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?”
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…
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 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?
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.
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.
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.