What you need to know about vitamins

What you need to know about vitamins

It is a widely known fact that vitamins are essential to almost every process in your body and that you can get them from both food and supplemental sources.

However, what many people fail to realise is that the daily recommended intake of each vitamin actually depends on gender, age, and certain health issues. This means that the human body needs different types of nutrients at different times.

In order to make sure you are focusing on vitamins in the right way, here are some examples of special vitamin needs that may apply to you.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding:

During pregnancy, women need extra vitamins, especially folic acid. Folic acid helps to prevent a number of birth defects such as spina bifida. Folic acid is also important while breastfeeding as the act can deplete mum’s body of many nutrients to feed the baby. During this time, make sure you are getting plenty of vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, niacin, and pantothenic acid.

If you are older than 50:

As we get older, our bodies change. If you are pushing 50 or already there, you should be checking your levels of vitamin D. If you are not getting enough vitamin D, you are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. You should also make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, particularly B12, because these vitamins are helpful in digestion as well as the maintenance of the central nervous system.

If you are older than 70:

By the time you hit this age marker, you will want to try to get even more vitamin D than ever before. Remember, there are not many foods that are fortified with vitamin D, so you may need to make sure you are taking a supplement. Also, when sunshine hits the skin, your body makes its own vitamin D – just try not to get too much sun exposure!

Be careful if you turn to vitamin supplements. Remember that loading up on vitamins can actually be bad for you, especially if they are not water-soluble. In fact, you could even overdose on certain vitamins, which will not help your health!

In a perfect world, you will get all the vitamins you need from a healthy diet that is not only balanced but also varied. This means you should be eating about five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Stay away from caloric fillers such as junk food, soft drinks, and alcohol. In fact, these types of foods actually deplete the vitamins in your body and can cause health issues.

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