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Vitamins Nutrition and Their Importance in Health and Wellness

 By Julieanne Van Zyl
Vitamins nutrition
is an essential part of health and wellness, and this is demonstrated by research. In this article, we outline the reasons why we should all have the recommended amounts of vitamins each day.

Nutrition is what we provide to our bodies (in the form of food), to support life within our body's cells. A vitamin is part of this nutrition which is required by our bodies for everyday functions. Other essential nutrients such as essential fatty acids, dietary minerals, or essential amino acids, are not included in the term vitamin. Our bodies do not naturally produce vitamins, so we must obtain them from food or supplements. There are currently 13 different compounds recognized as vitamins, and these include A, D, E, K, C and 8 different B vitamins.

Vitamins are mostly found in Fruit and Vegetables

Research shows that 80% of Americans do not eat sufficient daily servings of fruit and vegetables. Five servings are recommended to provide sufficient amounts of important vitamins and minerals required for healthy nutrition. Five daily servings is a lot for some people, especially those who cannot take fresh fruit to their place of work, or perhaps they cannot buy fresh fruit close to where they live or work. There are a number of people who simply don't like eating fruit and vegetables. In addition, much of the fruit and vegetables we buy today, doesn't have the same nutrients as it used to have years ago.

Recent evidence shows that insufficient amounts of vitamins increases the risk factors to people, of contracting chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Evidence shows that the benefits associated with taking vitamins can reduce the risk of many diseases. Therefore, it's important to eat fruit and vegetables or take vitamins in some other form.

Each vitamin plays it's own role

Each vitamin plays it's own role in keeping different parts of the body healthy. Vitamin A plays a huge role in healthy eyesight, it has antioxidant properties, and appears to function in maintaining normal skin health. Healthy body tissues and muscles are the role of vitamin C, and also increases the body's immunity and has antioxidant properties. Vitamin D is good for strong bones and is also critical for overall health.

The body's defense systems are supported by vitamin E, as well as it supporting a healthy heart. Researchers suggest that vitamin E may prove useful in the prevention of heart disease when taken for extended periods of time.

Thiamin (vitamin B1) helps support a healthy nervous system, and helps the body metabolize carbohydrates and fat to produce energy . Niacin (vitamin B3) is essential for more than 50 processes in the body. Vitamin B12 maintains healthy cells. A Folic acid supplement is now recommended to all women who might become pregnant and to those women who are pregnant, to protect against having a baby with a neural tube defect.

In 2002, there was a major scientific review covering nearly 40 years of research around the relationship between disease and vitamin deficiencies. (Fletcher RH, Fairfield KM. Vitamins for Chronic Disease Preventions in Adults. JAMA. 2002;287:3127-3129) From the results of this review, two Harvard researchers recommended that all adults take a multivitamin every day, in addition to having proper nutrition. Researchers from this review, did conclude that some groups of people are more at risk of certain vitamin deficiencies than others, however, it is important for all adults to get adequate intakes of vitamins because of the tremendously important role they play in the body.

We have discussed the role vitamins play in keeping our bodies healthy and well, and shown some of the benefits to making sure you have optimum vitamins nutrition every day, so you can reduce the risk of disease and keep healthy.
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