You might find yourself asking, "Should I be taking vitamins?" or "Which vitamins and minerals are important for my body?" we are here to break it down for you. We've compiled everything you need to know about vitamins and supplements and how to pick a high-quality, safe product for your lifestyle. As a reminder, people who have specific health problems or take some medication should seek medical advice before taking supplements.
There is a difference between vitamins and supplements:
- Supplements add nutritional value to your diet or augments your health.
- Vitamins are a type of supplement.
For most of us, it's possible to consume all the nutrients you need solely through a balanced diet. Supplements are designed to add to or complement your diet. They contain dietary ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants, and other nutrients. They can come in many forms, from powder, liquid, capsules, easy-to-swallow pills, and delicious fruit-flavored gummies. Supplements can be an easy and efficient way to boost your physical or mental wellness.
What do supplements contain?
Vitamins. Your body requires vitamins for proper function and to contribute to your overall wellness. Many are involved in regulating vital metabolic functions, such as growth, nerve function, and good digestion.
Fat-soluble vitamins. As these vitamins dissolve in fat, they can be stored by your body. Vitamin A, D, E, and K belong to this group.
Water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins mostly pass through our system. Vitamins C and B are among these types of vitamins.
Minerals. A mineral is an inorganic element necessary for various bodily functions, such as bone health, proper growth, and optimal fluid balance.
Proprietary blends. Supplement makers create proprietary blends with unique combinations of ingredients.
Diving Deeper into Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs to function correctly. These nutrients help with growing tissues, regulating metabolism, and maintaining a healthy immune system. There are many different vitamins and minerals, each playing a role in our overall health and protecting us from various diseases. Most people may get their nutrients from eating a wide variety of foods, maintaining a balanced diet, and taking supplements to boost certain nutrient levels.
Vitamins are organic compounds (made by plants or animals), and they help our body grow, stay healthy, and work the way it should. There are 13 vitamins that humans require — vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyroxidine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).
Minerals are inorganic and come from soil and water, and there are two kinds; macrominerals and trace minerals. Like vitamins, minerals help our body function, and some minerals are necessary for optimal health. Your body uses minerals to keep your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly.
Recommended essential vitamins and minerals
Vitamin A plays an important role in the growth of cell development. It helps our immune systems function properly, keeps our skin healthy, promotes hair, nails, gums, glands, bones, and teeth, and helps with vision.
Where to get Vitamin A: Foods that contain a good source include sweet potatoes, mango, cheese, oily fish, eggs, carrots, and apricots.
B Vitamins play a vital role in maintaining overall good health. Many different types of Vitamin B can improve energy production and enhance the body's immune system. It's also necessary for cell development, growth and function. From vitamin B1 to vitamin B12, these key nutrients are found in various foods.
Where to get Vitamin B: Foods that contain a good source include meat, eggs, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, and beans.
Vitamin C has many vital functions, including helping to keep blood vessels strong, keep cells, giving skin its elasticity, and bones healthy, and assist with wound healing. It boosts the immune system and increases iron absorption.
Where to get Vitamin C: Foods that contain a good source include oranges, strawberries, and broccoli, sprouts and potatoes, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, beans.
Vitamin D, known as the "sunshine vitamin," builds strong bones, aids in calcium absorption, and is needed to keep our teeth and muscles strong and healthy.
Where to get Vitamin D: Foods that contain a good source include egg yolks, red meat, liver, fatty fish, fish-liver oil, mushroom, and fortified foods such as fat spreads.
Vitamin E protects cells, and tissues from damage, helps prevent blood clots, maintains red blood cells, healthy eyes and skin, and boosts our immune system.
Where to get Vitamin E: Foods that contain a good source include eggs, nuts, seeds, spinach, avocados, and butternut squash.
Vitamin K is a group of vitamins that helps wounds to heal and helps blood clots form.
Where to get Vitamin K: Foods that contain a good source include Spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, soybeans, blueberries, meat, cheese, eggs, and vegetable oils.
Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth, and calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function correctly.
Where to get Calcium: Foods that contain a good source include dairy products like yogurt, cheese, milk, broccoli and cabbage.
Iron is an essential part of building red blood cells, regulating body temperature, and helps to preserve many vital functions in the body.
Where to get Iron: Foods that contain a good source include red meat, liver, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, seafood, lentils, beans, tofu, cashews, and broccoli.
Zinc is a mineral that plays an essential role in immune function and supports normal growth and development throughout youth. Zinc also provides structure by helping to support proteins, such as those found in cell membranes and muscle tissue.
Where to get Zinc: Foods that contain a good source include Oysters, lobster, clams, spinach, cashews, legumes, whole grains, beans, and dark chocolate.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps smooth muscles and regulates various body processes, including nerve & muscle function and heart rhythms.
Where to get Magnesium: Foods that contain a good source include chicken, beef, spinach, dairy products, beans, potatoes, brown rice, oats, broccoli, almonds, cashews, peanuts.
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* FDA Disclaimer
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your health care professional before using any product.