Good Food Health Vitamin Intake
It is essential that a person is aware of what constitutes good food health vitamin intake. The federal drug administration produces a recommended daily allowance for the majority of vitamins which it regards as a good food health vitamin intake. These figures vary according to a person’s age, sex and some other factors so that the good food health vitamin intake for a young woman is going to be different to that of a man in his seventies.
The food health vitamin intake amounts of certain foods are included in the nutritional labelling. This labelling is important for a person to consider and helps ensure that they are receiving the correct food health vitamin intake from the foods that they eat. The nutritional information is often represented as a percentage of the recommended daily allowance of each vitamin and mineral and can help assess the value of the foods in the quest for good food health vitamin intake.
There are also a number of items that a person may want to restrict in their diet as part of their good food health vitamin intake. Again, the nutritional labelling of certain foods can help a person to see how high a product is in these undesirable contents. Salt and fat, for example, may be items that a person wants to consider limiting as part of their good food health vitamin intake even though they are not strictly vitamins. The majority of people actually refer to nutrients when they use the word vitamin and food manufacturers are aware that a person is looking at minerals and other items when they are considering their good food health vitamin intake. Fiber is another element that many people are more aware of as forming an essential part of a balanced diet and is necessary for good food health vitamin intake.
If a person is on a restricted diet for any reason then they need to pay even more attention to their good food health vitamin intake. Obviously, some foods contain different nutrients to others and this is applicable to vitamins as well and it may be more difficult for a person to achieve their good food health vitamin intake if they are unable to eat certain foods. Vitamin supplements can form an essential part of a good food health vitamin intake for people who are unable to obtain their vitamins from their normal diet. It is also worth remembering that the good food health vitamin intake for a person varies throughout their life depending on their general health.
Liquid Vitamin Supplements
Most people do not realise that the body can absorb the nutrients from liquid vitamin supplements easier than from tablets. It is estimated that liquid vitamin supplements are actually absorbed at least five times better than regular vitamin pills. Of course, there are many other benefits that liquid vitamin supplements have over pills. For example, the liquid vitamin supplements are easier to swallow. This alone makes liquid vitamin supplements preferable to pills, especially for children and anyone else who has trouble taking pills of any type.
Young children are often unable to gather sufficient nutrients from the foods that they eat but it is almost impossible for them to take vitamin supplements in pill form. Liquid vitamin supplements are ideal because they can be given by a dropper, straight into the child’s mouth or even added to their regular bottle of water or juice to ensure that they receive all of the vitamins that they need to grow. For exactly the same reason, liquid vitamin supplements are perfect for anyone who is unwell and not able to eat properly.
Despite the best efforts of most people it is likely that most are not getting sufficient vitamins and minerals from their diet and that is where liquid vitamin supplements are beneficial. The vitamins in many common pill supplements are actually packed too densely. This leads to a lot of the vitamins not being broken down and absorbed as they should do whereas liquid vitamin supplements do not have the same problem. The body is therefore able to absorb far more of the nutritional value from liquid vitamin supplements than it can from those in the traditional pill form. In fact, the body only absorbs about 10-20% of the nutrients from vitamin pills compared to around 80-90% that it can absorb from liquid vitamin supplements.
Another benefit of liquid vitamin supplements is that they often contain more than one type of vitamin and other nutrients. Vitamin pills traditionally contain only one which means that you are going to have to take a whole handful of vitamin pills to get the same benefits as you do from many of the liquid vitamin supplements. Liquid vitamin supplements offer far more convenience and effectiveness for supplying the body with the vitamins that it needs. The cost of buying the equivalent number of vitamin pills to obtain the same results is also far more than that of liquid vitamin supplements.
Mineral Vitamin Supplements
The majority of mineral vitamin supplements are made from chemicals rather than natural substances. However, there is a steady growth in the demand for natural mineral vitamin supplements. This is due to the amount of debate that there is as to whether chemical mineral vitamins can be more harmful than beneficial in the long term.
The fact is that chemical mineral vitamin supplements are not as easily absorbed as normal food particles are. The mineral vitamin industry is constantly striving to create products that are more easily processed by the body and therefore more beneficial.
Every now and then the industry comes up with a new 'more bio-available' form of a vitamin or mineral. To overcome this, a large number of mineral vitamins have been developed that combine other elements with the vitamins and minerals to enable them to be more easily absorbed by the body. Iron is commonly combined to form iron gluconate which enable the mineral vitamin supplement to be more absorbable.
