Whether you’ve got a deep understanding of natural health or not, the majority of us have heard of vitamins and supplements.
These dietary additions are pitched as a way to bring the necessary nutrients into your everyday life. Research from Mintel in 2020 found that the vitamins and supplements market has been predicted to reach £494 million with forecasted sales of £559 million by 2025. The rise in popularity is thought to be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic; an attempt to improve overall health and prevent the uptake of infection.
But as more and more of us turn to these additions into our diets, do you know exactly what each vitamin and supplement does? And, whether you need to take them at all?
Read on to learn more.
Let’s first ensure we have a clear understanding of what we mean when we talk about vitamins and supplements.
Vitamins are organic nutrients that are essential for many of our bodily functions. Because our body produces very few (and very little) of these vitamins, we rely heavily on the food that we absorb to get these into our system.
The body uses vitamins in a multitude of different ways. They support functions such as our repair system, our overall immunity and help to convert the food that we eat into energy.
Every single action or process that happens in our bodies are reliant on vitamins in one way or another. This is why it is so important to make sure healthy levels are maintained.
Supplements are a way of consuming vitamins alongside other beneficial elements within your diet.
They are designed to enhance the benefits of a healthy diet and allow you to gain all of the nutrients needed. Essentially, supplements are blends of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and more.
Because they come in a variety of different forms (tablets, powders, liquids etc), they are incredibly easy to take and have become a popular way to ensure the body is getting everything it needs to work effectively.
Whether or not you choose to take vitamins will come down to one of two factors - personal preference or health deficiencies.
We recommend always speaking to your healthcare professional before adding anything new to your diet. And, make sure you do as much research as possible.
Much of the goodness that you can derive from tablets, powder or liquid form vitamins/supplements can also be gained from a rich and well-varied diet.
However, if you are considering introducing some vitamins into your daily routine, it pays to understand which ones are the most important.
Within the human body, we rely on 4 key vitamins which we will look at here.
This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for many processes in the body.
It is found in both animal and plant-based foods and helps to maintain healthy eyesight. Vitamin A also plays a role in the strength of our immune system and, because it is vital for growth, is incredibly important for pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Evidence shows that good levels of Vitamin A can prevent eyesight degeneration, lower your risk of certain cancers, reduce the risk of acne and help promote strong bones.
Vitamin A is found in a wide variety of different foods, including salmon, nuts like pecans, walnuts, fruits including apricots and egg yolks. Equally, it can be taken as a supplement to boost your natural levels.
We tend to associate Vitamin D with sunlight.
And while we do receive a portion of this essential vitamin from exposure to natural light, we also get a degree from the foods that we eat. It is incredibly important in helping to manage the levels of phosphate and calcium in the body.
A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to brittle bones, deformities and pain in adults. It has also been linked to the development of rickets in children and is linked to both muscle and heart health.
You can naturally bring Vitamin D into your diet with foods such as fish-live oil, fortified milk, orange juice, fish including salmon and beef liver.
With high antioxidant properties, Vitamin E is linked to healthy vision and reproduction.
It also helps to strengthen your immune system, providing your body with a strong defence against illnesses or infection. As a fat-soluble nutrient, it can protect cells within the body from damage and helps to ensure proper cellular signalling can occur.
Too little and we run the risk of developing nerve or muscle damage. This can result in the loss of feeling in limbs or a lack of body movement control.
You can also get vitamin E from certain foods, including almonds, sunflower seeds, collard greens, spinach and pumpkin.
The final vitamin on our list is actually a collection of vitamins that all sit under one umbrella.
V vitamins play a key role in maintaining good health. They are essential, providing us with good energy levels, support with cell metabolism and supporting our immune system.
There are 8 different B-Vitamins - each one of which performs its own important role:
As with the other vitamins in this list, B vitamins can largely be obtained by eating the right types of foods. For example, B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is found in nearly all foods.
With the right diet and lifestyle choices, few of us actually need vitamins or supplements in our diets.
If you feel like your food choices fall below the standards they should or you’re looking for a way to ensure you have the right vitamins and minerals in your diet, you may wish to take a multivitamin. Or consider adding a supplement, such as a BeeVital Propolis - which contains Vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and E alongside magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium.
Here at Natural Health 4 Life, we focus on bringing you the right resources to make your own decisions around your health. If you have any questions about vitamins or the supplements that we have available in our online store, please do get in contact with us here today.
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