In recent years, personal health has become an increasingly popular topic especially over social media. Many of these radical ideas, and diet programs are quickly singled out as short-term fads and brushed off with most of the contents of mainstream society. However, there are a few subjects that do deserve your attention and are more significant to your long-term well-being than you may have initially believed.
One such topic is vitamins and supplementation. Often thrown out with the bath water, proper vitamin intake is central to our internal functioning, and a lack thereof can even produce surface symptoms mirroring illness.
Most of the confusion lies in how we’re suddenly all vitamin deficient. Our parents didn’t take vitamins when they were our age, and they were perfectly fine! The thing is, times have changed. Our diets and lifestyles have changed. No longer do we have, or make time to graze on fresh fruits and vegetables every day, and the new processed foods we end up consuming out of convenience contain little to no nutrients that our bodies require. It isn’t the ideals of health that have changed, it’s us.
Take a look at the symptoms listed below. If you feel like one or more of them apply to you, you may want to consider trying out supplements or adjusting your diet to compensate.
Symptom: Vision problems
Cause: Vitamin A deficiency
Have you noticed that your eyes are having more trouble adjusting to the dark than before? This is a common sign of early vitamin A deficiency. Apart from supplements, eating sweet potatoes, carrots and kale will give you the extra vitamin A your body is longing for.
Symptom: You’re anemic
Cause: Vitamin B12 deficiency
If you’ve had blood test results come back with a decreased level of iron or generally feel sluggish, a lack of vitamin B12 might be to blame. Vitamin B12 is found in meat and dairy products, so vegetarians and vegans may be especially at risk for this deficiency. In those cases, supplements are highly recommended.
Symptom: Easy bruising
Cause: Vitamin C deficiency
Essentially, a lack of vitamin C over an extended period of time can lead to scurvy, best known for affecting sailors long ago. One unexplained symptom that may point to a vitamin C deficiency is bruising easily. Other than supplements, vitamin C can be obtained from citrus fruits, berries, melons, spinach, peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.
Cause: Vitamin D deficiency
Sometimes referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a lack of vitamin D can make you feel blue or even bring on long-term depression. Vitamin D may seem like the easiest nutrient to pursue, since you can get it directly from sunlight. Most of the time, the solution is just to get out of the house. However, those who spend the majority of their time indoors or live in northern climates where sunlight is limited may not be able to adapt their lifestyles. In these cases, vitamin D supplements are necessary to adequate intake.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that most people take a daily multivitamin to ensure that you’re getting the minimum amounts required. Talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.