The amount of a nutrient in a mineral vitamin supplement needs to be far greater than it would be in a more natural form for the body to be able to absorb the amount that is required. This can obviously lead to problem where a toxic level of the particular nutrient is being consumed by the large doses of the mineral vitamin supplement that are needed. It is therefore extremely important that a person does not simply take vast quantities of all of the mineral vitamin supplements that are advertised on television and should seek advice from a health professional. It is also worth being aware of the developments in the mineral vitamin supplement industry as there are constantly new and better combinations being developed.
One method that mineral vitamin manufacturers have developed to help aid absorption is through culturing the raw materials with yeast cells. This form of mineral vitamins are known as ‘food state’ and are up to four times easier for the body to absorb the required nutrients as the yeast is completely digested.
Of course, the need for mineral vitamin supplements depends on the diet that a person has. There is no doubt that it is far more preferable for a person to obtain the nutrients that they require from their food rather than by taking mineral vitamin supplements wherever possible. During certain periods it may be necessary for a person to take mineral vitamin supplements on a temporary basis but their long term use is not recommended for a number of the supplements that are available.
The Benefits of Multi Vitamin Supplements
The majority of people do not eat a sufficiently balanced diet to provide them with all of the vitamins that they require and this has led to a boom in the multi vitamin supplement industry. Multi vitamin supplements are available in a number of different forms, including tablets, gel capsules and even liquids. Of course the most obvious benefit to taking multi vitamin supplements is convenience. It is far easier for a person to take one dose of a multi vitamin supplement that contains all of the necessary vitamins compared to taking each one individually. This is especially the case for children as it can be difficult for them to take a large number of vitamin supplements but one dose of a multi vitamin supplement is far easier. Of course, a liquid multi vitamin supplement is the most suitable form for children but it is also beneficiate anyone who has difficulty taking supplements in traditional tablet form.
The increase in the availability of multi vitamin supplements has led to a great variety in the brands and also the actual content of the multi vitamin supplements. The names of some of the nutrients in these multi vitamin supplements can be a little bewildering and many people simply do not know which ones they require. To make the decision simpler there are now a number of multi vitamin supplements created for specific people. For example, there are multi vitamin supplements that are designed for children. These multi vitamin supplements contain the specific nutrients that children need for them to grow and develop properly. Pregnant women have unique nutrient requirements to ensure that their baby receives the necessary nutrients and there are multi vitamin supplements prepared for pregnant women. As we get older we also have different nutrient requirements and multi vitamin supplements for the elderly are a popular product.
It is important to consider the contents of any multi vitamin supplement before consuming too many. There are some vitamins that can be toxic if too much is absorbed and this can occur more easily with multi vitamin supplements as some of the content may be overlooked. The labelling of the actual percentage of the recommended daily allowance for each vitamin in a multi vitamin supplement should be clearly labelled and must be assessed before a person takes them. Always seek professional medical advice before taking any multi vitamin supplement if thereis any doubt as to the benefits of the contents.
Natural Vitamin Sources
There are a lot of people who do not have enough natural vitamin sources in their diet and therefore suffer from a deficiency of one or more vitamins. Obviously, it is possible to buy vitamin supplements to help overcome any deficiencies but for the majority of people it should be possible for them to obtain the majority of their recommended daily allowance of vitamins from natural vitamin sources. The key to gaining the correct amount of vitamins from natural vitamin sources is to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
There are certain diets, such as vegetarian, that provide a limited number of natural vitamin supplements and therefore a supplement may be necessary. Also, the intake required of these natural vitamin sources at certain periods may need to be increased and a supplement may be the best option. It is important to be aware of each of the different types of vitamins and their best natural vitamin sources so that a person can incorporate as many of these as possible into their regular diet. Water soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body and need to be replenished on a daily basis so it is natural vitamin sources for these vitamins that are the most essential to know.
