We’ve all heard of vitamins, but do we really know when we should be taking them, what they actually do and how they do it? Let’s explore these questions to get a better understanding as they are an essential part of a healthy, happy life.
When SHOULD YOU TAKE THEM?
Vitamins should be taken when you are unable to obtain the nutrients you need through your diet. They should not be your only source of nutrition. Optimal vitamin supplementation should be combined with a healthy diet. Even whilst eating a healthy diet we are not getting as many nutrients as we did in the past due to depleted soils, industrial farming, and hybridization techniques. Our current environmental elements like toxins, lack of sunlight and stress also leads us to having higher nutrient needs.
Fact+ The efficacy of a vitamin will be at its optimum when taken at the right time of day e.g. morning or evening. This will depend on the vitamin’s absorption levels and is best to ensure directions are read on the label to receive maximum nutrient/supplement delivery.
What DO THEY DO?
They perform hundreds of roles inside your body. They are a group of substances that are needed for normal cell function, growth, and development. Another way of thinking about it is that they are raw materials your body needs to help run smoothly from moving muscles, your heartbeat, turning food into energy to sending instructions to your brain. There are 13 essential vitamins your body needs to work properly. They are vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B6, B12, and folate (folic acid and vitamin B9). A deficiency in any of these vitamins can cause health problems.
Fact+ Not one vitamin will perform a single task. They work best with certain vitamins to help your body work more efficiently and to the best of its ability.
How DO THEY DO IT?
There are two different types of vitamins, water and fat-soluble. Vitamins that are water soluble are not stored inside the body. When taken into the body they use what it needs, then you excrete anything don’t. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your liver and fatty issue when they are taken into your body. When your body needs them, they release it from their reserves.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B
- However, specially vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Fact+ The form of the vitamin impacts on how it is absorbed for example an effervescent tablet or powdered formulation can be easier on the stomach and rapidly absorbed as it is already dissolved by the time you drink it.