Vitamins are essential nutrients which the body cannot make and which are derived from foods. Each of them is indicated by a letter: A, B, C, D, E, and K, but there are several B-Vitamins.
Most people don’t get enough of one or any of these vitamins because of a poor diet, food allergies and restrictions, or because they deal with certain conditions which cause them to need more of certain nutrients than other people.
Where Are These Vitamins Found?
A diet containing lots of plant-based nutrients will provide much of what the average person needs. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, and lemons. It is also found in apples and potatoes. One will find Vitamin A in rich green or orange fruits and vegetables, some dairy, and eggs.
For B vitamins, one needs more proteins like eggs, meat, nuts, and seeds plus nutritional yeast. Oils, dairy, and nuts are great sources of Vitamin E and, like most of the nutrients above, Vitamin K can be found in greens.
Few foods are considered “all-rounders” capable of providing every or even most of the vitamins listed above. The few that stand out, however, include eggs, leafy green vegetables, and fortified milk. Fortified cereals and breads also contain vitamins, sometimes called by different names. Vitamin B is Thiamine while Vitamin B9 is also known as Folic Acid.
What Vitamins Do
Vitamin C is the best-known member of this nutritional team because everyone knows you need it to fight colds. Vitamin E is often associated with nice skin but, like Vitamin K, is important to healthy blood.
You need B Vitamins for an active metabolism, mood balance, healthy blood, and more. Without Vitamin D, your body does not process Calcium which is essential to strong bones, teeth, hair, and a healthy nervous system.
Deficiency is also associated with mood imbalance while Vitamin A affects the state of one’s eyes. Vitamins are important to the entire body, in fact. Lacking any one of them can cause minor inconveniences to one’s well-being or major problems requiring extensive treatment, possibly even irreversible damage.
Vitamin Supplements: How They Help
An all-in-one vitamin supplement will contain these and other nutrients commonly lacking in a westerner’s diet. Read the label and, on the back, each component is listed. You will see one or both of two possible values: a measurement in micrograms or milligrams; and a daily recommended percentage.
The latter is more helpful as most people don’t know how many micrograms or milligrams of a vitamin or mineral they need and it is possible to overdose. When multi-vitamins are designated for children, men, women, or over-40’s, this is very helpful since the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) changes throughout their lives.
Although Vitamin C is essential to immune health, when it is featured alongside iron in a multi-vitamin it helps the body absorb iron. It is true of many nutrients that they should be taken together: calcium with magnesium and Vitamin D, for instance.
Vitamin B is often sold as a “complex” or a grouping of some or all of them. Often, vitamins are paired with other nutrients according to the role they play such as providing more energy, for promoting healthy skin, anti-aging, or as anti-anxiety remedies.
Brands of Vitamin Supplements
The top sellers include Jameson, Webber Naturals, Nature’s Way, NOW, and GNC. Some companies make just tablets. Some make chewable tablets or candy-style supplements. There are liquid supplements and also vitamins found in powders which are used to make drinks and meal replacements.
A number of companies offer organic, non-GMO, raw, or vegan supplements. The last of these includes sources from plants only. Not only are their sources plant-based, but no dairy is used in the coating of a capsule. It’s important to read the label carefully because, besides the source of a vitamin, ingredients also include whatever was used to make the coating. This can contain dairy, wheat, soy, egg, or nuts, all of which are common allergens in the modern world.
Check best-before dates to ensure these products are still going to possess active components for the several weeks a bottle will last. Prices vary considerably, so it could be worth checking several stores in your local area for great prices and also exploring well-received online sources with reputations for customer service and selling products that are always in-date.
You can save a lot of money by ordering products in bulk or buying the largest format, but it’s only a savings if you will definitely use this product and know it is effective. Try a sample size first to make sure you can handle the flavor or swallow the pill or stomach the powder which is being used. If a liquid vitamin makes you gag, who cares how good it is or the price? You’re not going to take it. Then again, consider hiding these supplements in your or your kids’ smoothies, yogurt, and other foods so they get the benefits without parents having to engage in bribery or negotiations.