The human body uses vitamins and minerals to perform a variety of metabolic processes. These organic compounds assist the body in its normal function and are key to keeping a person healthy. The vast majority of the vitamins and minerals that people need to live a healthy life can be found in the foods they eat. To get the right dosage of vitamins and minerals, it’s essential that you have a healthy diet that includes a variety of food groups. Supplements can also help individuals who do not have the healthiest diets to get the vitamins and minerals they need. People will feel better if they get the bulk of their vitamins and minerals from eating unrefined natural foods. If taken in large amounts, vitamins and minerals can lead to toxicity.
Vitamins fall into the category of micronutrients. They don’t necessarily give a person energy, but they impact the body’s metabolic process, allowing them to derive energy from fat, carbohydrates, and proteins. In total, there are 13 vitamins used in the human body, a large amount of them coming from the B group.
What Is Vitamin A, and How Does It Work?
Vitamin A is a key factor in boosting your immune system. When your body has sufficient vitamin A, your immune system is helped to work at its peak efficiency in fighting infections and diseases. Skin, vision, and reproductive health require vitamin A to function appropriately. You can get vitamin A from plant and animal foods. Plants with a high vitamin A concentration are usually orange or yellow in pigment, thanks to their beta-carotene.
Plant sources for vitamin A include mangoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, and pumpkin. You can also find it in green vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Animal sources of vitamin A include eggs and liver. If you don’t have enough vitamin A in your body, you can experience health effects such as night blindness, increased infections, and excessive keratin buildup that impacts the look and feel of your skin.
Vitamin B Is Essential for Energy Production
Vitamin B gives your body the nutrients to produce energy from fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Some groups of vitamin B are key in helping cells multiply and create new DNA. Vitamin B12 is unique because, unlike other B-group vitamins, your body can store it in the liver. Because your body doesn’t hold onto vitamin B, you must consume it regularly through whole foods, such as vegetables, fruit, lean meat, legumes, and grains. If you drink too much alcohol or eat too much processed food, you can impede your body’s ability to use vitamin B best. If you go a few months without getting enough vitamin B from a healthy diet, you may have vitamin B deficiency. This can impact you, making you feel fatigued, making your brain feel cloudy, and putting you in an overall bad mood. It is essential that you get an adequate amount of vitamin B as part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet.
Vitamin C Is a Key Dietary Element
Like vitamin B, the human body cannot hold on to vitamin C for long. For this reason, it’s important for you to have a daily intake of vitamin C. Most people get vitamin C from the citrus foods and beverages they consume. When your body has a healthy amount of vitamin C, you can produce collagen, essential in healing wounds, healthy skin, and strong blood vessels and bones. Vitamin C is a formidable antioxidant and aids your body in iron absorption. When most people think about vitamin C, they think about it in connection with fighting infections or staving off a cold. Vitamin C is an immune system booster. It is also important in aiding the functioning of neurotransmitters. As mentioned, the human body cannot hold onto vitamin C for long and can only hold on to around 200 mg. Anything over 200 mg is excreted from the body. Vitamin C can lose its nutritional benefit if it is exposed to heat. That’s why eating fresh fruits such as lemons, black currants, kiwi, and strawberries is best. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and green peppers are also high sources of vitamin C.
Getting Enough Vitamins So Your Body Functions Properly
In addition to the vitamins mentioned above, vitamins D, E, K, and other minerals, including calcium, iodine, and iron, are essential for good health. Would you like to learn more about your vitamin and mineral needs? We can help. Contact us today at 205-352-9141.