Vitamins; what to eat instead of taking supplements

There are a handful of essential, non-negotiable vitamins that we all need for proper nutrition and longevity. Medical professionals advise that a deficiency of any of these vitamins can lead to a variety of health problems from depression to vision issues. The biggest mistake many people make is believing that they have to take supplements to achieve optimum vitamin levels; which is not true. In most cases, if you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet you’ll get all of the vitamin and nutrients that your body craves. Here are the top six vitamins that you need and here’s what to eat instead of taking supplements.

Vitamin C

We’ve all heard how important Vitamin C is for us, but it’s not just about drinking your orange juice. This vitamin helps to repair tissues, keeps bad cholesterol away, lowers the risk of heart disease and aids in the absorption of iron. You can get Vitamin C from dark leafy greens, red bell peppers, apples, berries and citrus fruits.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is the key to absorbing calcium and maintaing strong, healthy bones. Years ago I was suffering from chin splints all of the time, but once I started taking Vitamin D the pain went away. Healthy levels of this vitamin is achieved through sun exposure 5-10 minutes two to three times per week. But this vitamin is also found in salmon, swordfish, eggs and fortified milk. Are you Vitamin D deficient? 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is another essential vitamin that helps with blood clotting and bone metabolism and it’s found in kale, Swiss chard, spinach, grapes and eggs. Eating eggs often is a great way to maintain proper Vitamin K. Learn how to make perfect hard boiled eggs.

Vitamin B

This one is made up of nine different types including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9 and B12; all of which aid in everything from healthy cell production, to mood and sleep regulation, to converting food into energy. B Vitamins are found in salmon, yogurt, eggs, spinach, beans, almonds, beef and kale.

Vitamin A

This vitamin promotes good vision, reproductive health and keeps the immune system strong so that you can fight off illness when it presents itself. You can find this vitamin in carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, beef liver, mango and spinach.

Vitamin E

Another essential vitamin that helps protect against tissue damage from free radicals, supports vision, and helps the body actually use the Vitamin K you’ve already consumed that we talked about above.

Remember to talk to your doctor at each yearly physical to ensure you’re keeping track of your vitamin levels through blood work. If you fall short of any of these essential vitamins, that is when your doctor may recommend that you supplement to get your levels back to normal and then continue to eat all of the healthy foods we’ve talked about today to stay on track.

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