An essential ingredient to our daily lives, vitamins can best be termed as the lubricants our bodies need for proper functioning. They are the substances our bodies depend on for growth and optimal performance.
We all need vitamins and minerals as nutrients in our bodies as they perform varied roles in enabling our bodies to develop and function properly. For instance, our immune system depends on the absorption of vitamins to remain in optimum condition.
Consuming vitamins also aids in strengthening our bone health, the quick repair of damaged cells, and they also come in handy during the conversion of food into energy.
Your body needs to get enough of these vitamins in whole grains and vegetables or vitamins supplements.
Food sources containing vitamins include fruits, leafy veggies such as broccoli and spinach, vegetable oils, beef liver, eggs, cereals, grains, poultry meats, and potatoes.
Some of the essential vitamins found in these food sources include Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Folic acid, Vitamin B12 and much more.
To fully understand the functioning of vitamins in our system, let's look deeper into their roles in the body.
Roles of Vitamins in the Body
As mentioned, vitamins play vital roles in the body's functioning both in adults and in children. Some of these roles include:
- Boost Immunity
Vitamin-rich bodies are the epitome of good health. Any time you lack vitamins in your diet, remember this quote which vividly illustrates the importance of your daily vitamin intake:
"A vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.” (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1937)
In boosting your immune system, vitamins will aid your body in producing antibodies that vital help to ward off ailments. They also assist in the monitoring of the immune response.
- Healthy Hair, Nails and Skin
If you want to have healthy glowing skin and have strong nails and hair, then it's time you upgrade your vitamin and minerals intake.
You need to get enough of these vitamins to support the body system in bolstering the growth of healthy hair and nails.
For instance, uptake of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K will aid the body in retaining a smooth outlook and youthful appearance.
Some of these products aid in a process where the vitamins work to increase the level of collagen that your body produces, helping it retain moisturized skin.
The antioxidants effects of Vitamin E suggest that it aids in retaining a solid hairline and skin tone.
A deficiency of these vitamins leads to weak nails and sparse weak hair.
- Strengthen Teeth and Bones
If you wish your bones to stay healthy, you better consume enough of the vitamins. They aid in the absorption of calcium in the organs such as bones and teeth, helping boost their strength.
To avoid common ailments associated with low bone density including osteoporosis and rickets, ensure you have enough Vitamin D and Vitamin A in your diet.
Best Vitamins for Immunity
As seen earlier, the central role of vitamins in your body is to boost your immunity for its optimal performance and the levels of vitamin you consume will have a direct correlation with your body's natural ability to keep the various risk factors of poor health at bay, so it's always worth paying heed when advised to consume more vitamins.
Some of the significant vitamins that help you stay healthy include:
- Vitamin C
Also known as ascorbic acid, this super vitamin helps protect you against most immunodeficiency ailments.
It guards your skin against early wrinkling and helps prevent cardiovascular ailments, eye diseases and common prenatal health complications.
Being a water-soluble vitamin found in food and as a supplement, Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that will block the free radicals from affecting your body cells.
You can find Vitamin C in food sources such as spinach, broccoli and fruits. However, you can get valuable products with sufficient vitamin C content that you can regularly consume to bolster your health.
- Vitamin E
To ensure healthy nails and hair, consume foods rich in Vitamin E or supplements. The Vitamin is good in protecting your body cells from damage as it's a perfect antioxidant.
In recent years most people have shifted to using the best vitamins available in Ireland as supplements as a way to monitor the amount of Vitamin E to ingest over a specific time frame.
A Vitamin E-rich diet can go a long way in ensuring your body cells do not wear out fast and that you heal fast in the event of an injury.
The other sources of vitamin E nutrients are in foods such as fortified cereals and grains, vegetable oils such as sunflower, green leafy vegetables like spinach, and nuts such as peanuts.
- Vitamin K
Mainly the role of Vitamin K is to aid in blood clotting in the event of an injury both in adults and in children.
It can help contain excessive bleeding in case you have suffered an injury or are suffering from post-menopausal bleeding. In newborns especially, Vitamin K is administered as the baby does not get enough of the Vitamin from the mother.
Sources of vitamin K include leafy green vegetables, fruits and vegetable oils. You can also get Vitamin K2 as a supplement or in food such as meat and eggs.
Other vitamins that you can boost their intake to improve your body's immune system include niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) and folate.
All these vitamins go a long way in ensuring your body remains uncompromised healthwise. Moreover, you can get most of these vitamins in the form of dietary products whereby, if consistently consumed, you can be sure to remain healthier for longer.
- Vitamin D
Often referred to as the 'sunshine vitamin' as it’s produced naturally within your skin cells in direct response to sunlight, Vitamin D belongs to the family of highly beneficial compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3 and is a fat-soluble secosteroid, responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, among many other biological benefits of vitamin D.
