Vitamins Deficiency? Top Vitamins and Minerals Sources You Have To Try Before Supplements
Vitamins and minerals are very important because it helps your body grow and develop properly. This is the reason why pediatricians and doctors all over the world recommend giving children vitamins. Most adults also need complete vitamin supplements to ensure that their immune system is strong and they stay protected against harmful viruses and bacteria. Usually, foods are the usual sources of vitamins and minerals, but for people who are not eating enough, especially in poor countries, vitamin deficiency is quite common. Vitamins play an important part in a lot of bodily functions such as metabolism, digestion, and immunity. Vitamins can even help convert food into energy and repair cell damages. If a person is a vitamin and mineral deficient, then he or she is prone to getting sick most of the time. According to most experts, the best way to meet your vitamin and mineral needs is to have a complete and balanced diet with a variety of healthy foods.
In 2 minutes or less, you can get the diet plan that will turn your body into a fat burning machine.
During the renaissance ages, sailors and explorers were getting sick and many of them even died before their ship got to their destination. It was later discovered that these sailors suffered from scurvy, which is an extreme vitamin C deficiency. All they need to do is eat citrus fruits or other vitamin C foods to avoid getting sick during their long voyage. Today, scurvy is not as fatal as it was in the earlier times since the modern diet consists of a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. Vitamin deficiency is being addressed immediately by doctors, especially when the person shows signs of health problems and weaknesses.
Vitamin deficiency occurs when a person has an insufficient dietary intake of essential vitamins. If this deficiency in vitamins and minerals are not treated, it may result in higher vulnerability to diseases. Here are some of the most common causes of vitamin deficiency:
- Diet is low in fat, which leads to reduced absorption of vitamin E
- If the person is under medication, it can cause vitamin deficiencies
- Consuming too much alcohol can have an impact on the folic acid levels
- If you are taking antibiotics, it can cause vitamin B6 deficiency
In poor countries, the sources of vitamins and minerals are minimal, which leads to vitamin deficiency. Not getting enough nutrition will result in several diseases that can be fatal and dangerous if left untreated. Here are the most common diseases that are caused by lack of vitamins and minerals in the body:
- Rickets – it is a vitamin D deficiency that causes the weakening of the bones and usually resulting in deformities and fractures.
- Scurvy – the symptoms of this disease are bleeding gums, loosening of teeth, general weakness, spotted skin, and slow healing of wounds. It can be fatal if it becomes too severe and not treated. Today, it can be treated with vitamin C.
- Beriberi – it is a severe B1 vitamin deficiency, which is characterized by brain, heart, and nerve abnormalities. Symptoms include the tingling and numbness of hands and feet, breathing problem, memory loss, depression, and paralysis.
- Pellagra – it is caused by severe malnutrition and dependence to only a particular type of food or drink. Symptoms include dark red patches on the neck, face, hands, feet, and calves. The person may also experience swollen mouth and tongue, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
Vitamins and Minerals
Below are the important facts you need to know about each essential vitamins and minerals.
Recommended Daily Intake – 900 micrograms for men and 700 micrograms for women.
Function and Benefits – Vitamin A helps to promote eye health and normal vision. It is also essential in maintaining a strong immune system and it is important for the growing years of children. Vitamin A induces the differentiation of cells in the body.
Recommended Daily Intake – 400 to 800 IU per day.
Functions and Benefits – Helps to maintain a stable calcium level in the blood. Vital in the insulin and prolactin secretion, immune and stress response, cellular differentiation, melanin synthesis, and muscle function. Promotes healthier bones and important for normal kidney function and parathyroid gland function.
Recommended Daily Intake – maximum of 1,000 mg or 1,500 IU
Functions and Benefits –
- It can enhance the immune response of the body.
- Prevent the harmful carcinogens from getting to their target areas.
- Fights free radicals and prevent damage to the cell membrane.
- Protects vitamin A from oxidation during the digestion process.
- Helps prevent LDL cholesterol from initiating an arterial plaque buildup, thus lowering the risk of heart disease.
Recommended Daily Intake – for adults, the average intake is 122 micrograms for women and 138 micrograms for men.
Functions and Benefits – Vitamin K helps the blood coagulate. It is given to newborn babies to help blood clot. Sometimes it is given to pregnant women before giving birth or to patients undergoing surgery.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamin
Recommended Daily Intake – for adults, it is 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women.
