Whether you’re looking for a quick bite of information or want to drop some knowledge on your dinnertime companions, here’s our Featured 5 of the Week!
Fueling your body with vitamins is essential, especially in these long, dark, cold winter months. Why are vitamins important? We’re here to tell you!
5. You Can’t Have Minerals Without Vitamins
We always hear “vitamins and minerals” together rather than apart. That’s because vitamins and minerals complement each other. One works with the other.
What’s the difference? A vitamin is a carbon-containing molecule. It’s classified as either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Vitamins can also be changed or inactivated by heat, oxygen, light, or chemical processes. Minerals, however, don’t contain carbon and are not affected by heat or light. Minerals are elements and remain in the same state whether they’re found in food, soil, or even a cooking pan.
When you have a vitamin, let’s say calcium, and a mineral, take magnesium, the magnesium helps your body absorb the calcium. And, together, they provide bone support.
4. Supplements What We Don’t Get in Food
Vitamins are much more than little pills or gummies you take in the morning. They are also found in whole foods. Supplement forms of various vitamins can help provide our bodies with all the extra nutrients you may not get from our diet.
When instructed to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day, it’s because of the vitamins and minerals they contain. For example, eggs and fish provide vitamin D. If you’re vegan and don’t eat eggs or fish, you may need to take vitamin D supplements. The chart below can help you decipher different foods and their vitamins.
Each vitamin supplement has a different function and specific purpose in the body. Missing one can lead to problems with the immune system, digestion, and more. While supplements can be helpful, you should seek to intake your vitamins and minerals from whole foods when possible.
3. Help Protect Against Disease
We know that each vitamin has a specific purpose in the body, so lacking a vitamin can lead to a weakened immune system and a higher risk of developing a disease.
Let’s look at some examples. Vitamin E helps keep your eyes and skin healthy, but it does more than that. Some scientists say that vitamin E can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
The MIND diet also includes food that, due to its vitamin and mineral compound, can lower one’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s. These include berries, leafy greens, nuts, and wine. Yes, you heard us – wine! For example, leafy greens contain vitamin K, which make up the brain cell’s membrane and promotes cell growth. Nuts contain vitamin E that absorbs free radicals that damage brain cell membranes.
So, if you’re deficient in any vitamins, you may be exposing yourself to different illnesses.
2. Make Healthier Cells
Every day, our body makes new cells. And, since these cells carry out vital tasks all over our body, we want them to be strong and healthy.
This means we have to eat healthy foods full of vitamins and minerals. The more nutrient-dense foods we eat, like fruits and vegetables, the more vitamins our bodies will absorb, and the stronger our new cells will be.
We want strong and healthy cells because they will replicate into more strong and healthy cells, rather than weak ones.
1. Can Benefit Your Long-Term Health
We, of course, want to live a healthy long life. Vitamins can help us do that.
Research shows that as we age, mitochondria are not as prevalent in our cells. Mitochondria are important because they give cells the energy to carry out tasks all over the body. Vitamins can enhance the mitochondria, improving DNA damage, and thus diminishing aging issues.
Vitamins and minerals work two-fold. First, they take care of short-term deficiencies within the body. They also aid in tackling long-term problems like inflammation and DNA mutation, which can lead to heart disease and cancer.
The Bottom Line
Vitamins shouldn’t feel like a hassle. They should make you feel empowered that you’re taking control of your health. They strengthen our immune systems, help make healthy cells, decrease our risk of disease, and lead to a long-term healthy life. Try to intake vitamins and minerals from whole foods when possible, if not, talk to your doctor about supplements that can help with any areas of deficiency.