We all know vitamins are important. Our mothers reminded us of it every time we didn’t want to eat a pile of brussel sprouts on our dinner plates. Well, our mothers were right.
Our bodies can’t function well without plenty of both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Too little vitamin C can lead to scurvy. Slack off on vitamin A and you might develop poor immune functions and night blindness. Neglect vitamin K and you’ll find yourself with blood clotting problems. It’s enough to make you lose sleep with worry. Fortunately, for most people, you don’t have to overthink it. A varied, healthy, nutritionally dense diet provides most people with all the vitamins they need.
Water-soluble vitamins, which include the B-complex vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) and vitamin C, dissolve easily in water, as the name indicates. That means they can be easily absorbed into body tissues and can be used by the body immediately. They can’t be stored though, so replenishing them consistently through a healthy diet is important. Any excess beyond what your body can use is quickly excreted through urine, so its hard to overdose, but certain water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, can cause diarrhea if taken in excess.
Vitamin needs can normally be met through a healthy diet
Fat- soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. These are stored in body tissues and require the presence of fat in order to be properly absorbed. That’s why putting some oil-based salad dressing on your salad actually helps you get the most nutritional benefits from your spinach and leafy greens.
Any excess amount of these fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissue for future use. Because they can be stored by the body, and are not easily excreted, it’s possible for these vitamins to accumulate in the body in toxic levels. Since most people consume enough fat-soluble vitamins through their diets, overdosing is usually a result of taking too many vitamin supplements.
All vitamins are important, but remember that most, if not all, of your nutritional needs should be met through food, and some dieticians even advise taking money spent on supplements and spending it on fruits and vegetables instead. Too many people think that popping a pill and not caring about what they eat is fine.
Having said all this, remember that todays fruits and vegetables are not packed with nutrients like in the old days. Use your mind to make the right decisions.
If you do take supplements, I advise that you take water-soluble vitamins with breakfast and fat-soluble ones with dinner.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.