How One Pill Can Improve Your Health
Vitamins can do a great job of filling gaps in your diet, but vitamins can also be your allies in losing weight, ridding your body of toxins and fighting off diseases.
Each day, you have a routine. You wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed, grab a bite to eat and then get out into the world. But if your daily routine doesn't include taking a daily vitamin, many experts say it should.
"Many daily stresses, infections, colds, lack of sleep and consumption of processed foods may lead to decreased vitamin stores and levels."
There are six essential nutrients that our body needs: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water and vitamins. All of them are important, yet vitamins are the only ones we have to make sure we have enough of at all times, says Alejandro Chabán, a certified nutrition consultant.
Vitamins also are important because many of us don't get the right amount through food alone. Let's face it: Some days, it's a win if the family is just fed and meltdown-free.
"Many daily stresses, infections, colds, lack of sleep and consumption of processed foods may lead to decreased vitamin stores and levels," says Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, a family-medicine and integrative-medicine physician.
Are there any not-to-miss vitamins?
Do you sometimes find yourself standing in the drugstore, looking at a long row of vitamins and being unsure of which one to pick? While it's important to talk with your physician about which vitamins you need for your specific lifestyle and overall health, Chabán says there are certain crucial vitamins you should be sure to give your body every day.
Vitamin A is very important for your immune system, especially when you're dieting.
"When you are on a diet, it's crucial that your immune system remains strong," Chabán says. "If you don't get sick, there's no excuse to stop [getting vitamin A]."
Vitamin B12 is a key vitamin because it helps strengthen your nervous system and create new DNA and red blood cells. Need to lose weight? Make sure you're getting plenty of Vitamin B6. Chabán says this vitamin is your ally because it helps with the metabolic process so your body becomes more efficient and burns more calories. It also stabilizes the amount of sugar in your blood — helping to prevent many diseases.
Vitamin C is one of the best-known vitamins because of its antioxidant properties.
"It helps cleanse your blood of toxins and improve your health," Chabán says.
Vitamin D improves the health of our bones, preventing osteoporosis and other diseases that affect our skeletal system.
How important are daily vitamins?
Argawal says that each person may have different vitamin requirements, based on their regular diet, lifestyle and other medications or medical problems. Daily vitamins like One A Day VitaCraves (Target, starting at $8) can help provide adequate levels of necessary nutrients and help our body to function more efficiently.
Though vitamins may remedy certain deficiencies, it's also important to have a healthy, well-rounded diet. Taking vitamins in combination with a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help a person stay healthy, Agarwal says.
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