Keeping up an active and healthy lifestyle is something that many of us would like to do. Unfortunately, owing to the struggles of a busy and hectic lifestyle, we often tend to miss out on a lot of essential nutrients. Having a lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to the development of a nutritional gap. This can lead to a lot of health complications such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
A good way to fill in the nutritional gap would be to include supplements like multivitamins in your diet. They consist of several essential vitamins and minerals that help carry out the basic functioning of your body.
However, with so many different supplements and nutritional aids in the market, it can be difficult to maintain an accurate record of your intake. This is why we have created a list of four essential vitamins that you require for daily use.
Let us understand more about these supplements and how you can consume them in combination with a healthy diet plan to get the maximum health benefits.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 is a group of essential fatty acids that carry out the essential functioning of your body. They cannot be produced by our body and need to be absorbed from an external source. Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids often contain more than one double bond in their structure.
There are three key types of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, they are:
- Alpha-Linoleic Acids (ALA): While they have a significant role to play in human physiology, they need to be reprocessed into either EPA or DHA to be fully absorbed. Leafy greens such as spinach, amaranth, and kale are some of the primary sources of alpha-linoleic acids.
- Eicosapentaenoic Acids (EPA): They help with eliminating the body cells that cause inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels while utilising an n3 long-chain structure. Mackerel and oysters are a few good sources of EPA.
- Docosahexaenoic Acids (DHA): They play a significant role in regulating vision and promoting cognitive processing, especially among children. Red meat, algae, and fatty fish are some excellent sources of DHA.
Benefits Of Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases: Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for directing several neurological functions. Combined with their action on reducing triglyceride levels, these essential fatty acids prevent the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s. Long-term supplementation of Omega-3 can also help in reversing the symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment.
- Aids Muscle Health: As we grow older, our bodies experience a significant drop in resistance and strength. Consuming Omega-3 supplements in combination with a high protein diet can be useful in delaying the sensitivity in your muscles. It can also improve the quality of your workouts owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. Engaging in resistance training during this period could also be beneficial for boosting muscle mass.
- Treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids can help with reducing the symptoms experienced during obstructive sleep apnea. It is a breathing disorder that causes partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway, resulting in staggered breathing.
Vitamin D is one of the most important fat-soluble nutrients required to support the proper functioning of our body. From promoting our growth and development to protecting us from diseases and weaknesses, it has a wide range of functions.
It includes three types of compounds, namely Vitamin D1, Vitamin D2, and Vitamin D3. These compounds are necessary for promoting intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. A few examples of vitamin d rich food include milk, cheese, and legumes.
Nearly 90% of the Indian population experiences a significant deficiency in Vitamin D, leading to several health complications. Doctors recommend an intake of at least 800-1200 IU or 10-20 micrograms of Vitamin D per day in order to promote optimal functioning of the body.
Benefits Of Consuming Vitamin D
- Weight Loss: Consuming Vitamin D supplements can have a huge impact on regulating your weight. The additional calcium present in these supplements helps in reducing the secretion of hunger hormones such as ghrelin. This has the same effect as an appetite suppressant. Vitamin D3 also helps in boosting the release of hunger satiating hormones which can make you feel full and make better food choices. People suffering from obesity have also reported a significant decrease in markers for heart disease after consuming multivitamins infused with vitamin D.
- Mood Control: Adding Vitamin D to your diet could also help in keeping a good mood throughout the day. These supplements have been found to limit the release of cortisol, a stress hormone found in the body. This can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms experienced during mental conditions such as depression and anxiety. Vitamin D3 can also be useful in warding off diseases such as fibromyalgia.
- Bone Growth: Consuming Vitamin D-rich food helps in the regulation of phosphorus and calcium, both of which play a major role in promoting the healthy growth of bones and teeth. The deficiency of which, can lead to rickets, a condition wherein a person may develop bow-leggedness.
Another supplement that we need to consume daily is Vitamin C. Commonly known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is water-soluble and is mostly found in several fruits and vegetables. It is primarily utilized by our body to synthesize collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters. Additionally, it is also involved in protein metabolism.
Benefits Of Consuming Vitamin C
- Antioxidant benefits: The antioxidants such as leucine found in Vitamin C protect our body from harmful elements such as free radicals from pollution and cigarette smoke. Left unchecked, can cause serious health complications like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and arthritis.
- Skin Benefits: Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties are beneficial to the skin and help counter wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and other ageing signs. Consuming Vitamin C supplements also strengthens the skin’s barriers and reduces the photodamage caused by ultraviolet rays. These are used as accelerants in various cosmetic applications for the same reason.
- Immunity booster: Vitamin C also boosts the immune system’s performance by increasing the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes. It helps fight infections and inflammations such as the common cold and influenza.
Iron is a mineral that plays a huge role in the growth and development of our body. It is primarily utilised by our body to produce haemoglobin and myoglobin. Iron is mostly absorbed by the body via nutritional intake as it is commonly found in the foods we eat. Based on the type of food sources, iron is divided into two different types – heme and non-heme.
Benefits Of Consuming Iron
- Aids muscle contraction: Iron helps in the production of myoglobin, a protein that aids oxygen flow between muscle tissue. This helps in monitoring expansion and contraction. Combining iron supplements in combination with probiotics can help prevent muscle cramping and improve coordination.
- Improves cognitive function: Iron ensures the proper flow of oxygen from the lungs to the brain, ensuring proper blood flow. It is also beneficial for the creation of new neural pathways.
- Prevents Anemia: Deficiency of iron can lead to anemia, a condition wherein the individual has less than normal RBCs and is potentially prone to organ failure.
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