Which vitamin supplements can help you?

diet, energy, improve performance, Mental health, nutrition, supplements -

Which vitamin supplements can help you?

Many people don’t consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, this is fair enough as many of your vitamins and mineral needs are obtained by having a healthy and balances diet. Vitamins and minerals are essential for your body’s health in the correct quantities so eating healthy is important to make sure you don’t suffer from any vitamin deficiencies.  Taking too much of a vitamin can also be harmful to health so you don’t want to over do it, if you believe you are suffering from a deficiency or are just curious to what supplements are worth having then this is the article for you.

 

What are vitamins and minerals?

The words vitamins and minerals are thrown around a lot during life, but many people do not actually know what they mean. These are essential for your body to function and are measured in different ways. Examples of the measurements used are milligrams (mg) or micrograms.  There are two categories of vitamins, these are fat soluble and water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. Water soluble vitamins are the more complex vitamins. These include C, B B6 and B12 and these are unable to be dissolved without water. This means we are also unable to store these vitamins in your body.  As these vitamins cannot be stored, if they remain unused then they pass through our body in our urine.

As you have probably been told all your life, vitamins and minerals are essential for general health and wellbeing. Vitamins and minerals can boost immune function making you less likely to contract any diseases.  The role of these vitamin is endless in your body, they can help everything from growth to energy and are essential for living a healthy life.  Not getting your recommended dose of minerals and vitamins can cause health complications, for example not getting enough vitamin C can cause scurvy. This was a prominent disease with sailors as their diet lacked fresh fruit, where a lot of vitamin c is found.

 

Vitamin D

A vitamin that you should make sure you get enough of is vitamin D.  This helps regulate calcium and phosphate in the body, meaning this vitamin helps keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy.  The recommended daily amount for an adult is around 10 micrograms and not getting enough can cause disorders like rickets and osteomalacia. This supplement does not usually need to e supplemented as many people get their daily amount from sunlight and diet, however this can be difficult in winter or lockdown months as the amount of time we append outdoors is limited.

There are also many other sources of vitamin D other than sunlight. These other sources include oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolk and fortified foods. This vitamin is also fat soluble, meaning it can be stored and dissolved in your body. This is useful as it can decrease the chances of a deficiency in this vitamin. Usually this may not be needed to be taken as a supplement but however in 2020 due to lockdown rules people haven’t been going outside and therefore haven’t been getting there vitamin d from sunlight.

 

Vitamin c

This is probably the most popular vitamin as its known for boosting your immune function helping you fight off potentially harmful colds and viruses. This has been an effective treatment for the common cold for years and it can also be used to treat other condition. Not getting enough vitamin c can cause health conditions like scurvy and a weakened immune system.  Adults aged 19 to 64 are recommended to get around 40mg of vitamin C per day.

Vitamin C is adsorbed through diet.  Foods that are high in vitamin C are citrus fruits (oranges and lemons), peppers, blackcurrants, sprouts and potatoes. Taking large amounts of vitamin C can also have some health side affects like stomach pain a diarrhoea, so you need to make sure you are not overdoing it. You should get most of your vitamin C from a balanced diet but if you find that your diet lacks fresh fruit and vegetables then you may not be getting your daily recommended dose and may need to start supplementing this vitamin.

 

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that has many benefits. This is a mineral that helps your muscles communicate with each other, helps heart function and removes waste products from cells. This mineral can also counter the effects of sodium (salt) , as too much sodium can cause complications like high blood pressure. The recommended dose of potassium is around 2600 to 3400 milligrams per day, having too much or not enough wont cause major health issues as long as you aren’t too much off the goal and don’t have any underlying health issues. An example of a side effect of having too much potassium is an irregular heart rate as this is one of the things potassium controls.

Not getting enough potassium can also cause muscle cramps and pains for athletes, and you may feel weaker if suffering from a deficiency. Foods that are a good source of potassium include bananas, potatoes, spinach, broccoli and many other fruits and vegetables.  Before supplementing this mineral you want to make sure you already are not exceeding your daily dose as really high potassium levels an have side effect. These include tiredness, feelings of numbness and chest pain.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential nutrient that is responsible for many bodily functions. We are required to get this nutrient from food or through supplements so having a health balanced diet is essential to make sure you are getting enough magnesium. This mineral is responsible for many roles on the body and some include stress relief, better sleep, balance in blood sugar levels and healthier muscles and bones. The recommended daily magnesium dose is 400 mg for men and 320 mg for women. The amount you should be having depends on age and sex so you should do some research to find out how much you should be having.

Much of the magnesium your body adsorbs should come from your diet. Good sources of magnesium include green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans. Whole grains and dairy products are also high in this mineral and can help you reach your mineral goals. Having too much magnesium is rare but can still pose a risk to those with underlying health conditions like kidney disease. Some side effects of an overdose can include diarrhoea, weakness, nausea, and low blood pressure.

 

Zinc

When it comes to the mineral zinc, many people may be in a deficiency but don’t even know it. This mineral cant be stored by the body and many people’s diets do not contain zinc rich foods. As this is the case this mineral is something you should be keeping an eye on and making sure you are getting enough of it. This mineral is responsible for many bodily functions, some of these include cell growth, cell division, healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.  Zinc also plays a great role in immune function as it can relieve cold symptoms and can reduce the time it takes you to get rid of any illnesses or diseases.

 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be stored by the body. As this is the case you must make sure you are getting enough of this essential vitamin through your diet.  This vitamin is heavily involved with your metabolism and can help create red blood cells to transport oxygen and other substances to your cells. As B12 is found mainly in animal products like milk and meat, vegans and vegetarians can be at a risk of a B12 deficiency and this can cause other health effects.  Not getting enough f this vitamin can lead to anaemia making you weak and tired. This is bad news no matter what your day may hold. You can’t really get too much of this vitamin as your body flushes out what it doesn’t need.

 

Overall, if you are thinking about supplementing vitamins and miners then you should look at your diet and activities. In this article we have only covered a few of the vitamins that you may need to supplement but everyone is different and has different needs. If you believe you need to supplement to gain your daily dose of vitamins and minerals, then check with someone as you do not want the supplements to interfere with existing medical issues or any medication you may be taking. You could also resort to taking multivitamins as these contain multiple vitamins and minerals, eliminating the individual supplements you may be taking and putting all you require into one pill.