Here’s how to achieve the recommended daily intake
In the war against COVID-19, your immunity is the MVP! Like they say, prevention is definitely better than cure. Doctors have been prescribing them to treat asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms while in home recovery. Vitamins and minerals play an important role in keeping you healthy. Here’s a checklist….
We avoid the sun like the plague in India. Which is why a huge percentage of our population suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Technically, you can get your daily dose of this ‘sunshine vitamin’ being in the sunlight for 15-20 minutes (either early morning or after 4.00 pm). It is also hard to come by in food. Plus, lockdowns have forced most to stay indoors, so you may need to meet your daily intake goals through dietary supplements. There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of COVID-19, but there is currently not enough research to back this!
Why you need it: Vitamin D aids calcium absorption, boosts metabolism, helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in some of your body’s most vital functions. Whether your goal is to give your immune system a boost or support skin health, you’re going to want to get plenty of vitamin C. This vitamin can be found in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, berries and melons.
Why you need it: Vitamin C strengthens blood vessel walls, promotes wound healing and iron absorption, boosts immunity, and is a key antioxidant, which is great for your skin.
Zinc is an essential mineral that the body requires to function—as it plays a role in cell division, cell growth and wound healing. However, daily intake is a must to sustain because the body has no specialised zinc storage system. High levels of stress is said to deplete the zinc in the body. This mineral can be found in—wheatgerm, sardines, oysters, red meat, pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts, eggs and legumes. Zinc is important for proper sense of taste and smell.
Why you need it: Zinc supports our immune system fight off bacteria and viruses, repairs body tissues, and helps our body use carbohydrates, protein and fat for energy. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA.
The B-vitamin complex is like a factory made up of eight diligent workers who join together to create and sustain our body’s energy supply by breaking down the fats, proteins, and carbs we consume. Each of these have a specialised role, too. They are thought to increase testosterone levels in men, which naturally decrease with age. They may also help men build muscle and increase strength. Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese and eggs are great sources of vitamin B-12. It’s also the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver.
Why you need it: Vitamin B-12 works to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA.
Unlike many other vitamins, vitamin K is not typically used as a dietary supplement. All the more reason to include foods rich in it into your diet. Vitamin K is also a group of compounds (K-1 and K-2). Green leafy vegetables and other veggies like—broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and cabbage are excellent sources. Fish, liver, meat and eggs also have good vitamin K content.
Why you need it: Vitamin K is essential for your body for proper blood clotting and to prevent excessive bleeding!
Besides supporting healthy eyes and boosting your immune system, foods high in vitamin A may lower your risk for prostate cancer. Some of the good sources of vitamin A are—fortified skim milk, cheese, salmon, broccoli, carrots, green leafy vegetables, squash, cantaloupe, mangoes, and apricots.
Why you need it: Vitamin A plays an important role in growth and cell development. It also promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones and teeth and prevents night blindness.
Each body’s requirements are different. So, it’s important to consult your doctor to deal with any vitamin/mineral deficiencies. Supplements or multivitamins should be considered as bonus boosters and not replacement for a balanced diet—as a balanced meal with protein, carbs and good fats will keep you hale and hearty.
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