With the current Corona Virus situation, the best thing we can do is stay at home. For many of us, this is a sudden change of our habits and something we must get used to. Trying to accomplish some of our remote work, cleaning the house, preparing three meals a day while homeschooling our children is a huge challenge!
On the other hand, we also have much more time to remember what is really important, like spending time with our families, cooking real meals and off course take care of ourselves! And when I say taking care of ourselves, I mean everything from picking up exercise (after a long break!), preparing healthy meals or pampering our body and mind with beauty products.
I bet you must be left with lot’s of time to glorify yourself with homemade beauty masks, wise vitamin, mineral and other essential nutrients intakes via unprocessed vegetables and citrus fruits and exercising regularly to maintain your curves. At least, I am doing the necessary to stay in shape.
At least when all this will be behind us, we will have used our time effectively and we’ll be ready for summer season!
So today I wanted to talk to you about Vitamins!
Does that happen to you as well, that you ask yourself which vitamins we actually need on a daily basis? And how much of them? There are so many vitamins, that we could get lost in the multitude of them and it is not easy to tell what they do for our health and beauty.
Discover the vitamin guide with me for your well being while you work from home during this lock down period. The guide includes my own tested formulas to strike the right balance of nutrients in my body. Your skin also needs the right balance of nutrients. If you feed well the inside, it will be reflected in your skin and health.
In this article:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
- B9 (Folic Acid)
- B1 (thiamine)
- Overview of Vitamins
- Symptoms of vitamin deficiency
- When you should ask for doctor’s advice
Eating right is even more essential around the age of 40 because it is the age when the rules for the body start changing. Right types of vitamins and nutrients through a healthy diet help fight off age-related ailments.
1) Vitamin A
Vitamin A is needed by the upper and the lower layer of your skin as it prevents sun damage. It acts as a barrier in the process of breaking down of collagen by the sunlight. As an antioxidant, it protects against sunburn, helps the oil glands around your hair follicles work and heals cuts and scrapes. In the absence of sufficient vitamin A in the body, your skin tends to get dry, itchy or bumpy.
Food like sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and mango are rich in vitamin A.
A type of vitamin A called retinoid help to protect your vision and protects against lung cancer. It is found in beef, eggs and dairy products.
Various creams containing derivatives of vitamin A are available for treating wrinkles. Make sure you opt for good brand cosmetics to hide your sign of aging.
2) Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very crucial for overall health and skin! It helps create collagen which is a type of connective tissue that keeps skin confirm. An antioxidant, vitamin C protects the skin from free radical damage and lowers the chances of skin cancer.
Citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, strawberry, broccoli, and other greens are rich sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C can be applied as lotion or cream, for reversing the signs of photo-aging such as hyper pigmentation.
3) Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another candidate in the antioxidant category of vitamins that beautifies your skin. Taking vitamin E in plenty keeps your vitamin A store in body intact, too.
Additionally, vitamin E has been researched to protect your skin from free radical damage and help wonderfully to get rid of acne.
Vitamin E enriched food includes items rich in good oil such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, extra virgin olive oil avocado, eggs and several fruits and vegetables including leafy dark green such Kale, spinach, collards.
4) Vitamin D
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D can be synthesized by our skin from sunlight. It reinforces vitality and strengthens our immune system, our bones, teeth, nails, hair and skin. Besides that, it is well-known for its help in fighting depression and (chronic) fatigue.
To make up for enough vitamin D content in the body, you can either take vitamin D supplements
or look for fortified products.
Most milk and breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Mushroom, fish, grains and cereals and eggs are a natural source of vitamin D.
But vitamin D from food is poorly absorbed in the body. The best source for vitamin D is sunlight so make up for its deficiency sitting under the sun for a few minutes daily but make sure to avoid peak hours when the sunlight is most harsh.
The deficiency of vitamin D leads to acne as this vitamin plays a crucial role in fighting against infections in the body.
After the age of 40, the deficiency of vitamin D is linked to issues like diabetes, heart diseases, breast, and colorectal cancer and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D is very essential for the absorption of calcium in the body.
Vitamin D3, a derivative of vitamin D, supplement is recommended to make up for the deficiency of vitamin D.
5) Vitamin K
Vitamin k is very essential for wound healing and bruises to patch up. In the absence of enough vitamin k, blood is unable to coagulate.
Vitamin k renders various skin benefits. This vitamin can tackle issues that may make your skin appear dark or patchy. It is useful in lightening dark circles, spider veins, stretch marks or scars.
There are 2 main sources of vitamin K.
