I wrote about vitamins back in December, and I explained the different kinds of vitamins. I also shared with you that if we are relatively healthy, I do not believe we need to take vitamins tablets or other supplements. Instead, we can get the vitamins we need from our daily diet.
Recently, I came across 16 Best, a website that specializes on doing research on a myriad of products from clothing and travel to food items. They curate the internet to find the best options available, and vitamins was one of the topics they wrote about.
The snapshot of the infographic above is included in its entirety below. It goes through the vitamins we consume, their uses, signs to know if we are deficient, and natural sources where we can find them. You will have to scroll down a bit below to see the wealth of information they provide on each of the vitamins. I do recommend you look at it as it provides succinct, yet valuable information. The image is courtesy of 16 Best.
Here is some more about what they have to say.
Vitamins in Your Daily Diet
Karthik Reddy, Community Manager at 16 Best, put together a synopsis of the information he found on vitamins. He said the following:
“There continues to be so much debate about whether the food we eat daily is sufficient to provide us with the vitamins we need for our bodies to function correctly. Some schools of thought argue that supplements are required. Research, however, has shown that a balanced diet is the best source of vitamins, and is sufficient for providing the nutrients our body needs. It, therefore, follows that proper dieting plays a significant role in determining our overall wellbeing.
A balanced diet that contains vegetables, fruits, and whole grains has been shown to furnish the body with a blend of vitamins and minerals, including nutrients that meet the needs of the body. It is posited that the blend of these nutrients is what ultimately contributes the required amounts to the body.
It’s not only about adding the right ingredients to your diet, however. It’s also about cutting harmful things that might be hampering the absorption of vitamins and minerals into your bloodstream. Soda is a good example of this, which is why you should try to replace itwith a healthier alternative, such as tea or infused water from Hint Water.
Consider, for example, the nutritional benefits that result from taking just 100g of eggs in your daily diet. One large egg is about 60g. A diet containing 100g of egg supplies the body with 500 micrograms of vitamin B1, 1530 micrograms of vitamin B5, 21.3 micrograms of vitamin B7, 0.72 micrograms of vitamin B12, and 2.2 micrograms of vitamin D. That’s a combination of five vitamins derived from just consuming two eggs in your daily diet. The nutritional benefits include generation of energy, improved nerve and muscle function, proper functioning of adrenal glands, healthy hair and skin, red blood cell production and strengthened bones. Read more here.”
Eat the Rainbow
If you are like me, it is hard to remember the best natural sources for the vitamins we need to consume. We could print out the infographic and carry it around with us to make sure that on a daily or weekly basis we are consuming all of the foods listed. But, that to me seems like a tedious and cumbersome process.
One of the most practical ways to ensure we are getting the vitamins we need in our diet is to eat produce, and even other foods, that represent all the colors of the rainbow. When looking at our plate, try to consume as many different colors as possible. It is not necessary to include ALL colors of the rainbow in one plate but try to consume as many colors as possible.
Often, similarly colored foods have similar nutrients. For example, red and orange foods tend to be rich in vitamin B2, vitamin B7, and vitamin A. Green vegetables tend to be rich in folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
These are over generalizations, but the truth is that the more colorful the food on our plate is, the more likely we are to be consuming a range of nutrients.
Follow What Our Body Tells Us
Our bodies intuitively know what we need or what we are deficient in. However, it is hard for us to listen and to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. Eating intuitively is a more involved process that I will dedicate a future article to.
But, what I can say here is that when we feel a craving for a particular food, such as eggs, greens, fruit, or other, it is important to give our bodies what they are telling us to consume, because it is likely that the food we are craving contains the nutrients we need.
Even when we crave empty calories (chips or sugary snacks) or processed foods, there is some attention we should pay to those cravings. Empty calories and processed foods are able to create addictive patterns and habits that are not beneficial to us. When we crave sugary, floury, or processed foods, it is best that we don’t satisfy that particular craving by eating these foods. But, it is important that we still satisfy the craving in some way.
What I mean is that if we are craving a cookie, for instance, instead of eating the cookie, we should acknowledge that we are craving something sweet, and eat organic dark chocolate, a starchy vegetable, or a fruit. That way, we react and respond to our intuition by eating something that has sugar in it, while we consume foods that are healthier for us.
Vitamins are essential to our diet. They are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our bodies, and ultimately ensure our health. But supplements are not always the best approach. I only recommend supplements when someone has a health condition or nutritional deficiency that warrants the supplement. If we are healthy, the best option is for us to get our vitamins from our diet by eating the rainbow and listening to our bodies.