The Simple Truth About Vitamins
the importance of good nutrients
It’s no secret that vitamins and nutrients play an important role in our bodies. We see vitamins and nutrients advertised everywhere from supplements to drinks. Even cereal boxes and sports drinks advertise the fact that they have vitamins and nutrients, but what exactly are they? What is the importance of vitamins and nutrients? What nutrients are important for your body? How should you select which vitamins and nutrients are best for you? Are they regulated? Let’s answer all of these questions so you can do what is best for your body.
What Are Vitamins And Nutrients?
There are many different types of vitamins from vitamin A to vitamin B-3. Vitamins are one of the six essential nutrients that provide many health benefits for your body. The six major nutrients are fats, proteins, water, minerals, carbohydrates, and water. Water, of course, is one of the more important nutrients because that’s what the majority of your body is made of. Proteins are found in meat, eggs, and nuts. Carbohydrates are found in cereals, pasta, and bread. Fats are found in oils, seeds, or butter. Vitamins, from A to K are found in fruits and other foods.
Vitamins are also known as micronutrients and they are important in smaller amounts. They include everything from minerals like potassium and zinc to water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins like vitamin B-12 for fatigue or vitamin B-2 for hormones leave the body faster so it’s important to consume them regularly. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored with fat like vitamin D for bone function. It’s important to regulate fat-soluble vitamins as taking too many can build up over time and cause issues.
What Is The Importance of Vitamins And Nutrients?
Vitamins and other nutrients help boost your immune system, give you stronger teeth and bones, carry oxygen through your body, improve your brain function, and much more. There is no shortage of health benefits that vitamins and nutrients provide. Before you run off to the store to pick up a bottle of vitamins, you need to make sure you need them at all.
You’re able to purchase many supplements without any prescription. People around the world take these vitamins and nutrients to boost their health. However, you may be getting the recommended amount of vitamins or nutrients from the food you’re eating. However, if you’re not eating a balanced diet, then that’s when you should look into picking up vitamins or nutrients to supplement your nutritional needs.
Some of the more popular vitamin and nutrient supplements usually come packaged together as a multivitamin. However, they can come separately for those who only need a single vitamin or nutrient but how do you know which one is best for you?
How Should You Select Which Vitamins And Nutrients Are Best For You?
It’s important before taking any over-the-counter vitamins or nutrients that you speak with a healthcare professional about your body’s individual needs. Your primary physician would also need to ensure there won’t be any harmful interactions with any medications you’re currently taking. For example, some medications for a high blood pressure increase your body’s potassium levels. If you take additional potassium through over-the-counter tablets, then you may be putting yourself at risk for unintended side effects.
Other nutrient supplements could cause other medications such as birth control pills or antidepressants to be less effective. That’s why it’s important to check the recommended daily value of each vitamin or nutrient you’re taking so you’re not taking too much. How would you know which vitamin or nutrient is best for you?
If you’re pregnant, then you may want to look into vitamin D or iron. These vitamins and nutrients help with the development of the baby before and after birth. If you’re someone who mostly sticks to a vegetarian or vegan diet, then you may want to look into taking vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is mostly found in meat, fish, and other animal products, so those who don’t consume enough meat want to supplement these vitamins. If you’re very fond of fish, then you may have a hard time getting omega-3 fatty acids into your body. That’s when you grab a bottle of fish oil to help boost your heart health.
People often believe that fish oil and other fats are bad for your body but you need these nutrients to help keep your body running. Fat provides the energy your cells need to function. Of course, there are some fats you want to avoid. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy fats that balance your blood sugar, maintain brain function, aid in vitamin absorption and reduce your risk of heart disease. The fats you want to stay away from are saturated and trans fats found in processed or frozen foods. You can find healthy fats in vegetable oils, nuts, fish, or over-the-counter nutrient supplements.
Are They Regulated?
Products that contain vitamins are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Before vitamins or nutrient supplements are able to be distributed to the market, they need to be tested to ensure their safety. The FDA has the power to remove supplements from circulation if they find issues such as misleading information from manufacturers. It’s always important to look at any bottle of over-the-counter vitamins and nutrients to ensure they’ve been properly lab-tested. Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their labels list exactly what you’re putting into your body.
Again, it’s important to check with your doctor before you start taking any additional vitamins or nutrients. They might be healthy for you but taking too much doesn’t mean you’re going to be extra healthy. Some vitamins, especially fat-soluble ones, can get stored in your body and cause issues down the road. However, life moves at such a fast pace that it’s difficult to always eat a balanced diet with all the healthy vitamins and nutrients you need. That’s why it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional, a primary physician or nutritionist, to assess your individual body’s needs.