Staring at a wall of vitamins and minerals in a Savers store (or viewing online) can be mindboggling! With so much choice offering great benefits to your health and wellbeing, where do you start? Well, we’re here to help you understand what vitamins do, what foods to find them in, plus the supplements available right here in our handy vitamin guide.
Here we go…
What do vitamins do?
Vitamins and minerals perform hundreds of different roles within the body to keep it working correctly. For example, some vitamins help you fight off infections, while others can boost your energy levels. Then there are vitamins which act as an antioxidant to protect your body and others that can help keep your bones strong and healthy. Eating a well-balanced diet is the best way to get all the necessary vitamins, but some people may need to take extra supplements to keep their levels topped up.
Essential vitamins for your body
Vitamin A (also known as retinol) serves several important functions in the body, including giving your immune system extra support in defending against infections. Not only does it help fend off illnesses, but it is also essential for maintaining healthy vision and supporting the daily replacement of skin cells. Good sources of vitamin A include cheese, milk, leafy vegetables, and mangoes – delicious!
Several types of B vitamins are out there, and just to make it a little more interesting, they all offer slightly different benefits! From helping release energy from food into the body (vitamin B1 & B2) and keeping the nervous system healthy (vitamins B1, B2 & B3) to making red blood cells (vitamin B12) and reducing the risk of defects in unborn babies (folate and folic acid); B vitamins are an essential part of your daily nutrition intake.
You may know about the benefits of vitamin C for your skin, but when ingested, it can also help protect and keep cells healthy, help you maintain healthy bones, and help with healing wounds. So, as you can see, vitamin C has several beneficial functions, can be found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, or can be topped up with supplements.
Vitamin D, otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, is unique as most people can get their daily dose throughout March-September from the glorious sunlight! The nutrient helps keep bones, teeth and muscles strong and healthy, so it is advisable to take a daily vitamin D supplement during the colder, darker months to keep levels topped up.
Vitamin K may not be as commonly known as vitamin C or D, but still, it carries some benefits you may want to know about! Found in green leafy vegetables, fish and certain meats, vitamin K helps make proteins in the body needed for blood clots (to help heal wounds) and towards the building of bones.
When you were young, did your parents ever tell you to drink up your milk to make your bones strong and your teeth healthy? Well, they weren’t wrong! Milk (along with other dairy foods and green vegetables) is an excellent source of calcium. It supports bones and teeth and helps regulate muscle contractions – including your heart!
Iron is one of the most important minerals in our bodies, and for very good reason, as iron is needed to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. You should be able to get all the iron you need from your daily diet, so you’re up to speed; great sources of iron can come from red meats, beans such as kidney and edamame beans, dried fruits and soybean flour. And ladies, if you lose a lot of blood during your time of the month, you may need to take an iron supplement, so you’re not at risk of an iron deficiency.
Finally in our handy vitamin guide is potassium! Found in many different foods, potassium helps control the balance of fluids in the body while also allowing the heart muscle to work efficiently – which is always good news! Besides supplements, you can get your potassium from bananas, beans and pulses, fish, chicken and vegetables, including broccoli and parsnips!
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vitamins and minerals available to you to boost your health and happiness! You can discover a wide range of vitamins at Savers, online and in-store today – including multivitamins, vitamins for women, fatigue and sleep, plus herbal supplements and beauty supplements too!
Looking for vitamins to support your daily life?
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