Vitamins are a specific kind of organic nutrient which cannot be produced by our body.
They are as essential as proteins for our overall health.
There are 6 major types of vitamins, namely Vitamin A, B,C,D,E and K.
Further, there are 8 subtypes of Vitamin B, namely thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate.
Each of these vitamins has a separate function in your body.
While Vitamin B subtypes are known as the vitamins for energy, the others help to build up your immunity, bone strength and gut health.
Your Everyday Set: Vitamin Cheat Sheet
Your health can deteriorate over time due to mental strain, sedentary lifestyle and unbalanced diet.
It is in these moments that vitamins can rejuvenate, shield and nourish your body tissues.
The 5 essential vitamins for your everyday life include Vitamin A, B, C, D and E.
Vitamin A: Responsible for the health of our eyes and reproductive system. Sources include milk, green vegetables and fruits.
Vitamin B Complex: Relieves the tiredness of the brain and body. Can be found in green vegetables and animal proteins.
Vitamin C: Detoxifies the body inside out. It's helpful in promoting immunity, weight loss and nutrient absorption. The tang of citrus fruits is a mark of this vitamin.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 helps to strengthen your bones, stimulate the brain cells and activate the immune cells. Best Vitamin D supplements are dairy products, mushrooms and sun exposure.
Vitamin E: Shows positive effects on the skin, hair and muscles. Can be found in seafood and nuts (especially walnuts).
Supplements: Their Role and Functions
Vitamins and supplements play an important role in optimizing your body’s biological processes.
Thus, lack of vitamins can slow down your physical/mental systems, making you unhealthy.
It is here that supplements replenish your body’s needs for essential nutrients, thereby promoting longevity.
In addition, they can also enrich your diet, stimulate body development, reverse early ageing, promote foetal growth and stimulate healing.
Enrich the diet: Vitamin A, K and Calcium are rarely found in food items. That’s why they can be easily missed in your daily diet. Supplements help to cover up for such losses - effectively!
Stimulate body development: Supplements for children boost their formative year growth, while adult supplements are useful to prevent chronic illnesses, reduce mental stress and enhance physical strength.
Reverse early ageing: Body tissues lose their natural tensile strength and regenerative capacity during elder age. Supplements containing Vitamin C or E can be highly effective in preventing these issues.
Promote foetal growth: Your vitamin needs increase drastically during the natal period. Supplements can be a great resort at that time. They boost nutrient absorption, increase milk production and also shield the mother’s health.
Stimulate healing: Long term diseases like Dengue, Typhoid, Malaria etc. can take a toll on your body. Vitamin supplements undo these effects, thereby speeding up your recovery.
Ayurveda’s Take on Vitamin Deficiency
Ayurveda gives a thorough list of diet regulations a person must follow according to his/her age, gender and medical condition.
It studies the physical and mental symptoms of a person to identify the kind of deficiency s/he is facing.
Physical symptoms like loss of skin colour, decreased strength, high heartbeat rate, poor digestion etc.
While, mental issues include sleeplessness, irritability, lack of concentration and recurrent headaches.
Vitamins food remedies are suggested accordingly to replenish the vitamin deficiency.
The Natural Way: Supplements of Ayurveda
Ayurvedic texts do not have a clear mention of food nutrients, especially vitamins.
However, the Ayurvedic diet emphasises the importance of balancing “tastes”.
These 6 tastes include sweet, sour, salty, spicy/pungent, bitter and astringent - each of which correspond to a category of nutrients.
Herbal remedies use plants, dairy products and ores to cover up for the lack of any nutrients/”tastes” in your diet.
A series of Yoga and pranayama exercises are also recommended to facilitate the absorption of these natural herbs,
Some Ayurvedic Supplements for You
Triphala: Due to its antimicrobial properties, it helps to improve dental hygiene. It also contains potent antioxidants like Vitamin C, that cleanse the body, lower cholesterol and boost metabolic rate.
Bhringaraj: Filled with the goodness of Vitamin E. Protects the liver, locks the hair pigment and helps in inflammatory diseases.
Neem: A strong therapeutic herb that can fight free radicals, microbes, pollutants and allergies. Also a source of Vitamin C, carotene and Calcium.
Punarnava: Has more than 10 nutrients including Vitamin C and iron. It is a holistic herb that boosts your kidney, reproductive system and gut health.
Brahmi: Has exceptionally high levels of Vitamin C. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Brahmi is beneficial to improve memory, cognitive functions and insomnia.
Turmeric: It is a golden supplement with 300 plus constituent compounds. It can add a dash of Vitamin A, B and C to your daily diet.
Ashwagandha: Has high levels of Vitamin B6 that promotes musculoskeletal health. Also shows promising effects on the brain.
Shilajit: With as much as 84 vitamins and minerals, this herb can provide you vitamins for immune system, stamina, gut and brain development.
Amla: This is the third part of Triphala. It is rich in Vitamin C that pumps up your digestion, brain health and hair quality.
Yashtimadhu: It contains tannins and so, is a highly effective antimicrobial agent. It prevents respiratory and digestive disorders. Most commonly used for bronchitis and chronic acidity issues.
Manjistha: It is a great detoxifying agent. Deeply cleanses the blood and body tissues. A natural boon for liver.
Women’s Vitamin Checklist
Vitamin C: Shows positive effects on your skin, hair and gut. It carries iron to the body cells, thereby curbing anemia symptoms. Also builds up muscle strength during the menopausal phase.
Vitamin B12: One of the best multivitamin for women of all ages. It plays a vital role in preventing anemia and menstrual disorders.
Vitamin K and Folate: These nutrients are highly recommended for pregnant and lactating women. They protect the foetus, purify the mother’s blood and normalise the heart functions.
Lutein: Increases the regeneration capacity of breast and cervical tissues. Improves the quality of skin.
Vitamin D: Taking it regularly can prevent degradation of bones, muscles and brain cells due to hormonal fluctuations.
Early Signs of Vitamin Deficiency
Hairfall and brittle nails: When your body is running on a lack of Vitamin B7, you may observe hair breakage, thinning of nails and scaliness. It may also drain your physical energy, making you exhausted during day time.
Cracks or ulcers: Could be a sign of Vitamin B1, B2, B6 or iron deficiency. They’re most common amongst teenagers.
Bleeding gums or sensitive teeth: They may be caused by the lack of Vitamin C, D or Calcium. Since these nutrients are responsible for protection of tooth enamel and regeneration of gums.
Poor eyesight: Lack of Vitamin A in your diet can affect your ability to see objects placed in the dark. During later years, you may also develop white lumps on/around your eyes.
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