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9 Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs
9 Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs

9 Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs

We all strive for balance in our daily lives – eating right, sleeping better, exercising more. Yet sometimes, even doing our best, we need a boost in order to increase our body’s wellness. Vitamins allow our bodies to grow, and they play an important role in functions such as digestion, metabolism and immunity. But which essential vitamins are needed for optimal health? 

Necessary Vitamins Your Body Actually Needs

Your body gives you a lot of information that you may not be able to see, including what’s going on inside.  The key is to pay close attention to these symptoms so you can nurture your body with the proper nutrients it needs to feel its best. However, with so much information available at our fingertips, it can be hard to identify the most important vitamins and minerals required for good health.

Here are the different types of necessary vitamins your body needs:

  • Vitamin A
    • Why We Need It: Vitamin A is essential in improving immune function, reproduction, skin health, healthy vision, growth and development.
    • Signs of Deficiency: Although not extremely common in the United States, a deficiency of Vitamin A in the diet is associated with dry eyes, night blindness, bone deformities, and increased infections of the respiratory and digestive symptoms.
    • Good Sources: Apricot, Broccoli, Butter, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cod Liver Oil, Collard Greens, Egg, Kale, Liver, Mango, Milk, Pumpkin, Spinach, Sweet Potato
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men: 900 MCG
      • Adult Women: 700 MCG
      • Pregnant Teens: 750 MCG
      • Pregnant Women: 770 MCG
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 1,200 MCG
      • Breastfeeding Women: 1,300 MCG
  • B Vitamins
    • Why We Need It: B Vitamins are water-soluble, which means your body does not store them. For this reason, your diet must supply them each day. While there are a few variations of B vitamins, the two most important are B6 and B12. B6 is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, mood and nerve function, and the creation of neurotransmitters. B12 is vital for neurological function, DNA production and red blood cell development. 
    • Signs of Deficiency: B6 deficiency signs include mood changes, skin rashes, weakened immune function and tiredness. B12 deficiency signs include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, constipation, nerve problems and loss of vision.
    • Good Sources: Foods highest in B6 include chickpeas, salmon and potatoes. Foods highest in B12 include most animal sources, such as meats, eggs, seafood and dairy.
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Vitamin B6:
        • Adult Men: 19-50 years 1.3 MG, 51+ years 1.7 MG
        • Adult Women: 12-50 years 1.3 MG, 51+ years 1.5 MG
        • Pregnant Teens: 1.9 MG
        • Pregnant Women: 1.9 MG
        • Breastfeeding Teens: 2.0 MG
        • Breastfeeding Women: 2.0 MG
      • Vitamin B12:
        • Adult Men: 2.4 MCG
        • Adult Women: 2.4 MCG
        • Pregnant Women: 2.6 MCG
        • Breastfeeding Women: 2.8 MCG 
  • Vitamin C
    • Why We Need It: Vitamin C is an antioxidant needed to help form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. It is vital to your body’s healing process and may even help protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb and store iron. 
    • Signs of Deficiency: Symptoms of severe Vitamin C deficiency can take months to develop, however subtle signs to watch out for include rough and bumpy skin, red hair follicles, easy bruising, swollen joints, weak bones and poor immunity.   
    • Good Sources: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Parsley, Strawberry, Tomato
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men: 90 MG
      • Adult Women: 75 MG
      • Pregnant Teens: 80 MG
      • Pregnant Women: 85 MG
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 115 MG
      • Breastfeeding Women: 120 MG
  • Vitamin D
    • Why We Need It: In the body, Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth. It is also beneficial in supporting the health of the immune system, lung function, cardiovascular health, and it aids in diabetes management.
    • Signs of Deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency is very common. In fact, it has been estimated that 1 billion individuals worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood. Common symptoms to look out for include thinning or brittle bones, muscle weakness, changes in mood, chronic pain,  high or rising blood pressure, decreased endurance and exhaustion.
    • Good Sources: Beef Liver, Egg, Oily Fish, Orange Juice, Salmon, Sun Exposure, White Mushroom
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men: 600 IU, 70+ 800 IU
      • Adult Women: 600 IU, 70+ 800 IU
      • Pregnant Teens: 600 IU
      • Pregnant Women: 600 IU
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 600 IU
      • Breastfeeding Women: 600 IU
  • Vitamin E
    • Why We Need It: When in the body, Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals. Vitamin E is vital for its ability to support cardiovascular wellness and cellular membrane function, as well as balancing cholesterol, repairing damaged skin and many other aspects of whole health. 