• Natural vitamin B1 sources are brewer’s yeast, whole grains, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, organ meats, egg yolk
• Natural vitamin B2 sources are brewer’s yeast, whole grains, legumes, nuts, organ meats, blackstrap molasses
• Natural vitamin B3 sources are lean meats, poultry & fish, brewer’s yeast, peanuts, milk, rice bran, potatoes
• Natural vitamin B4 sources are egg yolks, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, soybeans, fish, legumes
• Natural vitamin B5 sources are organ meats, egg yolks, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, salmon, brewer’s yeast
• Natural vitamin B6 sources are meats, whole grains, organ meats brewer’s yeast, blackstrap molasses, wheat germ
• Natural vitamin B7 sources are egg yolks, liver, unpolished rice, brewer’s yeast, sardines, legumes, whole grains
• Natural vitamin B8 sources are who1e grains, citrus fruits, molasses, meat, milk, nuts, vegetables, brewer’s yeast
• Natural vitamin B9 sources are dark-green leafy vegetables, organ meats, root vegetables, oysters, salmon, milk
• Natural vitamin B12 sources are organ meats, fish, pork, eggs, cheese, milk, lamb, bananas, kelp, peanuts
• Natural vitamin B13 sources are root vegetables, liquid whey
• Natural vitamin B15 sources are brewer’s yeast, rare steaks, brown rice, sunflower, pumpkin & sesame seeds
• Natural vitamin B17 sources are whole kernels of apricots, apples, cherries, peaches, plums
• Natural vitamin C sources are citrus, cabbage family, chilli peppers, berries, melons, asparagus, rose hips
A Guide to the B Complex Vitamins
There is a lot of discussion about the B complex vitamin and how it is essential for the body to perform a multitude of functions. However, the B complex vitamin is not simply one very complicated vitamin, as the name might suggest. There are actually eight B vitamins that are in the B complex vitamin as well as a few other related substances. The eight vitamins that make up the B complex vitamin are thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, pyridoxine or vitamin B6, cobalamine or vitamin B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid and biotin. The other related substances that are also in the B complex vitamin include choline, inositol and para-aminobenzoic acid.
Every part of the B complex vitamin performs its own individual function within the body but it is when they work together as the B complex vitamin that they provide essential maintenance for the body to remain healthy. The B vitamin complex comprises B vitamins which are water soluble and it is essential that enough of these vitamins are consumed on a daily basis. The body cannot store water soluble vitamins such as the B complex vitamin and this leads to a regular intake being required.
The B complex vitamins are extremely beneficial for a number of conditions and may be needed in additional quantities at certain times in a person’s life. Of course, there is a recommended daily allowance for the B complex vitamins that varies according to the sex and age of a person. However, doctors and other health professionals have discovered the benefits of increasing the intake of the B complex vitamin to help overcome certain illnesses.
Many people suffer from anxiety and stress at one time or another and research has found that the B complex vitamin can be beneficial in helping alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress. If a person has been unwell the B complex vitamin can be extremely valuable in aiding the recovery process. Fatigue can be a symptom of a multitude of illnesses as well as simply overdoing things but the B complex vitamin can help alleviate general tiredness and lethargy.
Interestingly, some skin conditions, such as dermatitis, can also benefit from addition B complex vitamin intake. In fact, a number of creams and other skin preparations contain added vitamin B complex that can be absorbed by the skin to alleviate the condition. The condition of a person’s hair will also be greatly improved with sufficient B complex vitamin intake.
Healthy Hair Vitamins
There a number of different specific hair vitamins and minerals that can play a major role in helping a person have a healthy head of hair. If a person does not have sufficient hair vitamins then the deficiencies can lead to thinning hair or even total baldness in the most severe cases. The fact is that the state of a person’s hair reflects the overall condition of their body. Extra hair vitamins are likely to be needed if a person is generally unwell or is undernourished as their hair will show damage too and may even stop growing.
Some of the most important hair vitamins that a person needs to have healthy hair include B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid. The best way to ensure that a person receives enough of these essential hair vitamins are for them to be taken as vitamin supplements. It is not just hair vitamins that are necessary for healthy hair though as there are a number of minerals that are essential, including magnesium, sulphur, silica and zinc.
The most essential hair vitamin is vitamin a but the best form of this is to include in the diet is beta-carotene. This is because the hair vitamin A can be toxic if consumed in large quantities but beta-carotene has no such problems and is converted by the body into vitamin A that can be used to promote healthy hair. Of course, vitamin A is not just a hair vitamin, it is also needed for a number of other functions including normal growth of bones, skin, nails and the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres.
Protein is another essential hair vitamin. This is because hair itself is essentially protein. The amount of this hair vitamin that a person consumes in their diet can affect the hair directly. If a lot of protein is included in a person’s diet then this hair vitamin will lead to improved hair growth and a far fuller head of hair. However, a person who has a diet that is lacking in this hair vitamin will suffer from thinning hair and slow hair growth.
Of course, it is not just hair vitamins and minerals that are needed to ensure that a person has healthy, strong hair. There are a number of researchers who have found that there are direct links between the overall health of a person and the condition of their hair. If a person is under a lot of stress or suffers from a lack of sleep then their hair is also likely to suffer and it is likely that their diet will not provide enough hair vitamins to counter these effects. Hair vitamin and mineral supplements can be the solution to weak and damaged hair.
