Health 101: What vitamins should I be taking or eating?

Most people have a rough idea of what a couple of vitamins do, but when it comes to supplements they probably ask themselves “what vitamins should I be taking?” or “what should I eat for vitamin A/B/C?”

What vitamins should I be taking

Vitamin C for your immune system – eat oranges, Vitamin E for you skin – eat avocado, but what about the rest? OK everyone knows about vitamin D, but did you know you can get it from foods and not just sunlight?

Find out the ABC, DEK of vitamins and how to maximise them in your diet…

Vitamin A

As well as supporting a healthy immune system, vitamin A is known for promoting good eyesight, preventing age-related macular degeneration and treating age related sight loss.

You’ll find it in sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables and carrots.

Vitamin B Complex

One of the trendier vitamins since reports of celebrities getting it injected into their backsides surfaced.

The vitamin Bs are complex, there are eight of them: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin).

The different roles of each help our bodies convert carbohydrates, fats and protein into fuel, giving us more energy from our food. Research shows that vitamin B12, which you’re most likely to be lacking, impacts our metabolic function, the production of red blood cells, the functioning capability of nerve cells and the ability to produce myelin – which our cells need to communicate.

Find it in fish, meat and fortified foods.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C may seem like the basic bi*ch of the vitamins; we all know we need it, what it does and where to get it. What you might not know is that as well as supporting your immune system it can help prevent cancer and slow the growth of cancerous cells.

Too much of it, however, can actually be damaging to your health. Avoid supplements and stick to focusing on your diet. This should be easy because as well as citrus fruits vitamin C can be found in tomatoes and broccoli. Not such a basic bi*ch after all huh?

Vitamin D

Winter is nigh, and so are the incessant moans of people claiming to be lacking in vitamin D. Made infamous for contributing to our energy levels, it also supports your muscles, bones and thyroid gland function, helps your body absorb calcium and promotes cell communication throughout the body.

Sunlight is not the only way to get it; you can find it in fortified milk, cheese and cereals.

Vitamin E

We know we need this for healthy skin and hair, but do we know why? Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body, protecting cells from free radicals – not as cool as they sound, free radicals interact with other molecules and take away their electrons, the molecule then becomes a free radical itself and does the same thing, eventually damaging the entire cell. Free radicals can come from smoke, ultraviolet light and even that vitamin D-rich sunlight.

Not only does it look after your outside, vitamin E boosts your immune system and lowers the risk of liver cancer.

Find it in leafy green vegetables, almonds and vegetable oils.

Vitamin K

This is the lesser famous vitamin but it is hugely important. It helps your blood to clot and maintains healthy bones, which in turn helps prevent osteoporosis and atherosclerosis in older people.

It is easy to find in leafy green vegetables, olives and broccoli and it is the safest vitamin to take in supplement form.

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12 Comments

  1. micaelalevachyov
    April 29, 2018 / 9:50 am

    I’m currently studying a diploma in nutrition and weight loss and I really think people need to focus more on fresh fruit and veg to get their vitamins! Move over processed food, the greens are here 🤣

  2. rhianwestbury
    April 29, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    As I don’t quite eat all the things I should I always try to take vitamin supplements but I am always forgetting x

  3. April 30, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I am familiar with what vitamins to take in supplements etc but I was none the wiser re vitamin d, this is very insightful

    • mattielaceydavidson
      Author
      April 30, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      Thanks so much I’m glad it was helpful for you x

  4. I must say i have been pretty lax when it comes to vitamins and the lack of them made me feel awful. I have been clean eating and taking a daily vitamin the last 3 weeks and i feel so much better

    • mattielaceydavidson
      Author
      May 1, 2018 / 10:13 am

      I think people underestimate their importance these days, and just muddle through with low energy thinking they are just tired all the time. I’m happy to hear you have noticed positive benefits xxx

  5. April 30, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Love this! Thank you for sharing! I used to take vitamin b12 daily but I heard that it may cause irritations or acne. My husband still takes it but I was concerned it was making me break out so I took a break!

    • mattielaceydavidson
      Author
      May 1, 2018 / 10:14 am

      That’s fair enough, we are all different at the end of the day x

  6. April 30, 2018 / 7:01 pm

    This is a great reminder of what foods you should be eating to make sure you are getting the essential vitamins. Thank you for sharing.

  7. trinimamabebe
    May 1, 2018 / 1:23 pm

    Great advice I know I lack alot of vitamins which I need to up my game on

  8. May 1, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    I know I don’t get nearly enough vitamin C, as I don’t eat hardly any fruit. But I do eat a lot of vegetables. Vitamin D I’m also lacking in somewhat – wish the sun would come out so I can get some naturally haha! x

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