Whether or not you take vitamin supplements should be determined by assessing if you are getting the right vitamins and minerals through a well-balanced diet. Unfortunately for some, focusing on having a diet rich in vitamins is not a priority, which means that they are losing out on optimal health.
Oftentimes some of the biggest health issues you face can be a direct result of not having the right vitamins within your diet.
Before deciding whether or not to take vitamin supplements, it is important to first consider any ailments or issues you are facing. Are you lacking energy throughout the day? Do you feel weak? Are you vegan or vegetarian? All of these questions can help you decide if vitamin supplements are for you. If you’re still questioning if you should take a supplement, continue reading below.
Know The Most Common Vitamin Deficiencies
Before launching into whether or not to take vitamin supplements, it is important to understand the most common vitamin deficiencies and how each can affect your overall health. This can be beneficial for many people who do not know what signs and symptoms to look for when assessing a deficiency. Common vitamin deficiencies include:
- Vitamin D – This fat-soluble vitamin travels through the bloodstream into cells, aiding in turning genes on or off. A Vitamin D deficiency can develop over time and lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, bone loss, and severe growth delays in children.
- Vitamin B12 – Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is essential in order for every cell in your body to function optimally. However, Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by the human body. This means that we must either ingest it through diet or take a supplement.
- Calcium – Calcium is essential within the body in order to help mineralize bones and teeth especially during growth. Without calcium our hearts and muscles would not be able to function. A calcium deficiency can lead to bone issues, including osteoporosis.
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A is an important vitamin to help maintain skin, bones, teeth and cell membranes. When Vitamin A is deficient within a diet, it can cause temporary to permanent eye damage, blindness and even suppressed immune function.
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Remember That Each Body Is Different
While some people swear by vitamin supplements, others may be wary of them. This is only normal, as each body is different and will have different requirements to reach optimum health. Nutritional needs are entirely individual and it is important remember that supplements should act like a personalized form of medicine. For example, a person who is on a vegan diet will likely be looking for ways in which he or she can keep their Vitamin D and calcium levels in the right place. This may be the perfect vitamin supplements for their needs. Meanwhile, he or she may be full of iron from the spinach and legumes eaten within his or her daily diet. Yet, someone with an iron deficiency might need vitamin supplements in order to stay strong. Every person will have a different set of requirements for vitamin supplements in order to address individualized health.
Keep Track Of What You Are Eating
A great way to know if you need vitamin supplements added to your diet is to first determine what you are already getting through food. A majority of vitamins and minerals that the human body needs can easily be ingested just by eating the right foods within a well-balanced diet. Examine your diet by keeping a food journal for a few days. This might seem tedious at first, but it will help tremendously long term. There are even apps for a Smartphone that can help keep track of what you eat and break down the nutrients you are getting. This can be a great way to determine if you are low in certain areas nutritionally and assess how you can fill these nutrition gaps with a vitamin supplement.
Consider A Multivitamin
Rather than loading up on a few different vitamin supplements, try exploring multivitamins. A good multivitamin will contain all the essential vitamins in one shot, which can help add all the necessary vitamins to your diet and then some. Make sure that when you are considering a multivitamin you find one that contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Beta Carotene
Some companies tend to add gimmicky marketing ploys to their multivitamins in order to try and tailor them to specific groups of people. Multivitamins specific to women, multivitamins specific to athletes, multivitamins specific to a certain age group. While great in theory, sometimes these multivitamins are just a gimmick and should be taken at face value. Make sure that before you purchase any multivitamin, you check the ingredients first to verify that it has all the essential vitamins you will need.
Your Body Is Telling You It Needs Help
Always make sure that you are listening and paying attention to the needs of your body. Issues and ailments will manifest over time due to vitamin deficiencies, which is why you should listen to what your body is saying. A few things to consider that might indicate that you might be low on vitamins, include:
- You experience fatigue and brain fog
- You are vegan or vegetarian
- You do not eat fruits or vegetables often
- You have already been diagnosed with a deficiency of some kind
- You have digestive issues
- You are under a lot of stress
Remember that as each body is different, each ailment can be caused from a variety of issues. While it might read like a vitamin deficiency on paper, it might be due to something else entirely. It is always important to consult a medical professional if you are showing signs that something might be amiss internally. Doctors can measure things at a cellular level or take blood in order to assess deficiencies through professional testing techniques.
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