Though your body produces vitamin D naturally when directly exposed to sunlight, you can also get it from certain supplements and foods to maintain adequate levels within your bloodstream.
Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for your body's normal growth and helps promote the development of teeth and bones, as well as strengthening your natural resistance to certain diseases.
Those with a severe vitamin D deficiency are also more at risk of disease, depression and weight gain, among other contraindications.
Best Vitamins for Children
During pregnancy, your baby is not in a position to absorb all the vitamins sufficiently and its for this reason that once the child is born, they are put on milk and other vital nutritional components to boost their body's performance and growth.
As Irish children grow and their bodily functions continue to form and evolve, they need adequate vitamins and minerals and that's not always naturally available in abundance given our climate and the inherent lack of sunlight, particularly during the winter months.
If you want your children not to suffer any deficiency in the vital vitamins, you need to adequately pump in their bodies with vital foods that will aid their growth and normal body functions.
The lack of essential health components in their body will put you on a path where you are constantly at the doctors with various ailments.
As you strive to feed your child with all the vital nutrients from natural foods, at some point, you may still need to top up with vitamin-rich food supplements to ensure they get enough in their body.
And as you search for the right supplement to keep your child healthy, it's important to consult your pediatrician or local pharmacist and get their expert opinion on the right solution for your child.
Factors to Consider When Buying Vitamin Supplements for Kids
Once you settle on boosting your child's immune health with vitamin supplements, you need to evaluate several factors to ensure that you don't put your child at risk unknowingly.
Some of the factors include:
Ensure the products you are going for are of the right quality. Check for standardization marks, evaluate the manufacturers. Do they have a history of quality? What's their history in terms of years of operation?
Take your time to evaluate all these as they are factors that could impact your child's health.
Go the extra mile to find out the contents that make up the supplement. Do they contain what you are looking for?
Let's say you are looking for a supplement with oily fish or Vitamin C to boost your child's immune system; you have to evaluate what the supplement contains keenly.
Check out whether your choice of the supplement is third-party tested. Third-party testing should give you the confidence that your choice of the supplement has gone through a thorough manufacturing procedure and whatever they claim on the packaging is what it contains.
Get to know the right amount you need to feed your child before seeing results consistently.
One-off vitamin ingestion may not yield much of the nutritional boost you are looking for in your child.
Get to know the time frame you need to have your child on the products for optimal results.
Go for reputable brands. Remember it's your child's health at stake, and what you feed them will account for the results you get on completion of the dosage.
Reputable brands will give you peace of mind knowing that they are quality products and the companies uphold values and would never endanger your child.
Types of Vitamins and Supplements Suitable for Children
Children's vitamin requirements vary according to their age, size and health status and our advice for parents is to do your homework before deciding on the right fit for your child.
To boost their body performance and health, ensure that their regular diet consists of healthy food and includes common ingredients such as the following vitamin-rich staples:
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Unsweetened Cereals
- Folic acid
- Whole grains
- Oily fish
- Egg yolks
- Pantothenic acid
Inadequate intakes of any of the above can of course be supplemented with over-the-counter solutions.
You can still get these nutrients in supplements that the kid can easily consume as they come in formula milk, chewables, liquid sprays and drops.
Some of the best supplements for children at different ages include:
- Revive Active Junior Revive
- Revive Active Teen Revive
- BetterYou DLux Infant Spray
- BetterYou DLux Junior Oral Spray
- Natures Plus Animal Parade® Calcium Children's Chewable
- Nature's Plus Animal Parade® Sugar-Free Vitamin C Children's Chewable 90's
- Nature's Plus Animal Parade Magnesium Kidz Chewable 90's
- BabyVit D3 Pure Vitamin D3 Drops
These products can come in very handy, especially if your kid is a picky eater or their body has trouble absorbing nutrients from natural food sources.
Also, in cases where your child follows a restrictive diet for varied reasons, you may consider the products to fill the gap to ensure their bodies function optimally.
The good thing with the supplements is that you can choose one that contains the mineral or Vitamin lacking in their regular diet.
The critical issue when administering a supplement to your child is the dosage. Ensure you don't give excess supplements aiming at quicker results. Go as per the prescriptions as excess consumption can be toxic.
Some supplements come in the form of sweetened gum, and it may be tempting for the child to over-consume. Monitor their consumption and let them be administered by an adult or a caregiver.
Vitamins also play a significant function in ensuring that you have healthy hair and nails as an adult.
How Vitamins Help in Having Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
One of the critical indicators of vitamin deficiency in your body manifests itself in three areas: hair, skin, and nails.
