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Are You Getting All Your Vitamins?

By Jeff Lakie

Far from the Flintstones shapes many of us chewed as kids, adult vitamins provide nutrients needed by a full-grown body. While vitamins are abundant in many foods, many adults do not follow diets that provide all of the vitamins and nutrients needed; a supplement can help augment our daily intake.

Like children, adults need certain vitamins to help our bodies function properly. Vitamins can also help prevent certain types of diseases. For example, vitamin D helps strengthen bones and reduce risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin A enhances vision, and vitamin C helps fight colds. Vitamin B can give us energy, which is certainly necessary in today's busy world. And vitamin E helps skin stay taut, which is definitely a bonus as we begin to age.

Some vitamins are fat-soluble, while others are water-soluble. The first type of vitamins is stored until the body can use the nutrients. These include vitamins A, D, E, and K. The latter type directly enters the blood stream, and what isn't used is excreted through the urine. These vitamins-vitamins B and C, in particular-need to constantly be replenished.

If you are not into popping pills, there are indeed ways to up your vitamin intake by adjusting your diet. These foods are high in vitamins:

Vitamin A

Eggs, milk, carrots, spinach, nectarines, canteloupe, apricots, sweet potatoes

B Vitamins

(There are several types of B vitamins)

Whole grains, seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, citrus fruits

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits, canteloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage

Vitamin D

Dairy products, fish, egg yolks

Vitamin E

Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, egg yolks, sardines

Vitamin K

Green leafy vegetables, dairy products, pork, green leafy vegetables

If you are able to get the vitamins you need directly from the foods you eat, you will benefit most greatly. If not, there are many multi-vitamins available over the counter that will help you reach your nutritional needs. Getting the vitamins and minerals we need is critical to maintaining good health as we get older. Those chewable vitamins you took as a child started the job; it is your responsibility to maintain it!


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