Vitamins are essential for your body so that everything is going smoothly internally. With as many vitamins as your body needs, it can be frustrating to keep track of what you need and what you are getting enough of. Most people turn to multivitamins for their source of all vitamins, but they don’t know exactly what’s in them or what they should be taking.
Here is a comprehensive list of some of the most important vitamins that your body needs and how they help it function properly. Be on the lookout for these vitamins in your diet and on multivitamin labels to ensure you are fueling your body with the right nutrients.
1. Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is one of nine water-soluble vitamins that are essential for our bodies. It is often sought out for in supplements by vegans and vegetarians because it is primarily only found in animal products. B12 acts as a coenzyme which is important for brain function, red blood cell production, and helps convert your food into energy.
The most common sources of B-12 include:
It is recommended that you have about 3 mcg a day of vitamin B-12; any more than that and your body will discard any excess when you urinate.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins for boosting your immune system, and that’s always a good thing. It has been closely studied and has been linked to a healthier cardiovascular system, better eye health, and improved lifespans.
The best thing about Vitamin C is that it is found in so many common foods that it rarely needs to be supplemented. Some of these sources include:
- Bell peppers
As you age, your bone density naturally decreases, so it is important to consume plenty of calcium in your diet, which is a vital mineral in aiding strong bones and teeth. However, more than 40% of Americans are deficient in calcium.
Common sources of calcium include dairy products, like yogurt, and even beans. These fermented foods are also great for gut health!
Iron is responsible for keeping your red blood cells and brain functioning properly by helping to transport oxygen to your body’s organs.
There are two different forms of iron that you can consume. Red meat, especially liver, poultry and seafood are great sources of heme iron for a standard diet. For a plant-based diet, beans, tofu and lentils are adequate sources as well. Many people believe that people who eat plant-based foods are deficient in iron, but their high consumption of Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron’s other form, nonheme.
If you have nutrition-related questions, consider scheduling an appointment with our expert staff. At Gastro Health & Nutrition-Katy, we help our patients improve their quality of life by assisting them in managing and controlling their gastrointestinal issues. Contact us today to book an appointment and visit our office in Katy, TX.