    • Signs of Deficiency: Deficiency is uncommon and typically the result of an underlying condition. However, low levels can lead to muscle weakness, coordination and walking difficulties, numbness and tingling, vision deterioration and immune system problems.
    • Good Sources: Almonds, Atlantic Salmon, Avocado, Brazil Nuts, Butternut Squash, Mango, Peanuts, Red Sweet Pepper, Sunflower Seeds
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men: 15 MG
      • Adult Women: 15 MG
      • Pregnant Teens/Women: 15 MG
      • Breastfeeding Teens/Women: 19 MG
  • Vitamin K
    • Why We Need It: In order to produce prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism, your body needs Vitamin K. Other important benefits of this vitamin include bone health, cholesterol health and heart health.
    • Signs of Deficiency: While deficiency is rare due to adequate levels in common foods we eat, some symptoms include excessive bleeding from wounds and easy bruising.
    • Good Sources: Avocado, Beef Liver, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Chicken, Collard Greens, Green Beans, Kale, Pork Chops, Prunes, Spinach, Swiss Chard
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men: 120 MCG
      • Adult Women: 90 MCG
      • Pregnant Teens: 75 MCG
      • Pregnant Women: 90 MCG
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 75 MCG
      • Breastfeeding Women: 90 MCG
  • Calcium
    • Why We Need It: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is vital for good health. We need to consume a certain amount of calcium in order to build and maintain strong bones, healthy teeth and a solid communication between the brain and other parts of the body. 
    • Signs of Deficiency: In the early stages of calcium deficiency, you may not notice any symptoms. However, as time progresses, common symptoms include confusion or memory loss, muscle spasms, depression, hallucination, muscle cramps, and easy fracturing of the bones.
    • Good Sources: Almonds, Beans, Cheese, Chia Seeds, Lentils, Milk, Sesame Seeds, Yogurt
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men: 19-50 years 1,000 MG, 71+ years 1,200 MG
      • Adult Women: 19-50 years 1,000 MG, 51+ years 1,200 MG
      • Pregnant Teens: 1,300 MG
      • Pregnant Women: 1,000 MG
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 1,300 MG
      • Breastfeeding Women: 1,000 MG
  • Iron
    • Why We Need It: Iron is an important vitamin and mineral that is vital to the proper function of transporting oxygen in the blood. It helps preserve many functions in the body, including gastrointestinal processes, the immune system, general energy and focus, and the regulation of body temperature. 
    • Deficiency: Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, heart palpitations, pale skin, breathlessness, weakness, headache and dizziness.
    • Good Sources: Beans, Brown Rice, Kale, Lentils, Peanut Butter, Shellfish, Spinach, Tofu, Turkey
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men:  8 MG
      • Adult Women: 19-50 years 18 MG, 51+ years 8MG
      • Pregnant Teens: 27 MG
      • Pregnant Women: 27 MG
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 10 MG
      • Breastfeeding Women: 9 MG
  • Zinc
    • Why We Need It: Zinc plays many important roles in your body, including the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, nerve function, digestion and many others. In addition, it’s critical for the development of immune cells, skin health, protein production, body growth and development.
    • Deficiency: Zinc deficiency is characterized by loss of appetite and impaired immune function. In more severe cases, low levels of zinc cause diarrhea, hair loss, and eye and skin lesions.
    • Good Sources: Cashews, Chickpeas, Cocoa Powder, Grass-fed Beef, Hemp Seeds, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pumpkin Seeds, Spinach, Yogurt
    • *Recommended Intake:
      • Adult Men:  11 MG
      • Adult Women: 8 MG
      • Pregnant Teens: 12 MG
      • Pregnant Women: 11 MG
      • Breastfeeding Teens: 13 MG
      • Breastfeeding Women: 12 MG

Ways to Get The Most Important Vitamins

While it’s always best to get your daily dose of the most important vitamins through natural sources, sometimes, for various reasons, that is just not attainable. Regardless of how healthy you eat or what kind of diet you follow, it can be difficult for your body to get all the nutrients it needs from food. For this reason, supplements are a great alternative.

The important thing to remember when choosing a vitamin brand, is that not all vitamins are created equal. The label is what’s most important to examine and compare information, as well as ingredients. Some vitamins may contain more fillers than the actual ingredient. Always ensure that the vitamin you’re interested in purchasing meets the standards set by testing organizations.

While we can’t speak on behalf of every essential vitamin listed above, what we can vouch for is the importance of Vitamin B6 and B12 – two very importance vitamins found in our Neuro Gum and Neuro Mints. Through our partnership with a large, independent nutraceutical manufacturer, we sustainably source the highest quality ingredients that are scientifically proven to enhance focus and cognition, all while giving you a fresh breath of energy.

Interested to know more? Learn exactly how our caffeine gum and mints give that steady boost of energy.

 

*The following vitamin recommended intake figures were provided by National Institutes of Health.

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