With so many advertisements on television and in magazine publications promoting vitamins and supplements everywhere you turn, it can be difficult to decide on which vitamins you should be taking and which ones are just fads.
Taking the right eight vitamins and supplements every day is an essential component to your health as an individual and ultimately impacts your productivity as an employee.
In this post, we will go over eight highly essential vitamins you should be taking regularly. They are Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Iron, Folic Acid, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Calcium.
Vitamin A boosts your immune system and is essential for your eyesight and reproductive system. It is also important in the the formation and maintenance of cells in your heart, lungs and kidneys. Vitamin A is an essential part of a protein in our bodies called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin helps the cells in your eyes to absorb light. Thus, when you lack Vitamin A, it can severely affect your vision. You can get Vitamin A nutritionally from milk, eggs, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, orange and red vegetables like carrots and squash and from fruits like cantaloupe.
Vitamin B is a vitamin that deserves a blog post of its’ own because of the different subtypes of this vitamin. Below is a brief overview:
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1)- Vitamin B1 is found in yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat. Thiamine boosts the immune system, has an impact on the health of your nerves and can increase focus and energy.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)- Vitamin B2 plays a major role in energy production, cell function, growth and development. It is also important in the metabolism of fats, drugs and steroids
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)- Niacin reduces high cholesterol and is used to treat circulation problems, migraines and dizziness.
- Vitamin B6- Vitamin B6 is particularly important for nerve health.
- Vitamin B12- Vitamin B12 is important for proper red blood cell formation. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 leads to a type of anemia called cobalamin deficiency. The symptoms are tingling, weakness and numbness.
- You can get a healthy dose of all the B-vitamins by eating more meat, eggs, milk, whole cereal, beans and nuts.
You will be familiar with Vitamin C if you have ever had a cold and the doctor gave you Vitamin C tablets to help you feel better. Beyond colds, Vitamin C is important for wound-healing. In fact, in one study, researchers from University of Texas Southwestern showed that patients who had severe burn wounds healed significantly faster when they received Vitamin C. You can get Vitamin C from many fruits and vegetables including oranges, mangoes, kiwi and avocado.
Vitamin D is a special vitamin in that it is present in very few foods. When ultraviolet rays from the sun strike your skin, it triggers Vitamin D synthesis. Once you have Vitamin D synthesized in your body, it helps with the absorption of calcium out of your digestive system and into parts of your body that need calcium like your bones and teeth.
Iron forms a major part of your red blood cells. Your red blood cells are the major cell type in your blood and perform the task of delivering oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Thus, an iron deficiency results in not just anemia but a lack of energy and dizziness because your organs are not receiving enough oxygen. You can find iron as a supplement at your grocery or pharmacy. You will also find it in green leafy vegetables like spinach, lentils, dark chocolate, beef and broccoli.
Folic Acid is a vitamin that is especially important for women of childbearing age. A lack of folic acid in mothers is linked to defects in the development of the brain or spine in babies. Folic acid is available as a supplement at your grocery or pharmacy. You can also find it in leafy green vegetables, fruits, dry beans, peas and nuts.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are the main ingredient found in fish oil tablets. Omega-3 is used as a antilipemic (fat-regulating) treatment for people who have high levels of triglycerides (a type of unhealthy fat). Additionally, Omega-3 contributes to better brain, skin and heart health. You will find Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fish, seafood, hemp seed, flaxseed, walnuts and the oils that come from these seeds.
Strong bones, teeth and nails depend heavily on calcium. Calcium is a supplement everyone should consider taking on a daily basis. You will find calcium in fortified orange juice, milk, meat, fish, soy and rice drinks and tofu.
Closing Thoughts on Vitamins You Should Be Taking
Taking good care of yourself is a priority. Your health as an employee is dependent on what you are putting inside your body. The vitamins and supplements you should be taking can get confusing at times with all the attractive messaging and advertising out there. In this post, we cut through the fluff and gave you 8 vitamins you should be taking at the bare minimum to maintain good health.
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