We hear all about nutritious foods. There’s all this news about different vitamins, various minerals, and then there are antioxidants. While doctors tell us that we need them, they don’t really explain why. We likely know the most commonly talked about, like vitamin C and vitamins D, but what about all the rest?
And do our bodies really need to get them? Are they necessary or will our bodies create them naturally? Then there are the questions about how to get them!
As part of your decisions to lose weight and live healthier, you’ll want to know how to do that. This means considering all the different types of vitamins and what they do for us.
I’ll go through each vitamin that our bodies need and just why they need them. I’ll also share how they help and where you can get them from within a healthy diet. Yes, each of these vitamins is necessary for everyday bodily functions. If you’re deficient in them, you can suffer from your health.
Get Your Vitamin C Daily
I’m going to do this in order of most important vitamins. Sure, they are all important, but there are some that can be developed naturally or stored for longer periods of time.
Vitamin C is one of those that can’t. You need to get it daily. Otherwise, the body can’t use it. The great news is that vitamin C is one of the easiest vitamins to get into your diet! That’s really a good thing isn’t it, considering how necessary it is?
You may hear vitamin C referred to as antioxidants, which are essential for repairing and regenerating cells and fighting free radicals. In this case, vitamin C helps with the regeneration of collagen, which helps to support the skin. Collagen is the reason our skin remains flexible and canchange shape. The regeneration of the skin cells will also help to ensure the skin remains soft and youthful.
Many people will hear that they need vitamin C to help support the immune system. This is certainly the case! It helps the immune system fight against infection and disease. Even if you have a common cold, vitamin C can help to speed up the recovery process.
It is possible to get vitamin C from the likes of store-bought beauty products. I will tell you that many of the products are pasteurized and there isn’t as much of the vitamin left within them. The use of the vitamin C is just marketing to get you to buy them.
The best way to get vitamin C into your diet is by eating citrus and colorful fruit or vegetables. Anything orange, red, or yellow will be full of vitamin C. This includes bell peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, and even papaya.
You can also get plenty of vitamin C from dark leafy greens. Stock up on these, including broccoli and Brussels, sprouts, as they are also full of other necessary vitamins! These are the superfoods that you want to get into your diet daily.
If you don’t fancy eating the fruits and vegetables, you can drink your vitamin C. Create fruit and green smoothies to get your daily intake.
Help Blood Clot with Vitamin K
Vitamin K tends to be overlooked. It’s one of those vitamins that we rarely hear about, so we don’t do that much research into it. Unless your doctor has mentioned it to you, you may have only heard about vitamin K due to injections that babies receive when they are born. I know that was the first time I heard about it.
Our blood needs to clot when we’re injured to help prevent severe loss of it. The vitamin K helps with this process, but that’s not the only thing that it does. It will also help bones get calcium while preventing the process of calcification within the soft tissues and arteries. In short, it helps to ensure our whole body remains safe from toxins and blood loss.
It’s one of those vitamins that we don’t have naturally, which is why babies receive injections when they are born. You need to keep getting it from your food daily.
Yes, it is very easy to get vitamin K in your diet. This is one of the reasons why you need the dark leafy greens, as they are among the only foods that carry it. The great news is that these dark leafy greens are low in calories and very easy to add to any meal of the day.
You can also add some cauliflower and cabbage to your daily diets for more vitamin K. Why not make cauliflower cheese as a side dish or add more spinach and kale to your scrambled eggs?
Get Out in the Sun for Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and one that you can get without eating. Of course, if you live in an area that doesn’t get that much sun, you’ll need to look at other options. Some parts of the world will fortify milk and other ingredients with vitamin D because it is so hard to get it from the sun.
You may mistake vitamin D for calcium. They are both necessary for strong teeth and bones and tend to come from some similar sources. However, vitamin D does play a slightly different role. The vitamin D helps our bodies to absorb the calcium within the diets. Without it, our bodies will find it much harder to take in every little bit of calcium we intake and need.
There has been an increase in rickets in children due to a lack of vitamin D. Without the nutrient, our bones start to soften, and they become more breakable. The rise in cases has come due to children spending more time indoors playing computer games rather than getting outside to play with their friends. Allowing ricketts to continue untreated can lead to more fragile bones in the future.
As I’ve noted, Vitamin D is something you can get without adding anything to your diet. Those who are lactose intolerant or swear off dairy will be happy to know that just 20 minutes in the sun without any sunscreen will give you all the vitamin D that your body needs for the day. It is possible to take supplements if you can’t get your vitamin D from the sun or dairy.
