While it’s always challenging to maintain a “perfect” diet, it’s mainly been a struggle the past few months. With the world around us continually evolving, it can be hard to make sure we’re always eating the right thing. Vitamins are critical during this time and some of the best ways to optimize their levels. The depletion of these essential vitamins can lead to decreased immune function, so here ‘s what you need to know.
How Do Vitamins Aid to Keep the Body Healthy
The finest way to ensure you get a variety of minerals, vitamins, and sufficient amounts, is to adopt a holistic, healthy diet. This involves an emphasis on vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, dairy products, and low-fat protein. The great news is that many regular foods contain multiple vitamin and mineral sources, so it is simple to meet your daily requirements from everyday meals.
Vitamins Your Body Needs
Bone growth is critical to our body’s ability to function and helps to support our overall well-being. Calcium is essential for bone turnover. Deficiencies can be prevalent in females who are pregnant or breastfeeding, menstruating. Take salmon and broccoli as natural ways to get your calcium intake up.
Magnesium is crucial for a majority of biochemical processes in the bio. Symptoms of deficiency include muscle aches, anxiety, sleep problems, cramping, and more. Snacking on foods like seeds, nuts, and dark chocolate is an easy way to increase the body’s amount.
3. Vitamin D3
A deficiency in vitamin D can lead to much more significant issues. Studies have shown that deficiency is linked to depression, heart disease, decreased immune system, and more(1). Symptoms can consist of fatigue and exhaustion, so it’s essential to listen to your body and take note of what feels off. For a natural way to increase levels, getting the sun rays can make a big difference. In terms of food, eggs, fish, and mushrooms can all help.
4. B Complex
Vitamin B complex has a direct effect on a person’s energy levels and brain function. It’s a vitamin essential for numerous metabolic biochemical processes in the body. Deficiencies are common in those who eat mostly plant-based or anyone who has methylation issues. Leafy greens, nuts, and beans are all foods high in vitamin B.
B12 is found majorly in animal products, so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may not be getting adequate. But diet isn’t the only reason for low B12. PPIs or Proton pump inhibitors, used to treat heartburn, are associated with inadequate levels of this B vitamin.
It’s essential for red blood cell formation (the cells that carry oxygen around your body) and proper neurological function. That’s why, if you’re low, you can be mentally foggy and lethargic.
The seafood aisle is a brilliant place to start since salmon, haddock, trout, and tuna are rich in B12. Yogurt, milk, and cheese are also excellent sources. If you’re vegan, different breakfast cereals are fortified with cent percent of your daily prescribed B12—just lookout on how much sugar they’re adding too.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant great for immune function in the body. It helps collagen production, skin repair, and more. veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts to help increase levels. For fruits, go for kiwi, papayas, and oranges.
7. Vitamin D
If you’re a diligent sunscreen user (and, ahem, we should all fall into that category) or you live in a northern climate, you’re at risk for a vitamin D deficiency. The primary vitamin that patients are low in is vitamin D. (Your skin generates vitamin D when it’s exposed to sun rays, but not when sunscreen is blocking the UV rays.)
Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium, so not getting sufficient could lead to brittle bones. There are also studies suggesting that adequate intake could help prevent certain cancers and may play a protective role against chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Plus, some studies suggest a link between depression and low vitamin D.
Fish like salmon, swordfish, and tuna are brilliant sources, as are dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, and milk (especially if it’s fortified with Vitamin D, as most kinds of milk are). Eggs are also an excellent source—make sure you do not depend on egg white omelets for your intake since vitamin D is present in the yolks.
Your pregnancy and breastfeeding, period, can all lead to low iron levels, and if you end up drained after pregnancy and don’t get your levels back up, the problem can become severe.
Iron aids make up the protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body, which is why being physically and mentally tired is one of the main symptoms of low iron.
Meat sources like chicken are your best bet, since the type of iron found in meat (termed heme iron) is more bioavailable, or better absorbed, by our bodies than the variety we get from plants. But you can also get substantial amounts of iron from lentils and legumes.
Supplements are exactly that, supplements—meaning they are additional. The first way to obtain any nutrients is through food. Most importantly, it’s essential to talk to your doctor before starting any supplementation. For more ways to stay healthy during quarantine, check out our tips.