A Guide to the C Vitamin
The c vitamin has got to be the most widely known vitamin these days. It is not surprising because the body needs c vitamin for over 300 functions. In fact, the c vitamin has been proved to help protect against heart disease, cancer and other serious illnesses. Without the c vitamin the body would not be able to heal itself either. This is because the c vitamin is vital for the formation of collagen. Whenever a person has a cut or an injury it is the collagen that helps repair the damage and without sufficient c vitamin this would be almost impossible. Collagen has a multitude of functions in the body, including keeping the organs in place, and it would not be able to do this without sufficient c vitamin.
The c vitamin is also an antioxidant for the body and helps other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed better. Folic acid and iron, for example, need the c vitamin to maximise their usefulness. The more c vitamin that the body has, the better its defence against colds and other common ailments and the c vitamin may not prevent a person catching a virus but it does help speed up the recovery process.
There is c vitamin in almost every fruit and vegetable but some have far higher c vitamin content than others. Cranberries and melons have high c vitamin content. In fact, tropical fruits have the highest c vitamin amounts of all fruit. Hot peppers are amongst the richest sources of the c vitamin when it comes to vegetables. The hotter the pepper, the higher its c vitamin content is. Unfortunately, the c vitamin is water soluble so many vegetables lose their effectiveness as a c vitamin provider if they are boiled for a long time. Steaming or quick stir frying vegetables ensures that more of their c vitamin content is retained. The recommended daily amount of the c vitamin is easily obtained from eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day if they are consumed raw or cooked quickly.
C vitamin supplements are extremely useful to ensure that people obtain sufficient c vitamin. However, with a balanced diet the amount of c vitamin the body receives is likely to be sufficient. However, if a person begins feeling tired or lethargic then a c vitamin supplement will help overcome this. There is no danger of having too much c vitamin as the body simply excretes the excess.
A Guide to the D Vitamin
The D vitamin is the only vitamin that is not obtained from foods that are consumed. Instead, the D vitamin is actually obtained by sunlight on the skin. There has been a lot of media coverage about the dangers of getting too much sun but it is essential that the skin is exposed to sunlight to obtain the recommended daily allowance of the D vitamin. In reality, the amount of time that a person has to spend in the sun to receive a sufficient dose of the D vitamin is extremely small and just a few minutes a day will be sufficient and not have any adverse effects from the amount of ultra-violet light received.
The most important function of the D vitamin is to help control how much calcium is absorbed from food. The majority of the calcium is used to build strong teeth and bones but it is also needed to send messages along the nerves and to help muscles, such as the heart muscles, to contract. It is the D vitamin that ensures that there is always sufficient calcium in the blood to perform these tasks. Other functions that require the D vitamin relate to the immune system and it is believed that it is also a contributing factor in reducing the risk of contracting cancer and, in particular, colon cancer.
The variant of the D vitamin that is formed under the skin is known as vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. This D vitamin is created when the ultraviolet in the sunlight reacts with a type of cholesterol that is found under the skin naturally. The D3 is converted into a more active form of the d vitamin in the liver and is then diverted to where it is needed the most. Some of the D vitamin remains in the liver and kidneys to help reabsorb the calcium from the blood. The rest of the D vitamin is dispersed to the bones to help them retain their calcium and the intestines to aid absorption of calcium from food.
Even though the majority of the D vitamin is formed through the exposure of the skin to sunlight there are some foods that do contain some of the vitamin naturally. This form of the D vitamin is known as vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol. This is used in the same way as the other D vitamins and is the type used to create the majority of D vitamin supplements.
A Guide to the E Vitamin
The e vitamin is extremely important for a variety of functions in the body. A healthy heart needs plenty of the e vitamin as it has been shown to actually prevent heart disease. The e vitamin can also help contain any existing heart disease and stop it from getting worse.
E vitamin is also vital in protecting the cell membranes from the harmful free radicals that are present in the body. Without e vitamin, amongst others, the cell membranes would be damaged and this could lead to serious health problems, including cancer. The reason that the e vitamin is so effective against free radicals is that it is fat soluble so it can be absorbed into the cell membranes. The e vitamin is therefore essential for the immune system.
The recommended daily amount of the e vitamin that a person requires depends on their body weight. This is connected to the fact that the more fat a diet contains then the more of the e vitamin that is needed. However, the only foods that really contain any reasonable amount of the e vitamin are vegetable oils, seeds, wheat germ, and nuts. It is for this reason that most people should take some form of e vitamin supplement.
