Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients since they help the body perform hundreds of functions. There’s a fine line between having enough of these nutrients (which is good) and getting too much of them (which is terrible) (which can end up harming you). The easiest way to get adequate quantities of the vitamins and minerals you need is to eat a balanced diet.
Your body needs those nutrients.
Your body creates skin, muscle, and bone daily. It produces rich red blood that transports nutrients and oxygen to far-flung outposts, as well as nerve impulses that travel thousands of miles across the brain and body. It also creates chemical messengers that transport information from one organ to the next, allowing you to live longer.
However, your body will need some raw materials to do all of this. There are at least 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that your body requires but cannot produce in adequate quantities on its own.
Different Types Of Vitamins
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients because they play hundreds of roles in the body as they work together. They aid in repairing bones, healing wounds, and strengthening the immune system. They also repair cellular damage and turn food into energy.
However, keeping track of each of these vitamins and minerals can be difficult. If you read enough articles on the topic, you’ll notice that the alphabet-soup references to these nutrients, which are often identified by their initials, will make your eyes swim.
Micronutrients that play an essential role in the body
Vitamins and minerals are referred to as micronutrients because they are only needed in trace quantities by the human body. However, failing to obtain even such tiny amounts almost ensures disease. Here are a few diseases that a vitamin deficiency can cause:
- Scurvy is a disease that affects people. Scurvy induces bleeding gums and listlessness, as old sailors discovered when they went months without eating fresh fruits or vegetables, which are the primary sources of vitamin C.
- Blindness. Vitamin A deficiency also causes blindness in some developing countries.
- Rickets. Rickets is a condition characterized by weakened, brittle bones that can lead to skeletal deformities such as bent legs and is caused by a vitamin D deficiency. Since the 1930s, the United States has fortified milk with vitamin D to treat rickets.
- In the same way that a lack of main micronutrients can cause serious harm to your body, having enough of them can be highly beneficial.
Here are some examples of these advantages:
- Bones of steel. Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, and phosphorus work together to protect the bones from fractures.
- It helps to prevent congenital disabilities. Taking folic acid supplements early in pregnancy can help protect offspring from the brain and spinal birth defects.
- Teeth in good condition. Fluoride is a mineral that not only aids bone formation but also prevents the onset or worsening of dental cavities.
What is the distinction between vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins and minerals vary in fundamental respects, although they are both considered micronutrients. Vitamins are organic substances that can be degraded by sun, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and have a chemical structure that they maintain.
So, why is this important? It means that minerals from the soil and water quickly enter your body through the foods, fish, and animals you eat, as well as the fluids you drink. However, getting vitamins into your body from food and other sources is more difficult because cooking, storage, and even simple exposure to air can inactivate these more delicate compounds.
You probably strive to live a healthy lifestyle. Modern advancements make it easier to do so. We can get many of the vitamins and nutrients we need through food consumption. We can also access less readily available ones through supplements. To be sure you’re doing what’s best for your health, you must understand which types of vitamins your body needs.
Here are just five of the top essential vitamins you need to live a healthy lifestyle.
Folate and Folic Acid
Folate is an all-encompassing term to cover the various types of vitamin B9. It’s vital to healthy cell growth and function. It also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells. Folic acid is simply a synthetic form of B9. It’s used in supplements, as well as in fortified foods.
Folate isn’t a vitamin you can quickly get through food consumption alone, though it is found in such foods as:
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
Some bread, pasta, rice, and cereal may also be fortified with folic acid. You may also want to add a quality supplement to your daily intake, such as one from a reputable supplier like Supplement Source.
2. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is primarily known for its vital role in sleep, appetite, and mood regulation. Also, it helps in the manufacture of red blood cells. Healthy cognitive abilities and immune function rely on it as well. It may be one of the essential vitamins in your body, as it also contributes to hundreds of other biochemical reactions within the body.
Fortunately, there are a vast array of foods that contain vitamin B6. Many types of meat, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts can add to your daily B6 intake.
Other sources include:
- Garbanzo beans
- Fortified foods
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy blood cells and contributes to your DNA. Plus, it fuels energy production. Proper absorption is necessary for your body to reap the maximum benefits from this vitamin. Issues such as aging, some medications, and certain health conditions can make absorption more difficult. Those who cannot absorb Vitamin B12 naturally may wish to look into supplementation.
Otherwise, it’s possible to get it from foods like:
- Dairy products
4. Vitamin D
Another essential vitamin you should be getting every day is Vitamin D. This vitamin helps you absorb calcium to build healthy bones and teeth. Lack of it has been linked to health issues like heart disease and certain cancers.
The primary natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. If you have darker skin, don’t get outside often, or live in an area that gets little sun, you could find yourself deficient in this essential vitamin. Fortunately, several foods are fortified with it for that very reason. Look to oily fish, mushrooms, and eggs. You can also take a supplement if necessary.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A contributes to healthy skin and vision, as well as proper immune function. Pre-formed vitamin A, or retinol, and beta carotene are what your body uses to convert into an active form of vitamin A.
You can get it through many food sources.
- Sweet potatoes
Talk to your doctor if you suspect you’re not getting enough of these everyday essential vitamins in your system. They can also recommend other vital nutrients for you. Eating a well-balanced and healthful diet can typically ensure you’re getting what you need. However, there are many quality supplements you can add to your daily regimen to ensure you’re getting what you need. With modern-day advances, obtaining the nutrients you require is attainable. You need to know your body and plan for your unique needs.