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Where are vitamins hiding?

With the advent of spring, we want to move more, walk more often and, of course, get sick less. However, experts note that after the autumn-winter period, the human body is weakened and needs support.  How to help the body to recover from the cold, is it worth drinking vitamins or fasting, does spring affect the quality of sleep and how to switch to a new wardrobe correctly - read the answers in our new article!

Vitamins are biologically active substances which are necessary for the normal functioning of the body. They contribute to the proper metabolism, increase efficiency, endurance, and resistance to all infections. Many vitamins are not synthesized in the body and come only with food. A needed daily norm for people does not exceed a few thousandths, hundredths of a gram. Vitamins are very unstable and are destroyed during cooking.

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The lack of vitamins in food could lead to severe disorders in the body, which are now rare. Often there is a decrease in the provision of the body with certain vitamins (hypovitaminosis). Hypovitaminosis is seasonal in nature, is observed most often in the winter-spring time, and characterized by increased fatigue, decreased ability to work, susceptibility to various colds. An increased need for vitamins occurs with increased physical activity, hypothermia, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, colitis), during pregnancy, etc.

Sources of vitamins

- Vitamin A is essential for new cell growth, vision, bones, skin, hair, and the immune system health. Slows down the aging process. The main sources of vitamin A are fish oil and liver, butter, egg yolks, cream and whole milk, sea buckthorn and rose hips, carrots.

- Vitamins B offer their main function - participation in tissue respiration and energy production, play an important role in maintaining emotional health. In large quantities, B vitamins are found in the liver, pork, kidneys, and heart muscle. In plant products, a large amount of B vitamins is found in cereals and rye bread. All of these vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine, and caffeine, which is why many people are deficient in them.

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- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can be easily found in kiwi fruits, cranberries, rose hips, red peppers, citrus fruits, black currants, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and cabbage.  People should get ascorbic acid from food, because in humans, unlike animals, the gene responsible for the formation of one of the enzymes for the synthesis of ascorbic acid is non-functional.

- Vitamin D is synthesized in the body under the influence of ultraviolet rays or comes with food. Cod liver, herring, mackerel, salmon, as well as milk and eggs are rich in vitamin D.  However, it is impossible to get the right amount of this vitamin only with the help of products, because they contain insufficient quantities.  

The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Do not deny yourself daily walks during the daytime. Even if it is cloudy outside, the body is still exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is found in seeds, nuts, oils and spinach. But its richest source is sprouted grains of wheat.

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- Vitamin K is essential for protein synthesis. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce, cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, wheat bran, and some fruits such as avocados, kiwis and bananas. A significant amount of vitamin K is found in olive oil.

Today, no one doubts the usefulness of vitamins, especially in the spring, when these substances useful to the body are sorely lacking. To denote a deficiency of vitamins, the terms "hypovitaminosis" and "avitaminosis" are traditionally used (the latter means an extreme shortage in the body of one or a number of vitamins, which is extremely rare). Although specific types of vitamin deficiencies are characterized by specific features, in general, spring vitamin deficiency is manifested by such signs as increased fatigue, loss of appetite, disturbance, various changes in the mucous membranes and skin can be observed, a partial decrease in visual acuity, disturbances in the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, etc.

Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash

Vitamin A has a beneficial effect on the regeneration of skin cells, enhances the body's resistance to infections. Vitamin A deficiency causes brittle nails, hair loss, and dry skin. In addition, vitamin A deficiency leads to visual impairment, especially noticeable to those people who spend all day at the computer. Daily therapeutic dose of vitamin A, which doctors usually prescribe for dryness and other changes in the skin, nails and hair, contained in 2 tablespoons of fish oil. The same amount of vitamin A is found in 100 g of liver or 300 grams of carrots. Therefore, it is worth "piling up" on foods rich in vitamin A.

Vitamin B plays an important role in maintaining emotional health, taking part in tissue respiration and energy production.

Due to a lack of vitamin C, gums can bleed, skin can become unnaturally pale and dry, wounds and bruises can take a long time to heal, hair can grow dull and fall out, and nails can break.

With a lack of vitamin C, it is recommended to consume from 200 to 500 mg of ascorbic acid per day.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Vitamin D is synthesized in the body under the influence of ultraviolet rays or comes with food. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight.

Vitamin E protects capillaries from increased fragility, stops the destruction of muscle cells, especially after increased physical activity, which is why athletes love to use it so much!

Vitamin E is most effective in amounts of 60-100 mg per day.

Proper selection of vitamins can provide tremendous assistance to treatment.  And in general, with any signs of malaise, it is best to consult a therapist, since they can choose exactly what is right for you!

Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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