K1 can be found in green vegetables (especially the darkest kinds like spinach, broccoli and asparagus), seaweed and soybean oil. Cooking the vegetables does not destroy the vitamins.
6) Vitamin B3
Another name for vitamin B3 is niacin. It can be easily found in plant and animal food. Essential for skin health, this vitamin is also beneficial for your brain, nervous system and body cells.
Various beauty products are enriched with a derivative of this vitamin B3, called niacinamide. This is significant in reducing the signs of aging and is added to top skin brighteners.
7) Vitamin B5
This other member of the vitamin B family is known as pantothenic acid and panthenol.
Vitamin B5 is the greatest source of skin hydration, used in various skin care products. It is helpful in preventing skin water loss and improve skin barrier functioning.
8) Vitamin B9 or Folic acid Folate
Folic acid is vital for the creation of new cells in the body and hence it is recommended for pregnant women for the development of the baby in the womb. Moreover, it helps to form DNA and RNA and eases protein metabolism in the body
Folic acid also plays a very important role in skin health and appearance. It can be topically applied in a mixture containing both folic acid and the type of amino acid called creatine. This mixture helps to improve the appearance of skin by adding to the collagen synthesis.
Food source of folic acid includes Dark green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli), beans, peanuts, Sunflower seeds, fresh fruits, fruit juices, whole grains, liver, seafood, eggs, fortified foods and supplements.
The maximum recommended dietary intake for folic acid is 1,000 mcg daily. Along with vitamin B12, vitamin B9 is involved in making red blood cells. The deficiency either can result in anemia.
9) Vitamin B12
Once you are 40 (and a must after 50), vitamin B12 is an essential component for normal blood and brain functioning.
Meat, animal products such as chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs are good sources of vitamin B12.
But, the aging body is not able to absorb this vitamin content through food. And that is why after 50, stomach acid level depletes.
After 40 and before turning 50 is the ideal time to start taking vitamin B12 supplements or multivitamins. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that gets eliminated from the body after peeing. So, in case you consume more than the recommended dietary allowance, which is 2.4 mg per day, there is nothing much to worry about.
10) Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
It helps the body metabolize fats and produce energy. This vitamin is also referred to as “anti-stress” vitamin because it may strengthen the immune system and improve the body’s ability to cope up with stressful conditions.
Choline is a vitamin that is found in food like eggs, peanuts, and milk. Our body can make this vitamin of its own. Crucial for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and normal brain functioning, this vitamin has a key role playing in skin cell membranes. Although our body can produce the choline, consuming it through food source adds up to its amount in the body.
In case of deficiency
|* strenthens immune system
* important for vision
* Prevents sun damage
* antioxidents are a barrier against breaking down of collagen
* skin cell renewal
* helps the oil glands around your hair follicles work
* heals cuts and scrapes
|skin tends to get dry, itchy or bumpy.||* sweet potatoes
* supplements (ask your doctor for advice)
|Adult female: 700 µg|
|* fabricates collagen
* protects the skin from free radical damage
* strengtzhens the immune system
* lowers the chances of skin cancer
* activates healing of wounds
|* easy bruising
* bleeding gums
* slower healing sores
* kidney stones
|* Citrus fruits
* bell peppers
* Brussels sprouts
* other greens
|Adult female: 2 000 µg|
|* beautifies the skin
* gets rid of acne
* strenthens cell walls (together with Vitamin C)
* anti inflammatory
|the intake of large quantities of vitamin C on the long term is not recommended in case of renal insufficiency accompanied by a disorder of vitamin C metabolism||* nuts
* vegetable oils
* extra virgin olive oil
* several fruits and vegetables including leafy dark green such Kale, spinach, collards.
|Adult females: 15 µg per day|
|* the Sunshine vitamin:
* reinforces vitality
* strengthens the immune system
* strengthens bones, teeth, nails, hair and skin
* fights depression
* fights (chronical) fatigue
after the age of 40:
* breakfast cereal
|for people under 50 and in good health:
a supplement of 400 UI to 1 000 UI (10 à 25 µg) per day
|* helps against wound healing and bruises
* improves overall skin health
|blood clotting failure||K1:
* soybean oilK2:
* fish oils
|Adult females: 90 µg per day|
|* skin health
* beneficial for the brain
* beneficial for the nervous system
* beneficial for body cells
* helps regulate cholesterol level
|Quite rare, unless case of severe undernutrition or alcoholism, in which case it can lead to significant skin disorders.
In case of too much vitamin B3 intake, it can be toxic to the liver.
