Articles from July 2008

Vitamins – Natural Supplement

No matter how well you monitor your diet and focus on nutrition, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that you get everything your body needs.  While your body does best obtaining vitamins and minerals naturally, through foods, vitamins and natural supplements can help you be sure that you are adequately supplying your body with the nutrition it needs.

Vitamins and minerals provide energy and cellular protection to your body.  Certain vitamins play specific roles in your health.  If you are considering taking a vitamin or natural supplement, you should understand the role vitamins play in your overall health.  Vitamin D (activated by a good dose of sunlight) prevents disease; calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and maintain bone health; Vitamin C aids with immunity; and Vitamin B gives you energy.

Some vitamins are fat soluble and others are water soluble; fat soluble vitamins are stored in your fat cells and used as needed.  Water soluble vitamins don’t get stored in your body; it’s more of a use-it-or-lose-it situation with water soluble vitamins.  Vitamin A, D, E, and K are fat soluble; the B vitamins, including thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, B6, folic acid, and B12 are all water soluble.

Vitamin A is good for your eyesight.  You can obtain it by eating foods like liver and dark green leafy vegetables.  Vitamin C can be found in most citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and cabbage.  In addition to aiding the immune system, Vitamin C is important for ensuring that wounds heal properly.  Most people know the main source of Vitamin D is milk, but fish and egg yolks are also great sources.  Vitamin E, important for your skin and your lungs, can be found in whole grains.  Vitamin K, found in dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli, is critical for blood clotting.

The many B vitamins are important to your metabolism and your energy level.  Vitamin B also helps make red blood cells, and assists in keeping your blood oxygenated.  Whole grains, fish, and dark green leafy vegetables all contain Vitamin B.  Because the B vitamins are so important to overall health, some people take B vitamin supplements.  While you can take individual B vitamins in pill form, the best solution is to take one B-complex, which is formulated with the proper proportion of each of the B vitamins.

Vitamins and supplements cannot replace good nutrition, exercise, and healthy living.  They do, however, provide insurance against those days when you can’t eat as well as you should.  Vitamins and supplements also make sure that you meet your body’s needs.

Be sure you consult your physician before taking any vitamin or supplement; some can interfere with or interact with prescription medications or existing conditions.