A vitamin supplement provides a variety of nutrients that are also found in food. These supplements are often called multivitamins. They come in form of pills, tablets, powders and liquids. A standard multivitamin usually contains water soluble vitamin.
Most of us have taken a vitamin tablet at some point in our lives. We even give them to our children that help them to boost their nutrition, prevent poor health and to fight with common illness.
Vitamin supplements have the ability to step in where your diet falls short, but it’s important to note that they are not a replacement for a healthy diet.
Certain products have the power to lower your risk for disease, increase your energy, aid in weight loss, boost your mental capacity and may help cut back on your annual trips to the doctor.
Before you stock up your medicine cabinet, here’s what you may not know- but should – about vitamin supplements as a whole.
1. More is not better
Though society has led us all to believe otherwise, more is not always better. But if you stick to the recommended dosage on the label, you should be in good shape.
Dietary supplements are intended to supplement the diet, not to replace the balance of the variety of foods that are important to health and nourishing the body.
So while your body needs to have key nutrients, too much of some can cause problems.
2. An orange a day…
….could keep sailor’s scurvy away.
Scurvy, a problem of sailors for centuries is apparently making a comeback.
Recent studies have shown that just outside of Boston, USA, there had been more than 30 documented cases of scurvy- that is the largest collection of scurvy cases in wealthy countries, outside war or exceptional circumstances.
One of the things as about scurvy is that it is really not difficult to prevent. Even something like a handful of ketchup packets a day have enough vitamin C in them to reduce the risk of scurvy!
Perhaps packets of ketchup isn’t ideal, but you get the drift!
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits as well as kiwi fruits, red capsicum peppers, and strawberries.
3. One week is all it takes for 75% of vitamin C in an apple to be destroyed
According to research, some foods are so fragile that they degrade with time.
One study shows that 75% of vitamin C in an apple can be lost in one week. It is affected by heat, light and storage conditions and lot other things.
To keep your apples fresher for longer, buy apples that are local to your area to ensure that part of their short shelf-life has not expired during transportation. The sooner you pick it and consume it that is probably the best.
4. Your body can produce only vitamin D & vitamin K
The rest of the vitamins enter your body only with the food, both of plant and animal origin.
That is why it is very important to make healthy and varied food choices.
5. Water is best when taking a multivitamin
Polyphenols in teas, coffee and fresh fruit juices may interfere with proper absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Stick with an ordinary glass of water when taking your vitamins.
6. Most multivitamins don’t contain enough Vitamin D
Government issued RDA of 400IU is ridiculously low in light of recently published scientific research; as a result of which the new minimum RDA should be 1,000IU.
The Vitamin D recommendation is as much as 5,000IU a day for people with no exposure to sun.
7. Concentration of Vitamin C
In many fruits and vegetables, the highest concentration of this vitamin is found just under the skin.
So, try and eat them with their skins on, and don’t cook for longer than necessary!
If you decide to use vitamin supplements, remember the following:
- If you are on medication, check with your pharmacist or GP before taking any supplement.
- Take as directed and never more than suggested.
- “Supplement” means a part which “adds to” or “provides further”, so should only be taken in addition to a healthy balanced diet, not in place of eating well.