Help the Body Create Vitamin A
There are two types of vitamin A: plant and animal form. Animal forms of vitamin A tend to be recommended against during pregnancy and recommended in small amounts in a healthy human. The sources tend to be high in cholesterol or saturated fats. Some of these include milk and cheese. In small amounts they are good for you and strong sources of protein, so it’s still worth considering adding them to your diet if you’re not vegan or have an allergy.
If you need to get the plant form, it’s worth getting your body to create the vitamin A yourself. This comes from beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant in many different types of fruit and vegetables. It’s found in most orange and yellow foods, as it does create an orange coloring to them. However—yes, you’ve guessed it—dark leafy greens will also give you a good amount of beta-carotene. The stronger the color, the more beta-carotene you have in the ingredient.
Your body will automatically convert the beta carotene into some vitamin A, creating your own natural source of it. There’s no need to worry about cholesterol and saturated fats.
Some of the best sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, and cantaloupes. A word of warning when you do eat these foods: they can lead to your feet turning orange! I learned this the hard way. It’s just the coloring coming out of your body and isn’t anything dangerous. If you reduce a number of orange foods you have in your diet, you will find the coloring disappears.
Get Your Multiple B Vitamins to Support the Nervous System and Cell Structure
Folate is commonly thought of as a mineral, but it’s one of your B vitamins. B12 and B6 are also necessary parts of your diet. These are other nutrients that can’t be created but are commonly gained without really thinking about it. If you’re pregnant, you will be encouraged to get more folate in your diet (through folic acid), as well as extra B vitamins.
Let’s start with folate for now. This is the vitamin that supports our whole cell structure and function. The vitamin supports our ability to produce new cells while maintaining the existing ones. It helps with the development of those in babies but also keeps adults’ cells from dying out and coming back damaged or abnormal. Let’s also not forget that folate works with iron to keep the red blood cells levels up to prevent anemia.
Vitamin B12 works with the folate for strengthening the cell structure and helps with the development of the nervous system. It’s another important part of a pregnancy diet and is important long before you even realize that you are pregnant. With a strong central nervous system, stress is kept to a minimum, which then protects the rest of our bodies.
There is also a beauty element to B12. It supports the growth of the hair and nails. If you want to have strong and luxurious locks, you want to add more dark leafy greens to your diet.
Those who have a weak digestive system or suffer regular cramps will want to add more vitamin B12 to their diet. The foods that include vitamin B12 tend to have more fiber to push out the bad and protect the intestinal linings.
Finally, B6 is a B vitamin that you need to add regularly to your diet. This is the one that helps to support your brain function and keeps you alert and awake. When you have a deficiency in B6, you may find that your thoughts are cloudy. There is often a haze through the vision, as you struggle to remember what you were just doing.
Improve brain function helps to support the cognitive abilities. You’ll find your memory is supported, so you’re at a lower risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Improve Immune Function and Beauty with Vitamin E
The last on our list is vitamin E. While it is last on the list, it doesn’t mean you can skip it. These vitamins are essential regularly as part of your diet. If you get the dark leafy greens, you will already get this in your diet. You can also use some beauty products, especially natural aloe vera for your vitamin E.
Most people use vitamin E for beauty. It does help to support the cell structure and collagen production. It works with the vitamin C to create soft and beautiful skin, while also supporting the hair and nails to strengthen them.
But that’s not all! Vitamin E is an antioxidant and commonly overlooked when it comes to the immune system. In fact, this is better than vitamin C in many cases. You can fight off the most minor of infections quicker than usual using vitamin E capsules and food that is high in this vitamin.
The downside to vitamin E is that it tends to be harder to get. If you have a nut allergy, you can find your options are depleted, because it is highly common in almonds and other nuts. Almond milk is an excellent dairy alternative that will give you some calcium and vitamin D at the same time as vitamin E.
You can opt for sunflower seeds, olive oil, and olives if you want to get vitamin E without touching the nuts or milk substitutes. Spinach and broccoli tend to be the better options when it comes to dark leafy greens for vitamin E.
It’s Time to Overhaul Your Diet
If you don’t already include any of the vitamins—or the foods that have them—in your diet, this is your chance to overhaul your diet. You need to get them all on a regular basis. Some can be created through the inclusion of certain types of foods, but there are others that you can only get from their sources. In fact, some need to be gained daily because they just can’t be stored.
Once you add them to your diet regularly, you will see benefits. Your hair will be stronger, and you will have more energy. You’ll find that stress levels are kept to a minimum and your bones and teeth are stronger.
You can’t forget about other food groups and nutrients. It’s important to get a mixture of everything in your diet.Therefore, you need to focus on a healthy and balanced diet. The great news is that if you get a good amount of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, you will find it much easier to get all the vitamins (and other nutrients) necessary for a healthy and fulfilled life.