The lack of sufficient vitamins will lead to weak and sparsely distributed hair, while the skin will appear dehydrated and wrinkled. This explains why some people are young and at heart while their appearance tells a different story.
A person lacking enough crucial vitamins will have their nails weak, meaning they’ll fray or chip quite easily.
Pregnant women especially need to be keen to consume sufficient nutrients in their diets to ensure they have enough for their bodies and their unborn babies.
Vitamins help in having strong skin and hair by promoting healthy cell distribution and tissue structure.
For instance, Vitamin B-7 is a critical vitamin that aid in the healthy structure of Keratin which is the component found in your hair and nails.
You can find the essential nutritional products that boost the health of your hair and nails by including a daily allowance for the following vitamin-rich essentials from the food pyramid in your diet:
- Nuts and Seeds
- Fatty fish
- Green vegetables such as spinach
- Sweet potatoes
- Folic acid
- Poultry products
- Dairy products
Alternatively, you can get additional vitamin benefits from the available supplements on the Irish market that will yield similar results for your skin and hair health. Such products include:
- Hush & Hush Skin Capsule Brighten+ 60's
- Hush & Hush Time Capsule 60's
- BetterYou Hair Skin & Nails Oral Spray
- Solgar Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Complex Tablets 30's
- Solgar Skin Nails and Hair Formula Tablets 60s
- Advanced Nutrition Skin Vitality
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Omega+
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Accumax 60-pack
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Antioxidant
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Clear Biome
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Collagen Support 60
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Complete
- Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Moisture Lock (60 Capsules)
- Advanced Nutrition Skin VitA+ 60 Capsules
- Advanced Nutrition Skin Youth Biome 60's
- Vitabiotics Perfectil Plus Nails 60's
- Vitabiotics Perfectil Plus Max
Tips in Choosing Vitamins and Minerals Supplements for Healthy Hair and Skin
The skin is the largest organ in your body. It's therefore critical that you consistently evaluate your dietary intake to ensure you boost its appearance and overall health. Quality skincare is a fundamental pillar of healthy physical and mental wellbeing.
Getting the right combination of mineral requirements, especially for adults, is critical for their health. Women during pregnancy also experience weak nails and hair loss, which raises the need for a thorough evaluation of the minerals and vitamins you choose.
Folic acid, vitamin B12, beef liver, whole grains or fortified are some of the essential requirements that you should look for as components of your supplements. In addition, evaluate the following for maximum benefits.
- Biotin Ingredients
Check out the ingredients as you shop for products to boost your nails and hair health. For example, Biotin, which is mainly found in lentils, nuts and seeds, comes in handy in boosting the health of your nails and hair.
Some supplements will have it as one of the ingredients, while others have proteins that will aid in the strengthening of your hair.
- Omega 3 and Fatty acids
These also come in handy in promoting healthy skin and hair. In addition, the products work well in boosting your overall health.
Going for these products will account for a large extent for how well you respond to Immunodeficiency related ailments.
A Zinc nutrient in your diet will go a long way in strengthening your hair and nails. Hair loss in some people has been attributed to zinc deficiency. While evaluating your sources for your Vitamin, go for the zinc infused.
For maximum gain, go for products that contain retinoids. Most of them will have it in Vitamin A form. Especially if you are looking to have glowing skin, the nutrient comes in handy.
The products, which mostly come in sprays, serums and creams, will exfoliate your dry skin and open it up, allowing it to hydrate and glow.
The retinoids which boost collagen expression aid in eliminating the wrinkles by holding them in place and increasing the skins' thickness.
The Meaghers Verdict on Vitamins
Your body is always in constant need of vital vitamins and minerals for good health and optimal performance. For healthy bones, body and mind, you must ensure that you include these essential nutrients in your dietary intake. You can get these nutrients in the form of key food sources such as meats, poultry products, cereals, fruits, potatoes, nuts, vegetables and fortified grains.
Alternatively, you can take the nutrients in the form of supplements as highlighted above to ensure your body functions properly.
These products will go a long way in eliminating anxiety and stress, preventing early aging and wrinkles, strengthening your bones, boosting your eyesight, and improving overall cardiovascular health.
However, when sourcing for the products, verify the manufacturers, go to their websites and read articles online to get the latest news on their quality. The reviews you get should give you direction on the authenticity of the manufacturers.
Avoid going for low-quality products whose long-term use can compromise your health or that of your loved one.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Vitamin Requirements
We’re hopeful this guide has equipped you with the right level of detail to understand the benefits and use cases for the various vitamins readily available to you in pharmacies and on supermarket shelves nationwide.
Always seek professional medical advice before embarking on a programme of vitamins for the first time, the right advice can set you on the right path and we're on hand to assist you and are here to talk you through the various vitamin options available to Irish consumers for enhancing your (and your family's) overall quality of life.