Our health depends a lot on what we feed our bodies with – micronutrients and macronutrients that we consume with our food.
As their name already suggests, we need smaller amounts of micronutrients – vitamins and minerals, to maintain vital processes in our body. Smaller amounts do not t make them insignificant, as they are essential for energy production, immune functions, brain developments, as well as our growth, balance of fluids, bone health, etc.
If you’re wondering what the most important vitamin for your body is, you’ll hardly get a simple and straightforward answer.
Each micronutrient has a specific role in your organism. They act as catalysts in biochemical reactions in your body, so adequate intake of each one of them is vital for staying strong and healthy and warding off diseases.
Eating a well-balanced and diverse diet is the best way to provide your body with these substances. However, as specific vitamins come with an increased risk of inadequate intake, it’s important to ensure you’re getting them in proper amounts, as their insufficiency can compromise your health.
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D’s primary resource is not food; it’s sunlight. If we’re not getting enough sun, and we’re not very fond of eating oily fish, the odds are high we’ll face deficiency.
Vitamin D is essential for our bones’ strength, and it plays a vital role in maintaining optimal overall health. As some studies show, vitamin D is crucial in preventing COVID-19 infection and mortality, and its deficiency has also been linked to heart diseases and cancer.
Our bodies produce enough vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin when we’re spending time outdoors. However, we can get this kind of natural sun exposure from March to September only, and even then, we have to protect our skin with sunscreen and clothing to prevent skin damage and cancer.
The other way is eating food that is rich in vitamin D, such as:
- Oily fish – herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel
- Egg yolks
- Red meat
- Food fortified with vitamin D (cereals, milk, etc.)
If you think that due to lack of sun exposure and diet you’re not getting enough of this vitamin, check out Health Matters’ offer at https://healthmatters.ie/ and consider taking a supplement.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is essential for the production of new cells in your body and adequate nerve functioning. However, to get these benefits, your body needs to be able to absorb it properly.
Certain medications, such as metformin, H2 blockers, or proton pump inhibitors can interfere with the absorption of this vitamin. Certain health conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, can do the same. Aging can also impact the way your body breaks down proteins and uses cobalmin.
If you’re over 50 or if you fit in any of the categories mentioned above, consult your health specialist about taking supplements or eat food rich with vitamin B12, such as:
- Meat and poultry
- Milk and dairy
- Fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout.
Vegetarians and vegans may have an increased risk of not getting enough B12 through their diet, so they should look for fortified food or consider supplementing.
Vitamin B9, also known as folate, is essential for the formation of red blood cells, the making of DNA, and the healthy growth of cells and their functioning.
The intake of an adequate amount of this vitamin is important for proper brain function and your mental and emotional health. Vitamin B9 deficiency is pretty common due to a poor diet or certain health conditions, such as irritable bowel disease, celiac disease, or alcoholism.
It may lead to conditions such as weak growth, irritability, forgetfulness, diarrhea, shortness of breath, etc.
Vitamin B9 is especially essential during pregnancy, as it lowers the risk of neural tube congenital disabilities, such as spina bifida, cleft palate, or brain damage.
To ensure you’re taking enough of this essential vitamin, include more leafy green vegetables, legumes, seeds, liver, and orange juice in your diet.
Vitamin B9 in the synthetic form of folic acid is now added to most refined grains, so you can also consider including more of these in your diet.
If you believe that your diet isn’t rich in this vitamin, or if you have any of the conditions mentioned above, consult your health specialist for supplementing it in your diet.
Vitamin B12, C, and A are also essential for your organism’s normal functioning, and so are minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Reconsider your diet and include a lot of nutrient-dense foods that are a rich source of micro and macronutrients, and that will help you achieve your health goals in the most natural way.