Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients in our diet because our bodies need them to perform at optimal levels. Vitamins play a huge role in our growth, development, and mobility. They give our hair its luster and make our skin glow. They are essential to the metabolic processes in the body and help to regulate the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, the brain, and the nervous system.
Despite the immense benefits of vitamins to our health, many people are still deficient in these essential organic compounds. Vitamin deficiencies are dangerous and can result in severe health issues. In this article, we will look at five vitamins that are essential for your health. Make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins every day and if you think you are deficient in any one of them, you can add a supplement to your diet to boost the levels of the vitamin in your body.
Vitamin C is one of the most widely used vitamins in the world. It is an important nutrient in food and is used in many cosmetic and beauty products. Vitamin C is an immune system booster, protects the body from cardiovascular diseases, and is a source of energy for the body. Vitamin C is also known to relieve stress. 500 mg of Vitamin C should be taken daily to obtain a healthy level of the vitamin in the body.
Deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include hair loss, fatigue, bruising, weight loss, dry skin, mood swings, joint pain, dental problems, muscle pains, and infection.
Vitamin C is found in different types of fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruits. It is abundant in citruses such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli. You can take them raw or add them to your smoothie for a healthy dose of vitamin C. You can also take vitamin C supplements if it’s not easy to obtain it from your diet.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is a compound that helps in the breakdown and metabolism of fats and proteins. Riboflavin is an essential ingredient in the energy pathway which converts food into energy that the body uses to fuel other metabolic activities to keep us running through the day. Additionally, riboflavin also promotes hair and skin health. 1-1.5 mg of vitamin B12 per day should be taken by adults to prevent deficiency.
A deficiency of riboflavin can result in hair loss and skin lesions. It can also cause digestive problems, slow mental response, eye problems, frequent dizziness, and insomnia.
Riboflavin can be derived from vegetables and dairy products. Adding a cup of Greek yogurt to your meal can provide you with the daily requirement of vitamin B2
Have you seen a bleeding person whose injury refuses to clot? That is a sign of vitamin K deficiency. Vitamin K is an important vitamin that regulates blood clotting, which is essential to recovery from injuries. Besides helping the body to heal its wounds, vitamin K is also crucial for healthy bones and teeth. Male adults require a minimum of 120 mg of vitamin K each day, while females need at least 90 mg per day.
Deficiency of vitamin K causes the inability of blood to clot and delays in the healing of wounds. Vitamin K deficiency is more common among newborn infants.
Vitamin K can be found in green vegetables such as spinach and kale. Adding a cup of kale or spinach to your breakfast is a simple way of meeting your daily vitamin K requirements.
Vitamin B1 or thiamine is an extremely important vitamin which is essential for the proper function of the heart and nervous system. Thiamine is also crucial to the production of energy at the cellular level and plays an important role in the digestive system. To meet your daily requirements, take 1.1-1.3 mg of Thiamine a day. Note that excessive intake of alcoholic beverages can lead to a deficiency of vitamin B1 because alcohol flushes the vitamin out of the body.
Deficiency in vitamin B1 can lead to beriberi, which has symptoms such as loss of appetite, painful limbs, weakness, swollen legs or feet, and shortness of breath. It can also cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which produces symptoms such as mental confusion, vision disturbances, and unsteady gait.
Thiamine deficiency can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and heart failure.
Thiamine can be gotten from foods such as whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts. You can add these foods as a side dish to your breakfast or dinner to supply your body with this essential compound.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body to fight free radicals. Free radicals oxidize body cells, causing severe damage to cells, the immune system, and fast-tracking the aging process. Vitamin E protects the body against the harmful effects of free radicals and scientists believe it may be able to prevent cancer and coronary diseases. Plus, it is a natural sex drive booster. Adults are advised to take a minimum of 15 mg per day.
It is rare for people to have a deficiency of Vitamin E. However, a deficiency of vitamin E may cause mild hemolytic anemia in newborns, ataxia, myopathies, skeletal myopathies, peripheral neuropathy, and retinopathy among others.
Vitamin E can be derived from food rich in healthy fats. Foods such as avocado, nuts, and seeds are a great source of Vitamin E. Add avocado to your salad or snack on nuts to infuse your body with vitamin E.
You can get vitamin supplements in the market, but the best way to get your vitamins is in the natural form through your diet. To maintain a healthy level of vitamins needed to keep your body in optimal conditions, ensure you include vitamin-rich foods in your meals every day. Your body and mind will thank you for it.