You’ll hear all about the use of vitamins in the diet. There is always some company promoting their supplements or vitamin products. There’s even water that’s loaded with vitamins (apparently). Then you’ll hear all about the natural ways to get your vitamins, especially through fruits and vegetables.
What a lot of companies or health professionals don’t tell you is what vitamins you need and why. They don’t tell you about the amount of the vitamins you need based on your age and why they’re so important at various points in your life.
That’s why you need this all-in-one guide. We’ll go through everything you need to know about your vitamin intake based on your age and what the numbers mean. This is just looking at the vitamin intake. Don’t forget about your minerals too!
The Different Vitamins
Let’s start with a breakdown of the vitamins. Vitamins mostly have a letter: Vitamins A, C, D, and E are the ones you’ll mostly hear about, but the B vitamins are also important. There’s also vitamin K that you don’t want to overlook.
Vitamin K is the easiest to discuss. It’s the one your body needs for blood clotting. Without it, you’re at risk of low blood pressure and internal bleeding. Babies tend to be given a vitamin K shot in the first hours of life to make sure there’s enough.
The B vitamins are comprised of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and so on up to B12. They can also be called other names, such as folic acid. The B vitamins are essential for the development and maintenance of the central nervous system, the brain, and other connected elements. Pregnant women are encouraged to add more folic acid to the diet to help with the development of the baby.
Then there’s vitamin C and E, which are routinely confused and debated about. Vitamin C is often viewed as the one to protect the immune system. While it does, it’s vitamin E that is highly important to fight infections and diseases. Vitamin C can help prevent and treat scurvy. Fun fact: the British were known as limeys because they would use limes to help prevent scurvy while on board ships. The vitamin also helps with the absorption of iron and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin D is used to help the body absorb calcium, which leads to healthy bones. It’s also linked to prevent rickets.
As for vitamin A, this is to help with the muscle, eye, and overall health. We’ll touch more on this as we discuss it, as it is an important vitamin to add to the diet.