In some of my previous blog posts I discussed each of the thirteen vitamins in detail. Each vitamin is an essential nutrient that helps your body’s cells perform an important function. Together they provide you with a number of significant health benefits. Today I would like to discuss this topic in greater detail and outline twelve of the top reasons for getting your vitamins.
1) HEALTHY VISION AND NIGHT VISION:- Vitamin A and B2 both promote healthy vision. Not getting enough of these vitamins can lead to problems with your sight, particularly at night time. In the worst cases it can lead to night blindness (a condition where you cannot see in the dark) and full blindness.
2) HEALTHY GROWTH:- The main function of many of the B complex vitamins is to help the body convert carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy. These are all required by your body’s cells so that they can grow properly. Without getting adequate levels of these vitamins you may fail to get the full nutritional benefit from your food and this can ultimately lead to growth problems.
3) CANCER PREVENTION:- A number of vitamins have been linked with cancer prevention. Vitamin A is thought to restrict the growth of cancerous cells whilst vitamin B9 has been linked with a reduced risk of cervical cancer. Vitamin D has been associated with reducing your chances of deveoping colon cancer. Vitamin C and E are also linked with cancer prevention because they are antioxidants (vitamins that protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage) and help stop the body’s cells becoming damaged and mutated.
4) HEALTHY NERVOUS SYSTEM:- Getting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B1 prevents a nervous system disorder called dry beriberi which can lead to pain and a loss of feeling in your fingers and toes. Vitamin B3 and E are also linked with a strong nervous system.
5) PRODUCTION OF RED BLOOD CELLS:- Vitamins B2, B5 B6, B9 and B12 all play a vital role in the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells help the body transport oxygen from the lungs to where it is needed in the body. Not getting enough of the above vitamins can lead to anemia (a condition where your blood stream contains a lower than normal amount of red blood cells) which can then cause you to feel tired and in the worst cases leads to organ damage.
6) PROPER WOUND HEALING:- Vitamin B5, C and K all help your wounds heal properly. Vitamin C assists with the production of the connective tissue collagen which plays a key role in the healing of all types of wound. Vitamin K is also vital in wound healing because it helps your blood clot. Without sufficient vitamin K your body would continuously bleed from the slightest little cut.
7) BONE STRENGTH:- Both vitamins A and D promote strong, healthy bones. Without sufficient vitamin A your risk for osteoporosis (a condition which reduces the density of your bones) and bone fractures increases greatly. Vitamin D is also important for healthy bones as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous which help the bones grow properly. Failure to get enough vitamin D can lead to rickets and osteomalacia which cause the bones to become swollen and fracture more easily.
8) REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE:- Vitamins B6, B9, C and E are all thought to help prevent heart disease. Vitamin B6 reduces the build up of homocysteine (a substance which damages the blood vessels), helps lower blood pressure and stops blood platelets from sticking together, all of which contribute towards a reduced risk of heart disease. Vitamin C and vitamin E are both antioxidants which help protect the artery walls from the damage caused by oxygen. This reduces the chances of plaque (which has been linked with heart disease) forming in the artery walls.
9) PRODUCTION OF DNA (DEOXYRIBODNUCLEIC ACID) AND RNA (RIBONUCLEIC ACID):- Vitamin B9 and B12 help the body produce DNA and RNA. DNA and RNA both carry important genetic information and help the body produce new cells.
10) STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM:- The B complex vitamins plus vitamins A, C and E all help keep the immune system strong. Research suggests that the B complex vitamins all promote a healthy immune system. In addition to this, vitamin A keeps the skin and mucus lining moist which helps your body fight infection. Vitamin C promotes the production of infection fighting white blood cells whilst vitamin E helps the immune system produce B cells which destroy bacteria and protect the immune system from cellular damage.
11) PROTECTION FROM OXIDATIVE DAMAGE:- Vitamins C and E are both powerful antioxidants. Your body’s cells need oxygen to survive. However, every time they use oxygen free radicals are produced as a by-product. These free radicals are harmful to your body’s cells. Antioxidants help protect the cells from this oxidative damage and also repair some of the damage that these free radicals cause.
12) DIABETES PREVENTION:- Vitamins B7 and E are both thought to help people who suffer from diabetes. Vitamin B7 is believed to help both type 1 and type 2 diabetics keep their blood sugar under control. It can also help reduce some of the diabetes symptoms including diabetic neuropathy. Vitamin E is believed to improve the effectiveness of insulin in diabetics.
As you can see vitamins play in important role in almost every area of your body. They protect it from damage and disease, help it grow, help it heal, keep it strong and assist in the production of a number of important substances including red blood cells, DNA and RNA. They are one of the most vital nutrients around and if you are not currently getting sufficient amounts of any vitamin I highly recommend that you modify your existing diet to address the balance.
Can you guys think of any vitamin benefits that I have missed? How do you make sure you are getting sufficient levels of each vitamin? I would love to hear your thoughts.