What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds that your body requires for optimum function. They are very different from such other nutrients as minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids although they combine to make various processes in your body possible.
You definitely cannot ignore the important roles that vitamins play in your body system. They help in converting food to energy, in boosting your immune system and in ensuring that your nerves remain healthy.
There are different types of vitamins that play different roles and your body needs different vitamins in different amounts. For instance, a number of vitamins your body needs during teenage differs from the amount your body needs when you are an adult of 40 years of age and above.
You need to ensure that you receive the following specific vitamins in different amounts to remain in good health once you are 40 years and above.
1. Vitamin A
You really need sufficient amount of vitamin A once you attain the age of 40+. This is because it is very important in improving your immune system and in enhancing communication between your body cells. Most importantly, your body requires vitamin A for continued good vision. It also plays a major role in the maintenance of healthy lungs, heart, and kidneys.
Your regular diet should be made up of eggs, beef liver, green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pepper and varied fruits.
It is very important to ensure that you receive ample amounts of the vitamin. This is because the lack of it puts you at risk of suffering from such diseases as poor vision, cancer and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a common cause of poor vision.
2. Vitamin B3
You really need this vitamin for good health of your cardiovascular system. This is because it is involved in the balancing of cholesterol level in your blood. It also plays a very important role in enhancing brain function and in preventing diabetes and arthritis.
It is important that your body receives increased amounts of vitamin B3 once you are 40+ years. Some of the foods rich in the vitamin that should form part of your regular diet include beef liver, fish, sunflower seeds, poultry and mushrooms among other foods.
Low level of vitamin B3 puts you at risk of such diseases and health conditions as lesions on the skin, gastrointestinal problems, brain impairment and memory loss among other health problems.
3. Vitamin B6
This is one of the group B vitamins. It is a water-soluble vitamin that your body receives from the food that you eat. The role of vitamin B6 in your body is to work with enzymes and coenzymes in your body to allow for important processes to take place. It is involved in over 100 body processes including in the maintenance of amino acids in the blood, boosting the immune system, in the formation of hemoglobin and in the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters among other processes.
It is very important to ensure that your body receives sufficient amount of vitamin B6. This is because the lack of or limited amount of the vitamin in your body also serves as a signal you’re your body is low in the other group B vitamins. Since it is only available from the food that you eat, you need to ensure that you eat fish, beef liver, potatoes, non-citrus fruits, cereals fortified with vitamin B6, starchy vegetables, and poultry.
Lack of or low level of vitamin B6 in your body puts you at risk of cheilosis, which is associated with the development of cracks on your lips and corners of your mouth. You also remain at risk of being anemic, developing a swollen tongue, weak immune system, depression and general confusion.
4. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin plays a very important role in the metabolism of amino acids and fats. It is also involved in regulating the level of sugar in your blood. Furthermore, you need Biotin for strong nails and hair.
Although your body requires a minimal amount of Biotin on a daily basis, you need to be sure that you receive the vitamin from the food that you eat. Do ensure that your regular diet contains such foods as eggs, beef liver, pork, and seafood among other foods.
It is very important that your body receives Biotin. This is because the low amount of the vitamin leads to the occurrence of such health problems as dermatitis, hair loss, development of thin and brittle nails, conjunctivitis, depression, hallucination and numbness in your hands and feet.
5. Vitamin B12
This is another one of the group B vitamins. It is also available from the food that you eat. This vitamin plays varied roles in your body including in the proper formation of red blood cells, in improving neurological function, in the synthesis of DNA and in the synthesis of lipids, proteins, and hormones.
Although vitamin B12 is available in varied foods, there are foods that contain high amounts of the vitamin. Your regular diet should ideally be made up of eggs, milk/milk products, fish, and poultry. You also need to consider including cereals fortified with the vitamin in your diet.
Lack of or low amount of vitamin B12 in your body puts you at risk of various health problems including anemia, general body weakness, regular loss of appetite, weight loss, numbness and tingling sensations in your feet and hands, depression, poor memory and regular constipation among other problems.
This is a group B vitamin. It is available in the food that you eat as folate and as folic acid. The vitamin plays a very important role in your body as a coenzyme, in which case it is involved in the synthesis of nucleic acids, in the metabolism of amino acids and in proper division of body cells.
Although the vitamin is available as folic acid, receiving it from your diet is highly recommended. Do ensure that your regular diet is made of such foods as dark leafy vegetables (spinach, Brussels, sprouts and asparagus), fruits, peas, dairy products, beans, poultry, eggs, grains and seafood among others. Do also consider eating cereals fortified with the vitamin.
Lack of or low amounts of folate in your body puts you at risk of suffering from such health problems as general body weakness, lack of concentration, constant headache, difficulty in breathing, heart palpitations, irritability, ulcerations in the tongue, nail pigmentation and changes in your hair and skin among other problems.
7. Vitamin C
This is one of the most important vitamins that your body needs especially when you are a woman of 40 + years. This is because it plays a big role in the synthesis of collagen, in the metabolism of protein and in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. The vitamin is also a powerful antioxidant that gets rid of free radicals from your body, which boosts your immune system.
Your body receives vitamin C from the food that you eat. It is very important that you regularly eat citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, red pepper, broccoli, strawberries, and kiwi fruit because they contain high levels of the vitamin.
Lack of or low level of vitamin C in your body puts you at risk of such health problems as scurvy, cancer, common cold and cardiovascular diseases among others.
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins that your body needs throughout your life. This is because it plays the important roles of enhancing the absorption of calcium, in the maintenance of strong bones, in the prevention of osteoporosis, in reducing inflammations and in boosting your body’s immune system.
Although your body naturally receives vitamin D through the skin when you expose your body sunlight, the fact that you are 40 + years limits the rate at which your skin synthesizes vitamin D. This makes it necessary to obtain the vitamin from your diet. Your regular diet should be made up of foods rich in vitamin D. Such foods include fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon), cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms.
It is very important that your body receives sufficient amount of vitamin D. This is because the lack of or low amounts of vitamin D in your body puts you at risk of having weak bones, which is associated with weakness in the muscles and pain.
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant, which you really need once you are 40+ years. It is very important in protecting your body cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is also involved in the improving your immune system.
You obtain vitamin E from the food that you eat. Such foods as nuts, varied seeds, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, and natural oils should form part of your regular diet.
Lack of or low level of vitamin E puts you at risk of suffering from such diseases as coronary heart disease, eye problems, cancer and poor memory among other diseases.
10. Vitamin K
Your body requires a continuous supply of vitamin K as you age. This is because it is important in acting as a coenzyme, in which case it is involved in the synthesis of protein, for blood clotting and for the strengthening of bones.
Vitamin K is available in many foods that should be part of your regular diet. They include green leafy vegetables, fruits, dairy products, eggs, pork, poultry, and carrots among others.
Low level of vitamin K puts you at risk of suffering from such health conditions as osteoporosis, and coronary heart disease among others.
These are vital vitamins that you seriously need once you are 40+ years. Sufficient amounts of the vitamins go a long way to ensuring that you maintain good health, which makes it possible for you to age without any serious age-related diseases and medical conditions.