It seems that everyone is trying to lead a healthy lifestyle these days. We are eating better, well balanced meals, and cutting out fatty processed foods. We are experiencing an increase in activity levels adding more and more fitness and daily activity to our lives. With all of this extra interest in our health and vitality the use of vitamins is receiving more attention. What role do vitamins play in our nutrition and overall health?
By definition, vitamins are a group of complex chemical substances that the body requires for proper healthy. Vitamins are found in a variety of natural food sources. Vitamins produce enzymes that the body needs in order to carry out physiological functions that are necessary for living.
There are a total of thirteen vitamins and the human body requires all of these in order to operate effectively. Vitamins are responsible for promoting normal growth, immune system function, and energy for the cells. There are two groups of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. Fat soluble means that these vitamins are stored in the fatty tissue or liver in the body. The body is capable of storing fat soluble vitamins so you do not need to take them or ingest them everyday for optimal health. However, because these vitamins are stored in the body, there is a risk of overexposure.
Water soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body because they are dissolvable in water and anything that your body does not need will be expelled from your system. Water soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the B vitamins. Because they do not stay in your system it is important to ingest a healthy amount of these vitamins everyday.
The body is not capable of producing vitamins on its own and that is why it is imperative to eat a well balanced diet full of vegetables, fruit and lean meats. However, as much as we try, a healthy diet is not always possible in today’s world. With busier lives, it can be difficult to always eat a well balanced diet full of the nutrients and vitamins that we require. That is where vitamins and supplements come in. By ingesting vitamins and supplements we can insure against any deficiencies that are caused by holes in our diet.
Vitamins and supplements are not a substitute for proper nutrition. However by adding them to your daily regime you can ensure that your body is receiving all of the nutrients that it needs for you to live the healthiest life possible.