Doctors these days keep telling us to make sure we get our 5 a day and to ensure we get all those essential vitamins and minerals – but with so many of them, how do we even know what we should be getting?
Here’s a quick guide to some of those “essential” vitamins:
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is important in protecting the body tissue and cell membranes from damage. It is an especially important vitamin for your skin and if you don’t get enough vitamin E it can cause muscle weakness, anemia, palpitations and can lead to fertility problems. It is beneficial for your skin and can help combat the signs of ageing. The recommended dose is 3mg of vitamin E a day for women, or 4mg a day for men and it is found in foods such as nuts, spinach, broccoli, eggs and soya beans.
One of the most well known vitamins, this is a powerful antioxidant that is important for healing wounds and also helps the body to absorb iron. It is especially important for healthy bones and teeth and since humans don’t produce their own vitamin C it is important to get this through your diet or a supplement. A deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to scurvy and anaemia. The best source of Vitamin C is from citrus fruits and colourful vegetables such as yellow and red peppers and carrots.
Vitamin D is often called the ‘sunshine’ vitamin because it is absorbed from sunshine via the skin. It is important for the absorption of calcium and Vitamin A and helps strengthen bone and teeth. It’s also beneficial to the immune system and helps with clotting the blood. Many people in the UK take Vitamin D supplements because of the lack of sunshine – a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to rickets, brittle bones and tooth decay. Vitamin D is largely found in liver, oily fish such as tuna or mackerel, egg yolk and milk.