Taking vitamins and minerals is an important part of a daily nutrition regimen. Diets such as vegetarian and keto may require supplementation of certain vitamins. Regardless of which diet you subscribe to, here are five essential vitamins and minerals to obtain on a daily basis for good health.
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important part in producing and maintaining red blood cells. The body does not make B12 naturally, so make sure to eat foods that contain B12, or take supplements in the form of capsules or b12 shots online. Foods that are high in B12 include nutritional yeast, fortified breakfast cereals, red meats, and mushrooms. People with B12 deficiency may experience such symptoms as weakness and fatigue, tingling sensations in the limbs, and mood changes. In addition to shots, sublingual B12 offers high absorbency.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is obtained from food and sunlight. Supplementation is important for those who live in climates that do not get much sunlight due to cloud cover and long winter months. Early signs of vitamin D deficiency are bone pain, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Over time, vitamin D deficiency can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain immune system disorders. Therefore, it is important to obtain vitamin D through sunlight, supplements and foods such as fish and eggs.
3. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is necessary for vision and the immune system. Food sources of vitamin A include spinach, dairy products, carrots, and cantaloupe. Taking a vitamin A supplement is generally not needed for most people who intake enough calories and who do not have a serious condition preventing the absorption of vitamin A. Those at risk of vitamin A deficiency include preterm infants, people with cystic fibrosis, and pregnant women and children in developing countries.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and fights inflammation. As a result, this vitamin is important for preventing and managing many conditions. One of these conditions is high blood pressure, which puts you at risk for heart disease, one of the leading causes of death overall in the United States. Vitamin C also boosts the absorption of iron, helping to prevent deficiency of that mineral. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and potatoes.
Like vitamin C, zinc is essential to the immune system as well wound healing and contributes to growth and development in children. In addition to supplements, zinc can be obtained from foods such as beans, nuts, wheat germ, and fish. Signs of zinc deficiency include wounds that won’t heal, loss of appetite, and decreased sense of taste and smell. If you are concerned that you or a loved one has a deficiency, zinc can be detected via a blood, urine, or hair analysis.
Eating a wide variety of food daily is the best way to ensure that you get enough nutrients. These five vitamins and minerals are particularly important to acquire.