Why is adequate vitamin intake so important and why are vitamins essential for good health, especially as we grow older?
Unfortunately, because vitamins have so many different roles to play in maintaining good health, vitamins are essential nutrients that we can’t live without.
In most cases, we are not aware just what miracles vitamins are performing within us until we don’t get sufficient amounts, and health problems begin to occur.
Vitamins are characterized by the following:
- They are found naturally in most foods in varying amounts.
- They are organic and can be broken down by air, heat or acid, making it more difficult for your body to absorb them. Therefore, cooking, exposure to air and storage also affects their chemical structure.
- Vitamins cannot be made by the body excepting for vitamin D after we have been in the sun.
- Vitamins are crucial for normal and healthy development and functioning of the body.
- When vitamins are absent from the diet, certain deficiencies can develop.
There are 13 essential vitamins which are divided into 2 categories:
Water-Soluble And Fat-Soluble Vitamins.
Water Soluble Vitamins:
- B vitamins
- Biotin (vitamin B7)
- Folic acid (folate, vitamin B9)
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Thiamin (vitamin B1)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
These water-soluble vitamins need to be replenished on a daily basis since they’re easily absorbed into the bloodstream as food is digested or supplements are dissolved.
These vitamins are present in the watery sections of the food you eat, water-soluble vitamins are continuously regulated via your kidneys. Any excess is flushed out with your urine.
Some of the roles these vitamins play are:
- producing and releasing energy
- boosting the immune system
- maintaining tissue health
- build proteins and cells
- Produce collagen present in skin cells, blood vessel walls and gums that aids in the process of healing wounds
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Fat-soluble vitamins are quite difficult to figure out because we are more likely to be deficient in these types of vitamins; yet taking them for prolonged periods of time, especially in supplements, can be toxic and very harmful to your health.
These types of vitamins are not as easily transported through the body as water-soluble vitamins.
In fact, any excess of fat-soluble vitamins is stored in the liver and fat tissue for up to 6 months.
First, they’re absorbed through the intestinal wall, then they enter the lymph vessels before making their way into the bloodstream.
Most fat-soluble vitamins need a protein carrier to facilitate their movement throughout the body.
Fat-soluble vitamins are responsible for the following:
- protecting our vision
- blood clotting
- interacting together to enhance absorption
- the formation of healthy red blood cells
- protecting the body against illnesses, disease and free radical damage
So why are vitamins essential for good health?
Mainly because we want to avoid getting sick, especially as we age.
Unfortunately, vitamin deficiencies are extremely common with the main culprits being poor diet, chronic stress, and digestive problems.
Vitamin deficiencies alter bodily functions and processes at the most basic cellular level. These functions include enzyme function, nerve signaling, water balance, digestion, and metabolism.
For example, a lack of vitamin D and calcium can eventually cause osteoporosis which is brittle bones as you age.
So to answer why are vitamins essential for good health is that you can prevent chronic illnesses and diseases by just ensuring that you get all your vitamins.
People who are at most risk for nutritional deficiencies are:
- the elderly
- athletes who train for long periods of time
- low-income earners
Some of the most common symptoms of vitamin deficiency include fatigue, hair loss, oral health problems, muscle cramps, shortness of breath, dizziness, irregular heartbeats and mental fogginess.
Every one of the 13 vitamins has a certain role but each also works in unison with the other 12 to lead to the best possible physical condition.
This is why it’s so important to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, beans and lentils, lean meat, and fish to make sure youíre getting all the essential nutrients your body needs to prevent deficiency, promote fat loss and enhance muscle gain.
Supplements and multivitamins are a great way to make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need.
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Naturelo natural vitamins is a really good example of a good, organic and well balanced vitamin and mineral supplement to use.
This particular one is aimed at men, but you will be able to find one for women too by simply clicking the link above or the picture on the right.
Talk to your doctor to make sure you’re getting the right amount instead of getting too little and not getting the most out of your supplements or getting too much and increasing your risk of toxic reactions. A simple blood test is all you need to know whether or not you’re vitamin deficient.
So hopefully in the article above, I have answered your question ‘why are vitamins essential for good health?’
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