With everything going on right now in the world with the Coroavirus (COVID-19), staying healthy is our number one priority. It is a great time to learn about how vitamins and minerals can help boost your immune system. You are likely thinking to yourself…”where do I start”? Don’t worry, this post will guide you in the right direction just keep reading.

Something important to note before considering taking vitamins is that everyone’s vitamin needs are different. Not every vitamin will be what every person needs in their daily lives. If you are unsure what vitamins are suitable for you to be taking, then please feel free to talk to Dr. Huggins, the most trusted Chiropractor Oakville has to offer. At the Oakville Chiropractic Centre they can help determine which ones would be best suited for you. This is a basic guide that will help explain the benefits of some of the most common vitamins and minerals so you can have a better understanding of what certain vitamins and minerals do for your body.

First is it important to know what the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for each vitamin and mineral is, because just like anything vitamins and minerals that are taken in too high of a quantity can be toxic to the body and lead to certain long term effects. Each vitamin, depending on the type, has a very specific RDA value and we will break them all down when talking about each vitamin individually.

1) Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and is also known as retinol. The RDA of vitamin A is 700mcg for women and 900mcg for men. Vitamin A can be found in many dairy products and yellow or orange coloured fruits and vegetables. Some benefits of vitamin A are as follows:

  • Helps fight infection
  • Maintains healthy vision
  • Plays a key role in heart, lung and kidney health
  • Keeps skin healthy by fighting off toxins
  • Strengthens bone and teeth

2) Vitamin B: There are 8 different types of B vitamins each serving a specific function. B vitamins are very important to supplement as they are not generally found in many foods that we eat on a daily basis. Most foods that contain vitamin B such as cereals, and breads are fortified with this vitamin. B vitamins are mostly found in green leafy vegetables, animal proteins and whole grains. Some benefits of vitamin B include:

  • Maintains normal brain function and memory
  • Needed for normal metabolism
  • Improves cholesterol by lowering LDH (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good
  • Reduces risk of heart disease
  • Reduces risk of stroke
  • Necessary for normal blood cell production and nervous system function

For women it is especially important to be taking a B-complex supplement as it helps boost energy during your cycle, and for pregnant women it prevents neural tube defects.

3) Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin containing antioxidants that promote healthy tissue growth. The RDA for men is 90mg and for women 75mg. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits (such as citrus) and vegetables. Some benefits of vitamin C are as follows:

  • May reduce the risk of getting the common cold (immune boosting)
  • Maintains skin and tissue health
  • Strengthens bone and teeth

4) Vitamin D: This is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is activated by ultra-violet light. Vitamin D can be found in cod liver oil, fatty fish, fortified juices, milk and cereals. For children and adults the RDA is 15mcg. For ages 70 and older is it 20mcg. Some benefits include:

  • Promotes immune function
  • Maintains nervous system function
  • Needed for bone health
  • Regulates blood levels of calcium and phosphorus

5) Vitamin E: This is an important vitamin for organ function. 15 mg should be consumed daily. Sources of vitamin D include vegetable oil, avocados, spinach, speeds, nuts, and whole grains. Some benefits are:

  • Protects cells from damage of toxins
  • Maintains muscle function
  • Reduces risk of cancer
  • Reduces risk of heart disease
  • Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s

6) Vitamin K: Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. The RDA for vitamin K is 120 mcg for men and 90mcg for women. This protein rich vitamin is mainly found in green leafy veggies. Some benefits include:

  • Helps in rapid wound healing
  • Creates strong bones
  • Helps protect against heart disease

7) Calcium: This is a mineral needed for healthy bone growth. The RDA of calcium is 1,000 mg for men and women ages 19-51 and for women 51 and older and men 70 and older it increases to 1,200 mg a day. Most dairy products are a good source of calcium. Tofu, spinach, soy, and rhubarb are also high in calcium. Some benefits of calcium include:

  • Improves muscle function
  • Helps to achieve healthy blood pressure
  • Aids in hormone secretion
  • Helps maintain strong bones and teeth
  • Decrease risk of osteoporosis

8) Iron: Iron helps transport oxygen to the blood. Not enough iron can result in a weak immune system and fatigue. Men and women should consume between 8 and 18mg per day. Iron can be found in red meats, leafy green vegetables and legumes. It is especially important for women to be taking iron due to the loss of blood during their menstrual cycle every month. Some benefits of iron include:

  • Improved immune function
  • Increased energy
  • Improves brain function
  • Improves the ability to concentrate
  • Carries oxygen to the blood

9) Zinc: Zinc is a mineral only needed in small amounts. RDA for men is 11mg and 8mg for women. Red meat and poultry are a good source of zinc. Zinc is a great immune booster and can really help with symptoms from the common cold.

So, there you have it a small break down of the most common vitamins and minerals and their benefits. If you would like any further information or guidance on what supplements you should be taking please book an appointment at our clinic so we can have a one- on one chat with you. Give us a call at 905-845-2291.

Dr. Nishma Appanna D.C.

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