Are Vitamin Supplements Necessary For Good Health?

More of us are taking vitamin supplements daily, keen to ensure that we get all the nutrients we need to thrive. However, do we actually need these vitamins? Well, the answer is no – and yes.

A well-balanced diet that includes the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins is likely to be enough to give you all the nutrients and calories you need. And there has been research that has revealed that vitamins taken in supplement form don’t live up to the claims of helping people live longer or avoid developing chronic diseases or illnesses.

However, some people will most certainly benefit from added vitamins in their diet. Pregnant women are encouraged to take the B vitamin folic acid and vitamin D. Folic acid can protect against spinal defects developing in an unborn child while vitamin D regulates the level of calcium and phosphate in the body, essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Others who should consider adding supplements to their daily diet are those who have been diagnosed with a specific vitamin deficiency and those who suffer from chronic degenerative conditions such as arthritis.

If you are concerned about taking supplements, you can improve your vitamin intake by changing your diet to include vitamin-rich foods that will keep you healthy. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, cut out processed foods, reduce your alcohol intake and quit smoking – all of these can combine to make you healthier and reduce the need for any vitamin supplements.

And if you do decide to include vitamin supplements, make sure you are taking the right ones for you. Multivitamins are not always the right answer as they can’t give each individual the right balance.

Do ensure your diet includes vitamins A, D and K – these are fat-soluble and so are often missing from low-fat diets but they are essential for good health. Vitamin A boosts your immune system as does vitamin D, which also helps hormone production and is essential for when you don’t get enough sunlight; vitamin K helps with blood clotting, bone health and immunity. Vitamin C and the B complex group are water-soluble and are best gained from fruit, meat and eggs.


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