Don’t follow the vitamin trend, ask your body.
What’s up with vitamins and mineral supplements and why should you care? This article breaks down the most essential information about vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K) and minerals (magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc) in an engaging way. This comprehensive review will set you ready to go to the pharmacy and purchase the vitamins and mineral supplements tailored to your needs.
We all know that vitamins and minerals are an absolutely crucial part of any healthy diet. However, a big variety and loads of information about each vitamin can make some of you not want to intake any supplements until that “one day when you figure out” which ones you need. Others may end up taking some random generic vitamin complex that someone has recommended. Sounds familiar? Then this post is for you.
In this article, I’ll share all the information gained from years of experience that is backed up with tons of research. So, folks that are curious about which supplements they need, go no further! You can skip all that boring research from medical sources and hours of google-ing the vitamin types. Stick with me to learn about the most essential supplements and find the ones your body needs.
OVERVIEW: FAST FACTS ABOUT VITAMINS AND MINERALS
- There are 13 recognized vitamins.
- There are 2 types: 9 water-soluble (C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B5, B7, B9, B12) and 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E, K.) The latter are easier for our bodies to store, while water-soluble ones get excreted during urination. It means that you need to consume water-soluble vitamins constantly, yet take breaks between fat-soluble vitamins.
- Our bodies can produce vitamins D and K.
- Minerals help your body perform essential functions, such as keep bones and teeth strong, convert food into energy, maintain healthy skin and hair, boost immune system, and nerve function.
- According to some stats, 90% of Americans have a Potassium deficiency, 80% lack Vitamin E, 70% don’t get enough calcium, and 50% need more Vitamin A, C, and Magnesium.
BEWARE OF THE VITAMIN INDUSTRY MARKETING HYPE
The world becomes more and more corporate every day, and there ain’t no exception for the vitamin industry. They want us to think that we absolutely need all sorts of vitamins to be healthy. The truth is yes, we do need vitamins, but not in the amounts that the marketers make it sound.
You should try to make your diet as diverse as possible, including as many vegetables and fruits as possible, getting some dairy and fish.
If you are on a vegan/raw diet, or let’s say, you don’t have a chance to cook diverse meals, then you do need some supplements to keep your body as healthy as possible. The key is to understand what you actually need and take only those items. You don’t want to take some generic multivitamin complex if you are already getting many vitamins from food because excessive amounts of vitamins are no good and can cause health problems.
27 billion market does its job well convincing us in its absolute necessity. There were times when Vitamin C was a cure of everything, whether you have a flu or cancer. Also, there was a Vitamin E trend due to its possible prevention of the heart disease and even Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D was an absolute star at some point and almost everyone was taking it to keep their bones healthy.
Yes, all the benefits are real. Nevertheless, I don’t want you to buy vitamins even though you don’t need them just because they are in trend. Stick with me and you’ll be able to find out your actual needs from this article.
OVERVIEW OF ALL EXISTING VITAMINS: PICK THE ONES YOU LACK
- Vitamin A is good for vision, healthy skin, neurological function, proper bone growth. Sources: carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and sweet red pepper. Overdose can cause birth defects, hair loss, or skin dryness.
- Vitamin B1 prevents type 2 diabetes, aids appetite regulation, boosts energy and is beneficial for heart. Sources: red meat, egg yolk, nuts.
- Vitamin B2 promotes healthy vision, hair and skin, helps to produce red blood cells. Sources: liver, lamb, dairy, fish.
- Vitamin B3 is needed for muscle tissue and healthy skin, aids mental acuteness. Sources: turkey, peanuts, liver, tuna, chicken breast, mushrooms. Overdose can cause liver damage.
- Vitamin B5 promotes metabolism, regulates nervous system, may lower cholesterol. Sources: chicken liver, sunflower seeds, avocado, salmon. Overdose can cause diarrhea.
- Vitamin B6 helps to produce serotonin and absorb proteins & carbs. Sources: fish, bananas, poultry, whole grains. Overdose can cause nerve damage.
- Vitamin B7 helps to maintain healthy hair, nails, and skin. Sources: organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans, yeast.
