Wellness Wednesday: Vitamin ABCs

Complete Yourself. From A to Zinc.

The Perfect addition to your routine: Multivitamins

PACKED WITH VITAMINS AND MINERALS!!

We see it everywhere. On billboards, on television ads, on nutrition labels…if you can name it, you’ve probably seen it there. While they aren’t a substitute for a nutritious lifestyle, they are helpful and sometimes necessary. But do any of us really know what vitamins and minerals even entail? Well let’s cover our basics, shall we? Vitamins are all the letters we see on the back of a nutrition label or on a jug of orange juice that we never pay attention to. We get a majority of our daily dose of vitamins and minerals from what we eat but did you know that almost everyone in the US population falls short of meeting that nutritional goal?

Let’s take a look at our daily dose goals for our larger contenders on the list.

Vitamin A- 125 mcg
Vitamin B6- 2 mg
Vitamin B12- 6 mcg
Vitamin C- 60 mg
Vitamin D- 10 mcg
Calcium- 1,000 mcg
Magnesium- 400 mg
Potassium- 3,500 mg

Now I know I threw a lot of numbers at you, but hear me out. That’s a huge list for most of the US population to not be hitting the daily dose. You’re probably looking at this monster of a list (which is only a fraction of an even larger list BTW) and thinking “Holy moly, what does this even mean?” No doubt you’ve probably heard of the majority of this list but have no idea what any of them are for or what they even do.

That’s FINE. I’m here to coach you through it.

 

Vitamin A: Healthy Eyes

Vitamin A is important for a number of bodily functions, but the most important is our eyes. Vitamin A is essential for preserving our eyesight in the sense that it aids in converting the light that hits your eyes into a signal that can be read by your brain. A potential side effect of not getting enough vitamin A is night blindness. People with this condition have issues picking up light at lower levels, hence not being able to see very well at night. Even though one of vitamin A’s biggest jobs is to help our eyes, it does a plethora of other things. Vitamin A is also essential for our immune system, aiding in the production and function of white blood cells and helps trap bacteria that enters the body. Some sources of vitamin A are salmon, sweet potato, spinach, mango, and cantaloupe.

 

Vitamin B6 & B12: Brain Power

While some of the benefits of vitamin B6 and B12 vary, there are a few that remain the same, the most important being brain health. B6 has the potential to reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s while B12 prevents the loss of neurons in the brain thus reducing the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. In addition to helping our surge in brain power, vitamins B6 and B12 play an essential role in mood regulation. A deficiency in Vitamin B6 & B12 may lead to depression or symptoms of depression. A few great sources of vitamin B6 & B12 are milk, eggs, bananas, avocado, beef, and tuna.

 

Vitamin C: Immunity

While it may not be the cure to the common cold, vitamin C significantly reduces the risk for pneumonia and lung infections. Vitamin C has amazing properties inside and outside the body as well. People who intake more vitamin C have the potential for less wrinkles in their appearance, dryness of skin, and overall better appearance of their skin. Did you know it’s also essential for making red blood cells? They help with the absorption of iron which is essential for our circulatory system. Some great sources of vitamin C are chili peppers, broccoli, red bell pepper, strawberries, mango, and pineapple.

 

Vitamin D and Calcium: Bone Health

Calcium and vitamin D go hand-in-hand when it comes to bone health. Vitamin D regulates calcium and calcium strengthens our bones and prevents arthritis and osteoporosis. On top of all the bone health, calcium and vitamin D are crucial to your immune system and reduce your risk of diabetes. A few choice sources of calcium and vitamin D are salmon, mushrooms, shrimp, cheese, yogurt, and milk.

 

Magnesium: Anxiety & Depression

Magnesium, believe it or not, plays an important role with our mental health. Studies have found that low levels of magnesium are linked to depression and anxiety in some people. In addition to aiding in the fight against mental illness, magnesium has the potential to aid in your workout regimen as well. Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles during exercise and disposes of lactate which normally causes pain when working out. A couple of great sources of magnesium are dark chocolate, avocados, bananas, nuts, and whole grain foods.

 

Potassium: Fluid Balance

Fluid balance is so important for our bodies and thank goodness potassium has our back! Potassium is the main electrolyte that determines how much water can be in a cell. potassium also aids in fighting water retention. A high potassium intake can decrease sodium levels and relieve that awful bloating feeling we sometimes get. A few sources of potassium are yams, potatoes, spinach, bananas, and peas.