In the past few years, it seems there isn’t a high street in Britain which doesn’t have a Holland and Barrett or a pharmacy specialising in vitamins and minerals which promise to cure every ailment you have ever had in an organic and ethical way. The market is crowded with new products and brands popping up all the time and it can be very confusing. This step-by-step guide to vitamins and what they mean might help make your life a little less confusing next time you do your health shop.
What is a vitamin?
A vitamin is a group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body. They are organic and are usually be broken down by heat, air, or acid.
Guide to using them:
Whether you have just come out of alcohol rehab in Hampshire or are a fit and healthy person looking to stay that way in 2018, this guide to when and how to take vitamins might come in useful.
There’s something intriguing about the vitamin aisle. More energy! No more colds! Better memory! Less body fat! The pills seem to be just waiting to whip your insides into shape. Of course, with the promises of a newer, shinier you, comes a big dose of confusion. Before you go browsing online for the latest hip and happening product without knowing what the side effects might be, here’s what we think you should know about taking vitamin supplements.
Eating isn’t cheating:
Remember the best way to get your daily vitamin dose is by eating real food, whole food, green food – not junk food – as this will contain all the nutrients you need—and a wider array of nutrients than you’d ever get from a supplement.
Take an orange. We tend to think of them as just being rich in vitamin C but they are actually packed full B vitamins, like thiamine and folate, as well as vitamin A. they also contain virtually all the minerals our body uses, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. So, eating one a day or a couple of week can do a lot more than help you fight off a cold.
Mind the gap:
We all know the areas we fall down on in our diet. Whether it is your hatred of citrus fruit or passion for avoiding green goods such as broccoli and spinach, it isn’t hard to figure out what foodstuffs you’re missing and with a quick Google the vitamins which are in them. Use a website such as Wikipedia to help you find out what you’re missing then make sure you either eat the food with those vitamins in them or supplement them with a tablet or serum.
Talk that talk
Whist it is hard to overdose on vitamin supplements, if you do spot areas of nutrient concern, don’t go it alone. Discuss what you might supplement with and how much to take with a registered dietitian or your doctor.
Our top five supplements:
- Cod Liver Oil – not the nicest sounding supplement but as Omega 3which is what is in this tablet affects virtually every process in our bodies positively this is an important tablet to take. There are two parts of it – EPA and DHA. EPA is really good for the body and is anti-inflammatory, whereas DHA is good for brain function and concentration.
- Multi vitamins – Experts say that all of us should take a multivitamin tablet each day due to the lack of food quality. These tablets act as an insurance policy as you need a huge range of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and this tablet contains a selection of 13 in each small pill.
- Vitamin D – a supplement to take in winter. Due to the lack of sunlight, many of us are deficient in this and it can help combat the time spent indoors. Deficiency in vitamin D is linked to higher risk of heart disease, bowel cancer, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.