* poached salmon
* tuna, fresh or canned
* breakfast cereals (like Allbran)
|Adult females: 14 µg per day|
|* skin hydration
* prevents skin water loss
* improves skin barrier functioning
|very rare, as the pantothenic acid is in almost all nutrition.
However, in case of deficiency, you can suffer from:
* muscle cramps
* tingling hands and feet
* gastrointestinal disorders
* a feeling of depression
* respiratory infections
* immune deficiency
* whole grains
* hard boiled eggs
|Adult females: 5 µg per day|
|* cell renewal
* creates red blood cells
* helps to form DNA and RNA
* eases protein metabolism in the body
* improves skin health and appearance
|* muscle cramps
* digestive problems
|Dark green leafy vegetables:
* romaine lettuce
* Brussels sprouts
* Sunflower seeds
* fresh fruits
* fruit juices
* whole grains
* fortified foods and supplements
|Adult female: 400 µg|
* cell division
* the proper functioning of all cells in the body
* the balance of the nervous system
* shortness of breath
* loss of appetite
* weight lossbut also neurological problems, like:
* tingling and numbness in the limbs
* difficulty in walking
* mood disorders
* memory loss and dementia
|* animal products, especially offal
* breakfast cereals
|Adult female: 2,4 µg|
|* metabolizes fats
* produces energy
* strengthens the immune system
* helps cope with stressful situations
* helps with the degradation of alcohol molecules
|* loss of appetite
* intense fatigue
* weight loss
* macadamia nuts
|Adult: 1,3 to 1,5 µg|
|* helps slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
* decreases the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks.
|Very rare||* egg yolk
* animal liver
|Adult female: 425 µg|
Common Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency in our Body
- Sign of vitamin B deficiency – Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
- Vitamin D deficiency is indicated by fatigue, weakness, and muscle aches
- Memory loss is a signal for vitamin B12 deficiency
- Symptoms for folate deficiency are Mouth ulcers, fatigue, or gray hair
- Poor night vision, bumps on the back of the arms, or dandruff indicates vitamin A deficiency in the body
So far we have studied the benefits of different vitamins for a body but an excess of everything is bad. If you are making up for the vitamin deficiency by taking vitamin supplements almost every day, you need to rethink about its side effects.
Read further to know the side effects of vitamin supplements that have been popularly consumed worldwide. If you don’t have a serious vitamin deficiency, popping supplemental vitamins won’t provide any benefits. Rather, it has proven to be harmful to your overall health.
Listed below are the top 5 vitamins which you should not consume without your doctor’s recommendation:
1) Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most popular single vitamin supplements. This vitamin is found in plenty in numerous fruits and vegetables. Against the common belief, vitamin C does not prevent or cure colds. Intake of vitamin C is safe but the mega dose of 2000 mg or more of this vitamin can increase the risk of kidney stones.
2) Vitamin E
Considered as an anticancer agent, vitamin E is a very popular supplement. But, excessive vitamin E supplements have been found to increase the risk of prostate cancer for men. Evidence has proved that the regular use of a high dose of vitamin A increases the risk of death from all causes by a small amount, according to the Mayo clinic summary.
3) Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
As stated above, vitamin A, C and E are antioxidants with anticancer properties. But, the latest studies have proven that too much vitamin A can be toxic causing multiple serious side effects. In extreme cases, excessively high amounts of vitamin A leads to vitamin A poisoning and gradual death.
4) Vitamin B6
The B vitamins inclusive of vitamin B6 and B12 are found in a variety of foods which reduces their chances of deficiency to rare. However, taking B6 supplements for a prolonged period can cause severe nerve damage leading people to lose control of their body movements, as explained on NIH’s website.
Multivitamins considered as must-have after the age of 50. But, in the study conducted with a sample of 38772 women above the age of 25 in America, it was found that the overall risk of death increase with long term usage of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper.
Vitamins have been proven not to boost your immune system neither do they promote joint health, reduce stress nor prevent form a cold or any other common ailments. There are no wonder pills!
Don’t get taken away by advertisements and false claims and start swallowing supplements. Take them like any other medication, with caution. Take your doctor’s advice. I have always been careful with these tiny tabs.
Instead, switch over to the natural source of vitamins that you can find in healthy food!
Choose the natural way to consume a healthy amount of vitamins A, C, E, and several vitamin B sources. It will also provide you minerals including iron and calcium.
So, what about you? Do you pay any attention to getting the right vitamins daily? Where do you get them from, food or supplements? Just drop a comment below and tell us what your rituals are.
Take care, stay healthy and safe!