Vitamins are nutrients that we need to maintain good health. In some cases, diet alone may not provide enough vitamins, and supplementation is necessary. Here is what you need to know about vitamins.
What Does Each Vitamin Do?
The primary vitamin categories are A, B, C, D, E, and K. You can find these in everyday foods or via a vitamin supplement. Here’s a breakdown of the attributes of each category.
Vitamin A: Yellow and orange fruits such as mangoes and cantaloupe are rich in vitamin A, also known as retinol. Vitamin A has many functions in the body, including strengthening teeth and bones, maintaining healthy vision, and helping fight off infections.
Vitamin B: There are several subcategories of vitamin B that are collectively known as B-complex vitamins. They play a critical role in metabolism and healthy energy production for the body. Many grain products like cereals in the US contain extra vitamin B, but you can also find this vitamin in leafy greens, whole grains, and animal products.
Vitamin C: You are probably familiar with vitamin C’s ability to help boost the immune system, but vitamin C has other functions like maintaining the skin and strengthening your bones. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and helps protect your cells from damage by free radicals. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits or manufactured vitamins.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps protect the immune system and the nervous system. While you can obtain vitamin D through milk and fish, you can also get it from sunlight.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage, maintains muscle function, and may reduce the risk of certain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease. You can get vitamin E from spinach, nuts, and whole grains.
Vitamin K: Your body needs vitamin K for creating strong bones and wound healing. You can find vitamin K in leafy green vegetables like broccoli.
Can I Have Too Much of a Vitamin?
While vitamins are essential for your bodily function, having too many vitamins can be dangerous. If you are not sure about a vitamin, speak to your doctor. Also, if you take prescription medication, talk to your primary care provider before starting vitamin supplements. They may interfere with how your body absorbs medicine.
What Are the Best Daily Vitamins?
There is no single daily vitamin that is the best for everyone. Before starting a daily vitamin, you should assess your diet and determine which vitamins are missing. You may also want to consider vitamins for your specific age, gender, or medical need, such as:
- Vitamins for Men: Companies make vitamin dosages recommended for men specifically.
- Vitamins for Women: Some companies make vitamins, especially for women; these vitamins contain dosages explicitly recommended for women. If you are pregnant, consider prenatal vitamins.
- Vitamins for Seniors: Some companies make vitamins for seniors. These vitamins have a delicate balance that is geared toward senior nutrition needs.
- Ocular Vitamins: Talk to your eye doctor about whether you can benefit from ocular vitamins.
The information provided in this article is general. We encourage you to check with your doctor before adding a vitamin to your diet, especially if you are taking prescription medication. If you’re looking to buy vitamins, shop Simply Medical today.