- Vitamin B9 creates red blood cells. Its deficiency may cause fatigue or anemia. Sources: cooked beans/lentils/asparagus, spinach, lettuce, avocado. Overdose can encourage various types of cancer.
- Vitamin B12 boosts energy, aids blood production and nerve development, helps to achieve emotional stability. Its deficiency can cause fatigue, memory deficiency, anemia. Sources: dairy, eggs, shellfish, liver.
- Viamin C helps to heal wounds, lower cholesterol, boost immune system. Sources: oranges, lemons, tomatoes, pepper.
- Vitamin D is good for healthy teeth and strong bones. Sources: dairy, fish, sunlight.
- Vitamin E helps to eliminate toxins and is good for muscle strength. Sources: eggs, nuts, green leafy veggies.
- Vitamin K prevents excessive bleeding and helps blood clot. Sources: spinach, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, canola oil.
MOST COMMON MINERALS: PICK “THE BEST” AND LEAVE THE REST
- Magnesium is beneficial for bone and teeth strength, repairing cells, converting food to energy. Sources: spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, nuts.
- Iron is needed for a proper muscle function, strong immune system, white and red cell production. Sources: lean red meat, brown rice, beans, green leafy veggies, egg yolks, nuts.
- Calcium keeps teeth, bones, and muscles strong. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis. Sources: dairy (milk, kefir, yogurt, cheese), cooked kale, sardines.
- Zinc is beneficial for immune system, breaking down proteins,fats, and carbs. Sources: meat, shellfish, whole grains.
- Potassium helps to reduce bloating and helps with kidney function and heartbeat. Sources: green leafy vegetables, bananas, potatoes, avocado, salmon.
BENEFITS OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS AND WHERE TO BUY THEM
Vitamins can help proper nerve function, improve digestion and metabolism, make your hair more shiny, skin – radiant, and nails – stronger. Women with heavy periods need more iron, vegetarians and vegans need more of a vitamin B12, while taking folic acid (B9) is helpful for women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant.
If you want to save some money, I recommend you buy vitamins and supplements online rather than the local stores. There are many types of vitamins, and while some of them are healthy, the others can contain sugar or other flavor enhancers. Below, I’ve included the links of the vitamins that are high-quality and contain pure goodness without any artificial garbage. I can confidently recommend these three brands:
Personalized Vitamin Packs (VitaFive) – you select the vitamins that you need. Based on that, they place customized vitamins in 28 packs, so you consume one pack a day. They mail it to you every four weeks – you never have to worry about forgetting or running out of your vitamins. The price starts at $14 a month.
Deva Vegan Vitamin B-12 – they are high quality and dissolve fast. If you are vegetarian or vegan, then you are most likely lacking B-12. It is crucial for maintaining healthy nerve cells and it also boosts energy. Its deficiency can cause fatigue, memory deficiency, anemia.
NatureWise Vitamin D3 – they are the absolute best from what I’ve tried. Take Vitamin D only if you lack it from food though. But if you do – purchase this one for sure. Vitamin D3 provides healthy muscle function, bone health and immune support. These capsules are gluten free & non-GMO in cold-pressed organic olive oil.
Disclosure: I thoroughly test every product I review and the opinions expressed here are my own. I’ll be compensated at no cost to you if you purchase a product through one of the links, but I in no way allow that to impact my reviews.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR A HEALTHY DIET
Important! Ideally, all the vitamins and minerals should be coming from a healthy balanced diet. However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and if you are lacking certain elements, you should take them additionally on top of your diet. Keep in mind that excessive amount is as bad as vitamin deficiency, so ‘more is better’ isn’t the case here.
Start from fixing your diet. Make sure you include many vegetables and fruits as well as other nutritious foods. Then see which supplements you aren’t consuming enough. For example, if you are vegetarian, you are most likely lacking B12; if you aren’t a fan of dairy products, consider taking some calcium.
If you need one-stop-shop solution to make your diet better, you can download my FREE eBook: Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget, in the end of this article. It will teach you what to buy in the grocery stores to make your diet complex and healthy, when to buy organic and when not, how to cook using those groceries, meal plan ideas, and more.