he words ‘vitamins’ and ‘minerals’ should be nothing new to any 21st century gal. But it’s completely normal to be at a loss trying to figure out which ones should take priority. Downing a multivitamin is definitely better than nothing, but it’s not the same as really honing in on the top 5 essential vitamins out there. And when it comes to the creme de la creme of vitamins, you definitely want to make sure you’re getting enough to reap the full benefits. Unfortunately that may not be the case if you’re relying solely on a multi.
ARE YOU VITAMIN DEFICIENT?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s a good chance you’re experiencing a vitamin deficiency without even realizing it. The number of people affected by a vitamin shortage is staggering – it’s over 85% in some cases – which is just insane. Talk about evidence that essential vitamins and minerals are flying under the radar! The good news is that getting your hands on the important ones isn’t difficult.
VITAMINS YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO MISS OUT ON
There are one billion people out there who are deficient in vitamin D alone, which really doesn’t come as much of a surprise seeing as the best source for it is the sun (that’s why you may hear it called the ‘sunshine vitamin.’) The catch is that you’ve got to mix the SPF in order to reap the benefits. And that’s like a complete oxymoron from everything you’ve learned about sun safety.
But there are plenty of awesome reasons why vitamin D earns its place as one of the top 5 essential vitamins out there. For starters, there are studies that show it can slow down weight gain (that’s no excuse for binge eating!) But more importantly, it keeps muscles strong and working properly by absorbing calcium. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out this blog to learn some of the other benefits of vitamin D.
Everyone makes the connection between vitamin C and colds, but there are so many more reasons why it’s one of the top 5 essential vitamins. Some of them include protection from heart disease, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and other pretty serious stuff. It’s found in way more places than oranges, too. Want to know where?
Beta carotene (which our bodies convert to vitamin A) makes it on the list of essential vitamins and minerals for several reasons. Some of our favs include a stronger immune system and healthy vision. We’re talking more like eye diseases rather than poor sight. (Glasses can be a pretty hot accessory after all.)
Talk about being a show off! There are 8 types of B vitamins, which together offer tons of perks. Some chart toppers include maintaining muscle tone and metabolism, and keeping your mind sharp. No guarantees you’ll be accepted into Mensa, but who doesn’t love being the smarty pants of their inner circle?
B12 in particular deserves a little extra street cred as one of the top 5 essential vitamins. That’s because it can hook you up with all kinds of good things, like improved sleep (#momwin) and increased energy. It also has the potential to help lower cholesterol.
Vitamin K has both functional and beauty benefits. The most important function of vitamin K is its role in the blood clotting process. That may sound scary, but it’s a really important benefit because that’s how wounds heal. But it also does all sorts of good stuff for your skin, like help with scars, dark spots, icky spider veins, under-eye circles, and even – get ready for it – stretch marks! Sounds like a vitamin dream come true, right? Nothing is perfect, but with perks like these, it’s no surprise that vitamin K is a chart topper.