Vitamins are a group of substances that are essential for normal cell function, growth, and development. Scientists have discovered that the human body requires specific small quantities of 13 organic molecules, known as the 13 essential vitamins needed for the body to function. Every vitamin is made by living cells –either our own, or in other species and they have an important detailed job in the body. A deficiency in any of the essential vitamins occurs when your diet is deficient in fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, and fortified foods. A vitamin deficiency may increase your risk for health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and poor bone health.
Vitamins that the Human Body cannot produce:
Vitamins carry out chemical reactions and flow in complex routes. We humans cannot make our own supply of 13 essential vitamins so we need to get it from our food. These vitamins are grouped in two categories and they include:
Fat-Soluble Essential Vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Water-Soluble Essential Vitamins
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Patonthenic acid
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Folate (folic acid)
How much of Vitamins do we need daily?
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamins reflect how much of each vitamin most people should get each day. How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age and gender and other factors, such as pregnancy and your health, are also important.
The best way to get all of the daily vitamins you need is to eat a healthy wall-balanced diet that includes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, fortified foods (such as dairy, fortified cereals, and dairy milk substitutes), legumes, and whole grains.
Multivitamins Supplements: Do they really work?
But of course not all of us consume the healthiest diets; if you hate eating dark leafy greens and fresh fruits, and your diet primarily consists of pre-packed meals, fast foods, and processed foods then you may be thinking you can simply take a magic little pill called the multivitamin to fill the nutrients lacking in your diet. You may be taking a multivitamin every day without fail because it says it right on the container that it gives you everything you need, so why bother with a healthy balanced diet, right? Well, not so fast. While multivitamins do have their place of importance, they are not for everyone and they aren’t making people healthier. In fact, recent studies show that multivitamins can cause more harm than benefits in some cases.
Most health experts now agree that a multivitamin is no replacement for a good, well-balanced diet. Based on approximately twenty-six different studies conducted between 2005 and 2013, a panel of experts convened by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force said in November that there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude that most multivitamins could reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer. Likewise, scientists today say that vitamin supplements almost never have health benefits and are simply a waste of money.
Supplements are good for Business, not for your Health:
Sales of vitamins, minerals, and supplements totaled nearly $23 billion in the U.S. last year, according to Euromonitor International. Instead American consumers should focus on spending that money wisely at the grocery store and shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce, nuts, beans, low fat dairy or nut-based milks.
Personally, I recommend you to stop wasting your money on multi-vitamins and eat wholesome fruits and vegetables instead.