Functions and Benefits – Thiamin plays an important role in the conversion of glucose to energy. It is important for the health of the nervous system and nerve transmission. Thiamin vitamin deficiency causes depression and irritability. Severe deficiency may lead to heart failure, paralysis, and beriberi.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
Recommended Daily Intake – for adults, it is 1.3 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women.
Functions and Benefits –
- Plays an important role in the metabolizing of fats, carbohydrates, and lipids.
- Essential for the degradation of fatty acids and synthesis of ATP.
- During the oxidation-reduction reactions, it works as an intermediary in transferring of electrons.
- Riboflavin is involved in the production of red blood cells and maintenance of bodily tissues, especially the eyes and skin.
- Riboflavin is needed for the function of folic acid, niacin, and vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
Recommended Daily Intake – for adults, the recommended daily amount is 1.3 mg. For age 51 and above, it is 1.7 mg for men and 1.3 mg for women.
Functions and Benefits –
- Plays an important role in the production of certain amino acids and turning others into hormones.
- Important for the normal function of the immune system. It is also necessary for gluconeogenesis and hormone modulation.
- Plays a key role in metabolizing polyunsaturated fats and proteins.
- It helps in the formation of niacin.
- It is used by the body to build red blood cells and maintain the nerve tissues.
Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin
Recommended Daily Intake – for ages 14 and older, 2.4 micrograms. Pregnant women should take 2.6 micrograms per day.
Functions and Benefits – Work with folic acid to help produce red blood cells. Plays a key role in the synthesis of RNA and DNA. Essential to building and maintaining the protective nerve sheaths.
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid
Recommended Daily Intake – for adults, it is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
Function and Benefits –
- It slows down the formation of carcinogenic compounds.
- Plays a key role in the building and maintenance of collagen.
- Essential in iron absorption, healing of wounds, blood vessels, and bones and teeth.
- Integral in metabolizing some of the amino acids and hormones.
- It can activate the liver-detoxifying system.
- Works as an antioxidant and offers protection against damage to lipids and other molecules.
- It can protect cellular functions.
- Boost the function of white blood cells in destroying harmful bacteria.
Recommended Daily Intake – 300 micrograms.
Functions and Benefits – Biotin plays an important role in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It is a part of some enzymes that functions as a carboxyl carrier. Biotin vitamin deficiency may cause baldness, dry and flaky skin, and rashes around the mouth and nose.
Recommended Daily Intake – it is recommended to take 200 to 600 mg per day.
Functions and Benefits – Has a key role in the production and metabolism of cholesterol and fats. Protects the liver from fat deposits. Keeps the central nervous system stable.
Niacin or Vitamin B3
Recommended Daily Intake – most health authorities recommend a daily intake of 14 to 18 mg.
Functions and Benefits – Has a vital role in enabling the body to use fats and proteins, carbohydrates, and amino acids for energy. Helps influence the metabolism of DNA, NAD, and NADP. Important for the proper function of the digestive tract and nervous system. Promote healthier skin.
Folate, Folic Acid, or B Vitamin
Recommended Daily Intake – 400 micrograms for 14 years and above. For pregnant women, it is 600 micrograms.
Functions and Benefits – Has a key role in breaking down and synthesizing amino acids. It helps in synthesizing nucleic acids, which are needed to create red blood cells. Needed by pregnant women to prevent neural birth defects. Also has an important role in the amino acid and nucleotide metabolism. Severe folic acid vitamin deficiency can lead to anemia.
Pantothenic Acid or Vitamin B5
Recommended Daily Intake – 5 mg for 14 years old and above. For pregnant women, take 5 mg daily.
Functions and Benefits – Has a vital role in the proper functioning of the adrenal cortex. Also has an important role in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Involved in the building of cholesterol, fatty acids, steroid hormones, acetylcholine, and nerve regulators. If severe pantothenic acid vitamin deficiency, it can lead to vomiting, abdominal distress, cramps, insomnia, and fatigue.
Recommended Daily Intake – adults 19 years old and above should get 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day.
Functions and Benefits – Maintain strong and healthy bones and teeth. Helps in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve transmission. Has a key role in the production of energy. Also has an important role in the maintenance of immune functions.
Recommended Daily Intake – health experts recommend an upper limit of 1,000 micrograms per day for adults.
Functions and Benefits – Has a key role in glucose metabolism. Has a vital function in regulating blood sugar. Can be used to treat and prevent diabetes. Very useful in curing hypoglycemia.
