Extensive research studies show that taking vitamin and mineral supplements can potentially improve your health, protect against disease and provide you with the energy you need to live a healthy life. Although each contribute differently to your needs, vitamins and minerals work together in order to give you a balanced amount of all the components needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to your overall health and why they are important:
- Vitamin A- Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy vision, keep your skin healthy and boost your immune system. In simpler terms, this vitamin keeps your skin healthy, protects against wrinkles and acne and helps fight off infections and other unwanted diseases.
- Vitamin B12- This vitamin enhances muscle strength, provides energy and helps your nerves function properly. Insufficient amounts of vitamin B12 can lead to health complications such as fatigue, weak muscles and severe depression.
- Vitamin C- Vitamin C serves a number of purposes including healing wounds, boosting your immune system, protecting artery linings and preventing cataracts.
- Vitamin D- Vitamin D supplements are helpful for babies who are breastfed since breastfeeding does not provide adequate amounts of this vitamin. Vitamin D has also been known to help fight osteoporosis.
- Vitamin E- This vitamin is known to help protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer. It also boosts the immune system and helps in healing injuries and wounds. Some studies prove that this vitamin also helps boost the immune system of elderly people.
- Vitamin K- Vitamin K strengthens bones and is known to help fight osteoporosis.
- Calcium- Calcium is known to protect bones and make them stronger, but it also helps in lowering blood pressure and preventing colon cancer and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). Make sure you only take the recommended amount of calcium per day. Too much calcium can increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.
- Chromium- This mineral assists the hormone insulin and helps it to operate more efficiently. When the insulin is functioning at the appropriate level, your blood sugar levels are lower, which is helpful to individuals with type 2 diabetes. This mineral has also been proven to help with weight loss.
- Iron- Lack of iron can cause fatigue and low energy levels. Iron deficiency is usually found in pre-menopausal women, athletes and vegetarians. Although iron helps boost your energy levels, too much of this mineral may cause heart disease and can place you at higher risks for cancer.
If you feel as though your daily diet does not provide you with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, taking supplements can greatly improve your lifestyle and can give you the energy and the boost you need to get you through the day. Always remember that vitamin and mineral supplements are to be used in combination with food and are in no way meant as a replacement for a healthy diet.
Jeff Matson is an avid health enthusiast who owned and operated his own natural health food store. Now retired, Jeff spends his time keeping fit, walking marathons and writing articles as a contributing editor for www.vitamin-insight.com – a site that offers information on vitamins, medicinal herbs and other supplements.