Answering the question of how much vitamin should I take can be quite confusing. We know that the role of vitamins is strengthening the body and preventing diseases.
Admittedly, the way most doctors view the power of vitamins today has changed dramatically in recent years. Portions or recommended daily amounts are tailored to prevent acute deficiencies and larger portions can help to combat bone-weakening to cancer. There are risks if we use a high dosage of vitamin that we do not need.
Vitamins are chemical elements that our bodies use in minimal amounts to manufacture, maintain and repair tissues. As an example, the first ones were identified at the beginning of the century. Researchers discovered that eating a certain type of food would protect people from diseases. As an example, Rickets and beriberi that were previously considered infectious were in fact caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1.
To maintain a healthy diet it is important to know what vitamins are good for us. Knowing how much vitamin should we take daily is important as organically grown fruit and vegetables and/or lower fat meat are richer in vitamins and healthier.
How Much Vitamin Should I take
Some foods have more to offer than others therefore the combination, quantities and balance between them that makes the difference. The amount of vitamin/food intake will vary according to energy needs consequently you should always consult your doctor before changing your diet or to check your vitamin levels and deficiencies.
A balanced diet that contains all vitamins our body need is distributed in the 5 main food groups:
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Meat, Fisch and Protein Alternatives
- Sugary and High-Fat Foods
- Starchy Foods
- Dairy Foods
1- Fruit and Vegetables
At least 5 servings a day, not including potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams (these would be part of the starchy group).Fresh is the best, fruit juice, canned and dried fruit.
2 – Meat, Fish and Protein Alternatives
Fish at least twice a week. Pulses, nuts os seeds in small quantities
3- Sugary and High-Fat Foods
These are best eaten with moderation as butter, chocolate, cakes, biscuits etc
4- Starchy Foods
These are the foundation of a balanced diet. Bread, cereals, grains. The unrefined versions provide more fibre, vitamin and minerals.
5- Diary Foods
Best eaten with moderation and low-fat versions. Soft cheese for example and greek-style yoghurt are healthy sources of dairy food intake.
Antioxidants and Free Radicals
For chronic diseases, common fruits and vegetables can be the secret of prevention. The big stars are called antioxidants, and they are:
Vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A with special properties. The reason can be summarized in two words: free radicals. These molecules, which appear in our bodies every time we breathe, are involved in about 60 age-related conditions, including cancer and heart disease.
Numerous pressures, from smoking to ageing, can accelerate the damage caused by oxidation. That’s where antioxidant vitamins come in. Vitamins E, C and beta-carotene can neutralize free radicals.
As any doctor will say, the secrets to good health are exercise, not smoking, and replacing cigarettes with carrots.
The A-B-C of Vitamins – How Much Vitamin Should I Take |Benefits and Risks
Our bodies don’t just live on calories. 45 different nutrients are needed for our health. Some examples are shown below. To calculate the nutrients of each person, it is best to consult a doctor.
Food Sources: Liver, kidney, egg yolk and spinach will never be popular fields, but they are all full of easily absorbed vitamin A.
Benefits of Vitamin A: It conserves visual acuity and strengthens the body’s natural defences against infections.
Risks of Vitamin A: Massive doses over long periods can be toxic, causing nausea and discomfort in the joints.
Food Sources: Beta carotene is common in fruits like peaches and vegetables like broccoli.
Benefits of Beta Carotene: When converted to Vitamin A, beta carotene improves vision and the immune system. It is also associated with risk reduction in certain types of cancer.
Risks: Not toxic, because the body itself transforms it into vitamin A only when necessary.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin – Energy and Beautiful Skin
Benefits of niacin: Riboflavin helps the body to transform food into energy, develops red blood cells and keeps eyes and skin healthy. Excessive consumption of alcohol and some antibiotics and tranquillizers reduces our reserves of this vital vitamin.
