Getting the right vitamins is crucial for a happy and healthy life…
A lack of vitamins can suppress your immune system making you more likely to contract diseases and infections. It can also increase your chances of stress, heart disease and cancer.
Smoking depletes your vitamin B and C levels, so smokers would benefit from eating foods rich in these sources, or taking supplements. Better still give up smoking all together.
Heavy drinkers also suffer from a depletion of B vitamins, and they are less able to absorb them from food.
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Stress also depletes B vitamins, and reduces your ability to create and absorb A vitamins, so you need a greater intake of these if you are under pressure.
Supplements of vitamin B6 are recommended for those who are pregnant or suffering from anxiety or worry.
Here is a quick breakdown of the major vitamins, and where you can find them…
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Helps the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, which is very important in managing stress.
This is a very important vitamin. It is essential to the health of your nervous system. It also helps maintain a healthy immune system. B6 helps reduce and even eliminate the symptoms of nervous tremors and epileptic fits. Supplements of B6 are recommended for those suffering from stress, anxiety, and morning sickness. It can be found in most fresh vegetables, fish, and whole grain cereals.
B12 is good for your blood and nervous system. It helps to fight disease, recover from viral infections, and improve a poor appetite. It can be found in fish, red meat, and dairy products.
Stress can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb this vitamin. A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to scurvy, lethargy, arthritis, and arteriosclerosis. Smoking and drinking alcohol is known to deplete vitamin C levels. It can be found in most fruits, peppers, and brussels sprouts.
Helps the body absorb calcium, and is vital for healthy bones and teeth. It can be found in oily fish, meat, eggs, milk. Vitamin D can be produced by your body when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Helps the immune system, protects from infection, and aids healthy blood vessels. It can be found in nuts and seeds, avocado, spinach, and wholemeal bread.
Prevents anaemia, and aids the effective absorption of nutrients. It can be found in eggs, liver, brown rice, beans, lentils, and green leafy vegetables.
There are also a number of minerals that need considering…
Helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, and helps prevent osteoporosis. It can be found in dairy products, sardines, and green leafy vegetables.
A deficiency of iron can lead to anaemia, mouth ulcers, tiredness, and depression. It can be found in spinach, red meat, liver, beans, lentils, and green vegetables.
Zinc deficiency is a common sign of stress. Zinc is good for the immune system, appetite, and energy levels. It can be found in seafood, dairy products, meat, and green leafy vegetables.
These nutrients are probably best taken in their natural forms in foods you eat. Unfortunately modern living does not always allow this. Supplements may sometimes be required.
A good quality multivitamin supplement may provide a safety net, but still attempt to eat these nutrients from their natural sources. The processing of foods often kills a lot of these vitamins and minerals. Cooking can also kill these, so try not to overcook, and certainly do not microwave. The best way to cook to preserve these vitamins and minerals is to steam.
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