While most people understand that they need a balanced diet with healthy nutrients and vitamins, understanding exactly what each vitamin does and why we need them is sometimes harder to find out. Thankfully, I am going to go through a list of a few common vitamins, as well as what they are needed for. If you notice that you are having a specific health issue, you might be able to narrow it down to a vitamin deficiency.
Vitamin A is essential to vision and development. However, this is one of the few vitamins which can be harmful if too much is taken as a supplement. Many foods contain a nutrient known as beta carotene which can be easily converted to vitamin A when needed, but is not dangerous in high amounts. Therefore, if you want to ensure your body has enough of this vitamin, eat foods high in beta carotene.
There are a number of vitamins with the letter B, which are differentiated via a number. Of particular note are vitamin b5, deficiency of which can cause neurological issues (symptoms include burning feet), and vitamin b6, which is frequently found to be lacking in many diets. This is bad news, as it is an essential component of the way your brain regulates production of neurotransmitter, as well as being used in the immune system. Additionally, vitamin b12 (which is used for a number of cognitive functions) is commonly deficient in vegetarians, vegans, and the elderly. If you are at risk for b12 deficiency, a supplement can be a great option, and can help prevent you from experiencing many age related cognitive issues such as memory loss and dementia.
Vitamin D is an essential molecule used by your body for a number of physiological functions. