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Vitamins are the building blocks that keep our bodies running; they help build muscle and bone, capture energy, heal wounds and more. But if our body doesn’t create vitamins, how do they get into our system? Ginnie Trinh Nguyen describes what vitamins are, how they get into our bodies — and why they are so crucial.
Lesson by Ginnie Trinh Nguyen, animation by The Moving Company Animation Studio.
Vitamins are a huge part of our society. Although many vitamins help the body reach and maintain optimal health, one of the most beneficial vitamins is B complex. Comprised of a group of vitamins to include vitamin B1 or Thiamine, B2, which is the same as Riboflavin, B3 or Niacin, B5 or Panthothenic Acid, B6, which is Pyridoxine, B7 or Biotin, B12 or Cobalamin, and folic acid, PABA, Inositol, and Choline. Due to the rich nutrients that come from vitamin B complex, every cell of the body, especially the nerve cells receive benefit.
Unfortunately, a deficiency in B vitamins can cause muscle weakness and edema. Although a number of people live with a vitamin deficiency, the worst are folic acids, which are needed to help improve mood while fighting neural tube defects in unborn children, which is why vitamin B complex is so important for pregnant women. In addition, deficiency in vitamins B6 or B12 results in depressed mood and fatigue.
Keep in mind that with B vitamins, they are not stored well in the body. Then, if you consume caffeine or alcohol, these vitamins tend to become depleted quickly. However, there are other important benefits found in B vitamins such as healthy skin, strong, shiny hair, stronger muscle and bones, and healthy mucosal membranes, especially those found around the mouth. Vitamin B complex also improves intestinal health and bowel function, boosts mood, decreases irritability, helps with insomnia, promotes better sleep, improves liver and brain cell function, and can reduces PMS symptoms.
Although vitamin B complex is found in foods we eat, most are lost during the cooking process. Therefore, if you want to get those most out of your vitamins, we recommend you take a supplement of 50 mg in B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12, Choline, PABA, and Inositol. In addition, adding 400 mcg of folic acid would be highly beneficial to your overall health and wellness. Remember, your body needs the right type of vitamins so you can function optimally, as well as live a long life. By eating a well balanced diet rich in vitamins and supplements, you will feel better.
Some of the foods you can add to your diet for the B vitamins include leafy green vegetables, fish and seafood, whole grains, poultry and other meats, dairy products, eggs, citrus, specifically oranges, and beans and peas. Since B vitamins make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, these are crucial.
In many cases, hair loss is attributed to a physical condition, such as Thyroid disease, or the lack of proper nutrition. Certain medications can also strip your body of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy hair production and growth. In these cases, the proper vitamin and mineral regimen can significantly reduce hair loss and promote new hair growth. After starting a vitamin and mineral supplement program, it can take up to 2 to 3 months to see results, but you will see results. So, do not become discouraged if your hair loss does not totally reverse itself after a few weeks of vitamin and mineral therapy. The following is a guide to some of the more common vitamins and minerals that have been proven to be effective at promoting healthy hair growth. If you are going to start taking any of the listed supplements, be sure to consult with your doctor first and not to exceed the recommended dosage. Doing so can actually cause hair loss in some cases. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps to produce healthy sebum (oil) in the scalp. You get Vitamin A by consuming foods such as fish liver oil, milk, meat, cheese, eggs, cabbage, carrots, spinach, broccoli, apricots and peaches. The daily recommended dosage of Vitamin A is 5,000 IU. Vitamin C is another antioxidant that helps maintain healthy hair and skin. You get Vitamin C by consuming foods such as citrus fruits, kiwi, pineapple, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes and dark green vegetables. The daily recommended dose is 60 mg. Vitamin E increases scalp circulation which is vital for hair growth. You get Vitamin E by eating foods such as wheat germ oil, soybeans, raw seeds ad nuts, dried beans and leafy green vegetables. The daily recommended dose is up to 400 IU. Biotin is thought to help produce keratin, the building block of hair and nails. It is also thought that is vitamin may prevent graying. You get Biotin from eating foods such as whole grains, egg yolks, liver, rice and milk. The daily recommended dose is 150-300 mcg. Vitamin B6 is thought to prevent hair loss and help create melanin, the pigment which gives hair its color. You get Vitamin B6 by eating foods such as liver, whole grain cereals, vegetables, organ meats and egg yolks. The daily recommended dose is 1.6 mg. Calcium is essential for healthy hair growth. You get Calcium by eating foods such as dairy, fish, nuts, lentils and sesame seeds. The daily recommended dose is up to 1,500 mg. Copper helps prevent hair loss and defects in hair color and structure. You get copper by eating foods such as shellfish, liver, green vegetables, eggs, chicken and beans. The daily recommended dost is up to 3 mg. Iodine helps regulate thyroid hormones. Thyroid disease is the number one cause of disease-related hair loss. You get Iodine from foods such as fish, seaweed, kelp, iodized salt and garlic. The recommended daily dose is 150 mcg. Manganese prevents hair from growing too slowly. You get Manganese from foods such as eggs, whole grain cereals, avocados, beans, nuts, meat and chicken. The daily recommended dose is 3 to 9 mg. Silica prevents hair loss by strengthening the hair. You get Silica from eating foods such as seafood, soybeans, rice and green vegetables. The daily recommended dose is 55 mcg. As was mentioned earlier, taking more than the recommended dosage of these vitamins and minerals can have devastating consequences to your health. In addition, some supplements are not recommended for people with certain health conditions or for persons taking certain medications. So, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking any supplements to prevent hair loss. In addition to these few examples, there are myriads of vitamins and minerals that can help you promote hair growth and slow down the process of hair loss. To find out which ones meet your needs, talk to your doctor.
For any up and coming mother especially those who will be having a baby for the first time, she would want to ensure that her baby be in the best health and condition. Many pregnant women have to undergo regular check up and are being prescribed with vitamins to ensure that the baby gets the needed nutrition and be free from any diseases or infections. It is important also that a mother eats healthy food and avoids things like drinking alcohol and smoking.
There have been a lot of issues regarding prenatal vitamins and we need clarifications on certain of these issues so that we will be aware on whether this is true or merely a misleading notion.
It is true that it is important for pregnant women to take in prenatal vitamins or supplements for they cannot be sure if the food they will be taken in will provide for all the necessary vitamins and minerals that she will need for her and her upcoming baby. This time she is not only eating for herself but she is eating for two people. While she may exert extra effort to eat only what are healthy, chances are she wouldn’t be able to get everything that she will need that is why there is a need for supplements that will help fill this gap. But we have to remember that supplements are not there to substitute poor nutrition. This has to go with eating healthy in order for the body to be able to make full use of the vitamins and minerals available for the body to absorb and use.
While there may be numerous prenatal vitamins that could be bought over the counter at pharmacies which would really work for most women, it is still ideal to consult your doctor on which one would best suit your needs. There are certain things that you need to ensure like the amount of Vitamin A that could be toxic if taken in excessive amounts and could cause possible birth defects. You also need to ensure an adequate amount of folic acid which is very vital for your baby’s development. The ingredients in a prenatal vitamin are important and if your body would be absorbing them.
Some pregnant women especially the sensitive ones may find themselves bothered by the taste and sometimes smell of these vitamins. You could ask your doctor about switching brands if possible or if not you could just make a little amount of sacrifice for your little angel.
Eating right is important to staying healthy. The right foods are sometimes the simplest foods available. Nowadays, people rely too much on fast, processed foods for convenience. However, that is not the best way to eat. If you want to know more about proper nutrition for your body, read on for some suggestions.
You need plenty of B vitamins in your diet. If you can not seem to consume enough B vitamins through the food you eat, then you can always take supplements. B vitamins help metabolize energy and therefore they are essential to your body and should be maintained at healthy levels. Search out your B vitamins!
If you are searching for ways to eat beneficial unsaturated fat instead of saturated fats found in fast food and other unhealthy items, consider adding more nuts and nut-based products to your diet. Nuts provide a strong source of the “good” fat your body needs to store nutrients and water, without hurting your heart or raising your cholesterol levels.
Cheat on your diet once and a while, especially if you are on a low calorie diet. When you take in less calories than usual, your metabolic rate slows down, so suprising your body one day with some high calorie foods will help speed up your metabolism and burn fat faster.
A good nutrition tip is to not obsess over food labels and macronutrients. You should enjoy life by eating whatever you want to eat. The key to staying healthy is eating food in moderation. Eating too much of any kind of food can be bad for you.
If you’re cutting back on calories and are eating nuts between meals, try using shelled varieties. You will spend more time getting the nuts out of their hulls, instead of shoving handfuls into your mouth. This can cut back on unintentional overeating at snacking times and maximize the benefits of these midday treats.
If you don’t like the taste of some of the healthier options, give your body some time to change. If you stay motivated and dedicated, you will find that your taste changes fairly quickly. The idea of a greasy hamburger will start to become unappealing to you, and you will find yourself grabbing something healthier.
Onions are valued by cooks for the flavor they add to recipes. But there is another reason to maximize the use of onions. Nutritionally, they provide carotenoids, B and C vitamins, and trace minerals. All of these enhance our health by giving our bodies the necessary nutrients.
A great way to improve your eating habits, is to eat more foods high in fiber. Fiber expands with water to help you feel fuller with less food. Lentils and beans, like kidney, navy, pinto and black beans, are excellent because they are high in fiber, as well as protein. This makes them all, very healthy and filling food.
It is not difficult to include nutritious foods into your daily diet. You just need to learn more about which foods are the best sources of various nutrients, then incorporate them into your meals. Find out what foods you should not be eating, and modify your diet accordingly. If you are committed to eating right, your body will be healthier.