Vitamin deficiency disorders aren’t as severe as they used to be several decades ago. This is because most of us in America get most of these vitamins from the foods we eat. This however doesn’t mean you get all the vitamins needed through your diet. Certain medical conditions, special diets, and life stages do increase the risk of chronic health conditions simply due to insufficiencies in certain essential vitamins.
The only way you can be safe is if you took vitamin supplements for all these. Doing this lowers the risks significantly. Fortunately, there are high-quality dietary supplements which offer practically all vitamins and nutrients. Supersmart, for example, can suit most nutritional necessities.
Here are 5 of the essential vitamins you might want/should consider supplementing.
1. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 is one of the essential compounds required for the creation of DNA and energy production, as well as keep blood cells and nerves healthy. Although the human body is capable of breaking down food materials to release Vitamin B12 naturally, its efficiency declines as one gets older. This is because the stomach doesn’t produce enough acids to digest the foods fully. Certain medications (h2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors, etc.), diabetes medication, and conditions such as Crohn’s disease may also lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Sources of Vitamin B12
Individuals approaching adulthood, and those over the age of 50 are at the highest risk of suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Supplementing these can help lower the risk of contracting vitamin-deficiency related conditions. Asking your doctor for supplements of the same would be a wise idea. You can also supplement your Vitamin B12 intake by increasing your consumption of meat, Fish, milk, poultry, and milk products. Cereals are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 for vegans.
2. Folate and Folic Acid
Folate and Folic Acid are particularly essential during the first few weeks into pregnancy. These compounds are primarily needed in the development of the foetus and help prevent congenital disabilities.
Sources of Folate and Folic Acid
Some of the best natural sources of folate include fresh fruits, fresh fruit juice, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, and some cereals. Increasing your intake of folic acid and folate is therefore easy and very affordable. According to the FDA, flours, cereals, bread, corn meals, rice, pasta, and other grain products should be fortified with folic acids. Most Americans do not eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies – the best sources of folic acid.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essentially required for calcium absorption and bone health. Vitamin Deficiency has been linked with heart disease and certain types of cancer. Unlike other vitamins that can be obtained from foods, we can only get Vitamin D from the sun. Those living in high altitude areas, areas with huge levels of air pollution, a dense cloud cover, city smog, and darker skin pigmentation are at a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Increased use of sunscreen and thick clothing can also affect the body’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D.
Sources of Vitamin D
As mentioned earlier, the only best source of Vitamin D is Sunshine. You can however get plenty of these vitamins from fortified foods. Most breakfast cereals, milk, and orange juice are fortified with Vitamin D. Sardines, salmon, tuna, and mackerel are also excellent sources of Vitamin D. Consider talking to your doctor for Vitamin D supplements as well.
4. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is essentially needed for regulating mood, appetite, and sleep. It plays a part in more than 200 biochemical reactions in the body. Vitamin B6 also plays a huge role in immune function, cognitive abilities, and is also required for the manufacture of red blood cells. Although there are very few reported cases of Vitamin b6 deficiencies, most elderly individuals do not meet the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B6
Sources of Vitamin B6
You can get vitamin B6 from whole grains, meats, nuts, and vegetables. Baked potatoes, chicken, bananas, fortified foods, and garbanzo beans are also good sources of Vitamin B6.
Iron is as important to a pregnant woman’s body as folate and folic acid. Anyone planning to get pregnant should also consider increasing her iron intake. Iron essentially helps in carrying oxygen to body cells.
Sources of Iron
Heme iron is considered the best type of iron. Heme iron is readily absorbed in the body and commonly found in poultry, lean meat, and seafood. Spinach, lentils, and white beans are some of the recommended sources of iron for vegans. It would however be advisable to mix these foods with those that promote better Vitamin C absorption. Your obstetrician or health care professional may also recommend iron supplements if planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant.