Vital Vitamins

By: KIMBERLY RUDD

Edited by: CHRISTINA COLAVECCHIA

“A vitamin a day will keep the doctor away.” Women go through a variety of stages in life and require vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamins are essential to our bodies. Each vitamin has a specific function that you may not be able to  get from just one food. In fact, you are most likely not getting the adequate amount of vitamins needed from your daily diet alone.  It can get confusing trying to understand which vitamins a woman needs and what they do.

According to WebMD, these are the essential vitamins for women:

Vitamin A aids in the building of bone, skin, soft tissue, and mucus membranes. Food sources include carrots, cantaloupe, and pumpkin.

Vitamin C aids in wound healing and the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin C can be found in broccoli, grapefruit, tomatoes, potatoes, kiwis, and oranges.

Vitamin E is essential for the formation of red blood cells and cell membranes. Vitamin E may also slow age related illnesses. Food sources include hazelnuts, peanut butter, safflower oil, and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B6 is important for metabolism and brain function. Vitamin B6 can be found in avocado, banana, beans, cereal, meats, oatmeal, and poultry.

Vitamin B12 is like the other B vitamins and is important for metabolism and protein synthesis. Food sources include cheese, eggs, fish, meat, milk, and yogurt.

Folate is essential for the development of the central nervous system. It helps to make DNA, RNA, and the building blocks of cells. Food sources include vegetables, beans, grains, and eggs.

Vitamin D helps activate calcium and phosphorus in the body; they are important for keeping bones strong.  When there is no vitamin D in your body, it turns to your bone for calcium and phosphorus, leading to the thinning of your bones. Sources are sunshine and fish.

As indicated by Livestrong.com, women should consume the following amount of vitamins per day:

Vitamin A- 700 mcg (microgram)
Vitamin C- 75 mg (milligram)
Vitamin E- 15 mg
Vitamin B6- 1.3-1.5 mg
Vitamin B12- 2.4 mcg
Folate- 400 mcg
Vitamin D- 15-20 mcg

By eating the right foods, you get the right vitamins to keep you healthy. But as we all know, most people do not eat the right amount each day. You should be eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Dawn Weatherwax, a registered dietician, says that “vitamins help fill in the gaps.” You should be getting vitamins from the fruits and vegetables you’re eating, but when you don’t eat enough of the right foods, then that is when vitamins and multivitamins come it. Weatherwax states that “some argue we aren’t getting the best quality of food, so vitamins help fill in the gaps. They are not a replacement to eating fruits and vegetables.”

Vitamin D is a vitamin that has been in the news a lot lately. Everyone should get a daily dose of vitamin D. Weatherwax says, “It is mainly from the sun. If your levels go low you cannot eat your way to higher level; there is only supplementation. You can only get Vitamin D from the sun between 12-1 pm. There is no vitamin D in the winter for most of the states.” During the wintertime, most people aren’t getting their nutritional level of Vitamin D so supplements are needed.

The average woman should take a multivitamin to make sure she is getting the adequate amount of nutrients. Joanne Larsen, a registered dietician, advises that “Women should talk to their doctor and dietitian about what nutritional supplements they need based on an analysis of their food intake and blood tests. Some supplements may interfere with prescribed or over-the-counter medications so talk to your doctor about all the pills you take.” Vitamins are a vital part to staying healthy, whether women get them from their food or from supplements.

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2 Comments on “Vital Vitamins”

  1. Tamiko Pasqualino
    October 9, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    I am always taking vitamin B6 supplements for nerve support. Its really great. `;:;,

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  2. Jere Real
    November 26, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    Vitamin B6 is necessary for the health of the brain neurotransmitters. It also helps in the production of serotonin which is the feel good hormone. ;

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