A deficiency of the e vitamin does not affect a person immediately. In fact, it can take months for the effects of insufficient e vitamin to be detected. After years of e vitamin deficiency there may e some detectable damage to the nerves of the spinal cord or retina of the eye but this is very rare. Most people obtain enough e vitamin from a normal diet but it is essential that the food that a person eats contains a little fat to help with the absorption of the e vitamin.
There are a few medical conditions that may lead to a deficiency of the e vitamin and may require the person to take e vitamin supplements. Cystic fibrosis causes a person to be unable to digest fats well which leads to less of the e vitamin being absorbed. Crohn’s disease causes to lower absorption rates of the e vitamin and a supplement may be necessary. Some forms of liver disease can also lead to problems absorbing the e vitamin, especially through the intestine. Of course, as fat is required to help absorb sufficient amounts of the e vitamin, anyone on an extremely low-fat diet will need to discuss their options for increasing the amount of e vitamin that their body needs.
The K Vitamin
The K vitamin is essential for the blood to clot to repair injuries. Whenever a person has a bleeding wound, it is the K vitamin that is present in the blood that stops the bleeding and enables most minor cuts to heal quickly.
There are three different forms of the K vitamin. The first variant of the K vitamin is vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone. This is the form of the K vitamin that is found in types of plant foods. Vitamin K found in plant foods. The second form of the K vitamin is the vitamin K2, or menaquinone. This type of the K vitamin is formed by friendly bacteria in the intestines. Thirdly, there is vitamin K3 which is also known as menadione and is actually an artificial form of the K vitamin. All three of these types of K vitamin end up in the liver where it is used to create the blood clotting substances.
The best natural sources of the K vitamin are green leafy vegetables, such as spinach. However, because the friendly bacteria in the intestine makes one of the forms of the K vitamin it is extremely rare for a person to have a deficiency of the K vitamin and so K vitamin supplements are not needed by the majority of people.
Apart from the main function of helping blood to clot, the K vitamin, specifically the Vitamin K1, has an important part to play in the bone building process. This K vitamin is required to retain the calcium in the bones and redistribute it to where it is needed.
Although a K vitamin deficiency is relatively rare there are certain groups of people who may suffer from it. Newborn babies may not have enough of the K vitamin as they have insufficient bacteria in their intestines to produce it. The majority of newborn babies in developed countries are therefore given a K vitamin injection to tide them over until the natural process takes over. That is the only time that a K vitamin supplement will be taken by most people throughout their lives. However, an extended course of antibiotics may lead to a K vitamin deficiency due to the fact that the antibiotics kill the intestinal bacteria as well as the ones that they are being taken to cure. Again, a K vitamin supplement may be given if the course of antibiotics has to continue for a long period of time.
All About Vitamin A
Vitamin A was given the first letter of the alphabet for a name because it was the first vitamin to be discovered. It was found that vitamin A has a large number of uses in the body including keeping eyes healthy, aiding cell growth and also helping boost the immune system. However, vitamin A is not only absorbed directly but it is also created by the body by converting beta carotene into vitamin A.
Vitamin A itself is found in a number of foods such as eggs, milk, liver and meat. Beta carotene that the body can convert into vitamin A is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially the red, orange and green coloured ones. The most important point to remember that consuming too much pure vitamin A can be toxic. It is essential not to exceed the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A. The actual recommended allowance of vitamin A varies depending on a person’s age, sex and other factors. While the actual amount of vitamin A consumed may be toxic if the recommended daily allowance is exceeded, there is a far higher limit to how much beta carotene can be consumed. Therefore it is advisable to concentrate on obtaining the greatest amount of beta carotene which the body can then convert to vitamin A, rather than consuming vast quantities of pure vitamin A rich foods.
Many people will remember being told that eating lots of carrots helps you to see in the dark and that is down to the vitamin A that is produced from the high levels of beta carotene that are found in the vegetables. Other foods which have high levels of beta carotene that can be converted to vitamin A include tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Beta carotene is not only used to form vitamin A, but it is also a powerful antioxidant in itself. None of the beta carotene that is absorbed is wasted as any excess after conversion to vitamin A has taken place is used to fight the harmful free radicals within the body. Vitamin A also helps fight infections and illnesses by helping tissues that line various parts of the body, including the eyes, mouth, nose, throat and lungs, to grow and also to repair them if they are damaged to prevent infection. Children also need plenty of vitamin A to help their bones and teeth to develop properly.