Why Vitamins are Important in Your Diet

To date, there's no evidence to suggest that taking multivitamins everyday drastically benefits your health. However, vitamins are important. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Vitamins are Important in Your Diet

Last update: 04 June, 2020

Vitamins are substances present in lots of foods that are a fundamental part of human nutrition. They routinely catalyze multiple reactions that happen in the body.

Constantly getting enough of these substances guarantees that these physiological processes happen properly. This way, your body can carry out all of its vital functions normally.

Vitamin intake is closely related to every person’s health. In fact, a deficiency can lead to different diseases. In addition, it could increase your risk of developing health complications in the short or long term.

Vitamins and complex diseases

In recent years, several studies link vitamin deficiencies with an increased risk of developing diseases. For example, a clear one is that of vitamin D.

This nutrient has lots of functions in the body. Among them, it helps metabolize calcium and bone health. However, a study in the Annual Review of Medicine in 2016 found a relationship between insufficient intake of vitamin D and an increased risk of heart disease.

On the other hand, there are vitamins that are directly related to the development of certain organs. For example, taking vitamin B regularly helps regulate the nervous system.

A woman cutting vegetables.

Additionally, a deficiency in these vitamins during pregnancy could cause defects in the newborn’s neural tube. An article in the Chilean Journal of Pediatrics found this.

Where to find them

Almost all foods on the market contain these micronutrients, although not all in the same amounts. In fact, vegetables have lots of vitamins, except for vitamin D.

You can get this substance in two ways: on your skin, by exposure to sunlight, or by eating oily fish, whole dairy products, eggs, and even some types of mushrooms.

Generally, this is the most common nutrient for people to lack, which can lead to health problems in the short and long term. So, lots of health professionals recommend taking a vitamin D supplement regularly.

How to get enough vitamins

To make sure that you get all of the vitamins your body needs, it’s important to follow a balanced diet. Eating different types of foods and not restricting any group makes sure to get a constant and correct supply of most vitamins your body needs.

However, if you follow a balanced diet and still have a deficiency, as with vitamin D, you could consider taking supplements. On the other hand, taking multivitamins by default isn’t recommended, since we don’t know the long-term effects on health.

Sources of vitamin B12.

In fact, the results of studies are contradictory. Until now, there’s no evidence that taking large amounts of vitamins to prevent diseases can improve any physiological function.

Because of this, the best recommendation is to follow a balanced diet. Make sure it’s varied and rich in fresh products that give you all the nutrients your body needs, except in case of certain diseases.

Vitamins are important, essential nutrients

Vitamins have many functions in the body, and you need to get enough of them to stay healthy. Even today, we still don’t know exactly how each vitamin works.

Through a varied and balanced diet, you should consume enough vitamins. However, it’s possible to be deficient, as with vitamin D. In this case, we recommend going to a specialist for supplements, which can positively affect both your short and long term health.

However, as we mentioned, we don’t recommend taking a multivitamin every day, since we don’t know their long term effects, and there’s controversy about using them.

Finally, following a good diet and exercising regularly should be enough to stay healthy, according to current research.

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  • Wang TJ., Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease. Annu Rev Med, 2016. 67 : 261-72.
  • Castaño E., Piñuñuri R., Hirsch S., Ronco AM., Folate and pregnancy, current concepts: it is required folic acid supplementation? Rev Chil Pediatr, 2017. 88 (2): 199-206.