A vitamin is an organic nutrient that is vital for a healthily functioning body. Vitamins must be ingested, as the body cannot synthesize them. The foods you eat and the supplements you take provide vitamins to your body. Vitamins aid metabolism, growth, vision and other essential processes. Inadequate vitamin consumption can contribute to the development of serious health problems including reduced vision, anemia, muscle weakness, pulmonary arrhythmia and birth defects. Similarly, eating too much of a vitamin can cause a variety of other health problems such as nausea, drowsiness, diarrhea and liver damage.
Maintaining a healthy balance of vitamins is important for your health. There are 13 vitamins essential for functioning human life, and each provides a unique benefit to your body. Vitamins are divided into two categories. They are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins include vitamins the eight B vitamins and vitamin C. These dissolve easily in water and get excreted through urine on a daily basis. Due to their easy elimination, you are much less likely to ingest toxic levels of water-soluble vitamins than fat-soluble ones. The body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E and K, through the intestines, and these vitamins may accumulate within the body.
The most effective way to get your vitamins is through the food you eat. A well-balanced diet rich in a diverse selection of meats, dairy, vegetables, fruits and whole grain naturally provides all essential vitamins to the body. Controlling portion size saves money on large servings and allows you to eat from every food group to maximize dietary diversity. Despite diet plans that eliminate or drastically reduce food groups like grains and meat that claim to be healthy, the best guide for healthy, balanced nutrition is the Food Guide Pyramid. Following the recommendations of the Pyramid in proper portion sizes, you are certain to ingest each of the 13 essential vitamins with greatly reduced risk of vitamin overdose.
Experts estimate that only nine percent of Americans eat the recommended values of food daily. As a result of dietary discrepancies, vitamin supplements are a good choice for most people. Certainly, the experts would agree that it is best to eat your vitamins and ingest them naturally. Because of the importance of vitamins in the body, those whose food preferences reduce vitamin intake, such as vegans, should consider alternative sources for these essential nutrients. Vitamin supplements are especially recommended for people with medical conditions including pregnancy, lactose intolerance and menopause. Multivitamins are a great way to reduce expenses on costly vitamin supplements because they provide all of the essential vitamins along with essential minerals in a single capsule or chewable tablet.
Caution should be exercised with vitamin supplements. Due to the risk of vitamin toxicity and overdose, it is prudent to discuss vitamin supplementation with a healthcare provider before implementing a routine. A trip to the doctor before you begin taking vitamin supplements can reduce the possible ill effects that can be encountered through overdose or deficiency. Discuss smoking and exercise habits with your physician; these may uniquely dictate your vitamin needs.
The author of this article is Holly Adams, who writes for Coupon Croc. Shop online for all your health products this year and save with promo codes.