Recommended Daily Intake – 900 micrograms for adult men and women.
Functions and Benefits –
- Needed in the hemoglobin formulation.
- Helps in the absorption of iron.
- Plays a key role in respiration.
- It is part of the enzyme that helps protect against cellular damage.
- Has the ability to prevent the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Also has an important role in the production of melanin, collagen, elastin, and the neurotransmitter noradrenaline.
- It is anti-inflammatory and it can fight arthritis.
- It contains anti-cancer properties and it can boost the immune system.
Recommended Daily Intake – 19 to 20.5 mg for men and 18 mg for women. The average dietary intake for pregnant women is 14.7 mg per day.
Functions and Benefits –
- Has a key role in the formation and function of red blood cell.
- It also has an important function in the energy-producing process of the body.
- Provides protection from oxidant damage and proper maintenance of the immune system.
- It is involved in the production of collagen, carnitine, elastin, and some of the brain neurotransmitters.
- Helps prevent anemia.
Recommended Daily Intake – 150 micrograms for men and women. For pregnant women, it is 220 micrograms.
Functions and Benefits – An essential part of the thyroid hormones that have key roles in metabolism. It is used for loosening the clogged mucus in the breathing tubes.
Recommended Daily Intake – 400 to 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women.
Functions and Benefits –
- Have key roles in several biological processes in the body such as glucose metabolism, synthesis of protein and nucleic acids, and production of cellular energy.
- Acts as a regulator of calcium flow within the cells.
- Promotes proper function of nerves and muscles.
- Can be used for the treatment of prostate diseases, nervous disorders, PMS, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and depression.
Recommended Daily Intake – 2.1 to 2.3 mg per day for men and 1.6 to 1.8 mg for women.
Functions and Benefits – Serves as an important part of several enzyme systems. Plays a key role in protein and energy metabolism. Can help treat osteoarthritis Important for maintaining normal glucose metabolism. Essential for the normal functioning of the brain.
Recommended Daily Intake – 700 mg for adults. For children 9 to 18 years old, they need 1,250 mg.
Functions and Benefits –
- Works with calcium for stronger bones and teeth.
- Helps to enhance the use of other nutrients.
- Vital in biologic processes of the body such as cellular communication, energy production, and storage and processing of biological information.
- Helps in fighting fatigue.
Top Sources of Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin deficiency is a serious problem that should be addressed quickly, especially for growing children and those who have other health issues. The surest and fastest way to treat vitamin deficiency is to eat vitamin-rich foods every day. Here are some of the best sources of vitamins and minerals that will help maintain a healthier mind and body.
Vitamin A Foods
These vitamin A foods can fight bacterial and viral infections. Eating these foods can also keep your hair and nails looking healthy. The best foods for vitamin A are: Carrots, Winter squash, Sweet potatoes, Cantaloupe, Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Apricots.
Vitamin B Foods
Vitamin B foods are very good in preventing anemia and supporting brain functions. Some of the foods that are rich vitamin B6 and B12 include: Poultry, fish, and meat. Eggs, milk, and seafood, including oysters and mussels.
Vitamin C Foods
You need to eat more vitamin C foods to fight infection, improve iron absorption, and protect the health of your cells. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin C include: Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, Papaya, Strawberries, Brussels Sprouts, and Broccoli.
Vitamin D Foods
Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D, but you can also get it from a variety of foods. Vitamin D foods can help boost your body’s calcium absorption for stronger bones. It can also lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin D include: Milk, Eggs, Shiitake mushrooms, Fishes such as salmon, trout, catfish, herring, and oysters.
Vitamin E Foods
Vitamin E foods can help protect your body cells from damage. It also plays a key role in repairing muscle cells. Eat these foods to gain more vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Swiss Chards.
Vitamin K Foods
Older adults need to eat more vitamin K foods to maintain bone strength. These foods can also help to promote blood clot formation. Eat these foods to gain more vitamin K: Kale, mustard greens, and spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus.
These are just some examples of the top sources of vitamins and minerals that you can include in your regular diet. If you think that you have a vitamin deficiency, you should visit your doctor immediately. Usually, having a well-balanced diet and active lifestyle can treat any form of mild nutrient deficiency. Eat more fruits, vegetables, seafood, and nuts because these are the food groups that are considered as the best sources of vitamins and minerals. Include most of these vitamin-rich foods into your diet to gain optimum health and wellness.