Risks/Classic Symptoms of deficiency: skin rashes, bitter mouth and chapped lips
Food Sources beef, chicken, fish, grains, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, eggs, corn and whole wheat bread
Vitamin B3 – Niacin
Food Sources: Chicken, salmon and beef are all good sources of niacin, like peas and peanut butter. The human organism can secrete niacin from the protein contained in eggs and milk.
Benefits of niacin: It can reduce the cholesterol level.
Risks: People with asthma, gastric ulcer or significant disturbances in the heart rhythm should take precautions in dosages and general use.
Vitamin B6 – Good Digestion, Calm Nerves
Food Sources: Banana, avocado, chickpeas and potatoes are all on the list of those that contain vitamin B6. Small amounts are present in spinach, green pilaf, knots and wheat germ.
Benefits of Vitamin B6: It can reduce pain in certain conditions such as premenstrual syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. Vitamin B6 keeps the nervous and immune systems functioning accurately and also helps the body to take advantage of proteins and fats. It is also important in the production of haemoglobin and serotonin, a chemical in the brain that attacks depression. Too much diet, too much drink, too much smoke can cause deficiencies
Risks: How much vitamin should I take? Doses of 200mg per day can be toxic if taken for many months.
Classical symptoms of deficiency: Skin rashes, depression, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms and convulsions. Best Sources: Chicken breast, vegetables, kidneys, liver, pork, eggs, brown rice, soy, oats, peanuts, bananas, potatoes, avocado, sole, salmon and tuna
Vitamin B9 -Folic Acid – Vitality and Well Being
This acid folic, a vitamin B assists with several metabolic processes, including DNA synthesis. When the lack of folic acid interferes with this process, the body can produce aberrant cells. Among the resulting defects are spine and brain problems of fetuses. It can also suggest that women with a high index of folic acid in the blood are less likely to have precancerous problems.
Benefits of Folic Acid: Helps the development of cells. It regulates cells and may be able to reverse some types of cancer-related tissue damage.
Classical symptoms of Folic Acid deficiency: Diarrhea and anaemia. The lack of folic acid can also increase the risk of cancer and, during pregnancy, affect the child’s weight and cause more malformations.
Best Sources: Liver, egg yolk, vegetables, wheat germ, spinach, legumes, broccoli, orange and dark green leafy vegetables are among the best sources of folic acid.
Risks: High doses can mask vitamin B12 deficiency. Age, drinking habits and birth control pills steal much of the reserves you have. Some remedies too: aspirin (if taken daily for a long time) and some types of anti-inflammatories, drugs to lower the pressure, barbiturates and antiepileptics.
Vitamin B12 – What Vitamin B12 is good for
Vitamin B12 Sources: Animal foods, eggs, dairy and fermented foods are the only natural rich source of vitamin B12. Beef, liver and canned seafood contain a lot of B12.
Benefits of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 helps to maintain and replace the body’s cells, including those responsible for immunity to infections and blood clotting.
Risks: Vegetarians and Vegans that do not eat meat are at risk of developing a deficiency of B12 vitamin. Therefore fortified cereals, shitake mushrooms and Nuri algae can be a source of vitamin B12 in vegetarian food. broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, chickpeas and brown rice.
8 Healthy B12 Food List for your next shopping:
- Read Meat
- Diary Products
- Fortified Cereals
- Shitake Mushrooms
- Nuri Algae
Food Sources: Citrus fruits and brussels sprouts are the best options although strawberries are also a good source.
Benefits of Vitamin C: It can reduce tissue damage like cancer and accelerate ageing. Greater resistance to colds.
Risks: Does massive diarrhoea can cause diarrhoea and nausea.
Vitamin D – Why do we need vitamin D
Our body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, therefore, it uses to take the calcium from the food into the blood and bones. People who drink about 130 millilitres of milk daily get enough vitamin D.
Food Sources: A cup of vitamin D-fortified milk, some breakfast cereals and the best source are canned sardines.
Benefits of Vitamin D: Anticancer agent and helps weak immune systems and brittle bones.
Risks: Doses above the average can cause heart problems. Deficiencies can contribute to osteoporosis, bone weakness and affects millions of elderly people. The lack of vitamin D leads to breast, colon and prostate cancer.
Food Sources: Difficult to have in conventional food, the best natural sources of vitamin E are wheat germ and sunflower oil, pear and prune.
Benefits of Vitamin E: As an anti-oxidant, they can protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer. It can help treat arthritis and some skin ailments.
Risks: No information available.
Food Sources: Found in vegetables such as broccoli, turnip leaves and cabbage. Cheese and egg yolks contain smaller ones such as peaches and potatoes.
Benefits of Vitamin K: Helps regulate normal blood clotting. It can inhibit some types of cancer.
Risks: Large doses (synthetic) can cause brain damage and anaemia.
Mineral Salts – Benefits and Risks
Food Sources: Yoghurt, milk, tofu and sardines, oysters, dried apricots and whole wheat bread.
Calcium Benefits: Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Supplements can help older women avoid osteoporosis. In addition to being essential for strong bones and teeth, it also helps to keep your heart rate at a normal pace, blood flowing and your nerves and muscles working. It can protect against high blood pressure and colon cancer.
Risks: Too many grams a day can cause kidney stones and nausea.
Classical symptoms of deficiency: Pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, drinking, a lot of caffeine and some types of antacids.
Best Sources: milk, dairy products in general, kale, corn, tofu, salmon and sardines (with bones), molluscs, oysters and broccoli
Food Sources: Nuts, vegetables, whole grains, green vegetables and seafood.
Calcium Benefits: Purifies blood and acts in practically all the functions of the body. It helps to keep muscles and nerves working and the production of proteins. These, in turn, are vital for nerves, blood, organs and muscles.
Risks: Those who are most at risk of disability are people who drink, live on a diet and are over 40.
Classical symptoms of deficiency: Loss of appetite, depression, muscle weakness, nausea, convulsions and irritability.
Iron – Disposition, Healthy Appearance
Food Sources: Liver, red meat, chicken, fish, fortified cereals, dried fruits, egg yolk, green vegetables and oysters are good sources of iron, such as dried apricots and dark melon.
Iron Benefits: Strengthens the chemical bonds in the brain. Children with iron deficiency may have learning problems. Regulated doses help the immune system. Helps form haemoglobin and myoglobin, which transport oxygen through the body. Menstruation and pregnancy can deplete our reserves. There is also a risk of disability people over 45, vegetarians as those who live on a diet or take some types of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Risks: High quantity of iron content can cause heart disease.
Classical symptoms of deficiency: Anemia and, in more serious cases, fatigue, pallor, weakness and tendency to infections.
Food Sources: Found in viscera and seafood. Deficiency is rare.
Benefits of Selenium: It helps to prevent cancer and strengthen the immune system.
Risks: Toxic in high dosages.
Zinc – A Lot of Resistance, Perfect Vision
Food Sources: Red meats, liver, eggs, seafood (mainly oysters), cereals, beans, nuts and peas, bread and eggs contain a lot of zinc for most people. Additionally, six medium-sized oysters offer ten times more than the average daily dose needed therefore a large bowl filled with lima beans also works.
Benefits of Zinc: o have a healthy immune system, good healing and good vision. People who drink too much, have diabetes, are over the age of 45, are vegetarian, live on a diet and suffer from kidney diseases are at risk of disability. Zinc can help prevent the growth of abnormal cells related to cancer and other diseases.
Risks: Large daily doses can reduce the reaction of the immune system.
Classic symptoms of Zinc deficiency: Ease of catching infections and difficulty in curing them and the lack of zinc can dull the taste and smell.
What vitamins should I take – Woman
- Pregnant women and those who lose a lot of blood during menstruation should take more Iron
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers: Iron, folic acid and calcium
- Who uses diets: Vitamin B6, Magnesium, iron and zinc
- Vegetarians: Iron, zinc and riboflavin
- Over the ’40s: Magnesium, iron and zinc
- Smokers: Vitamin B6
- Who uses contraceptives/birth control pills: folic acid
More information on Good Health Guide.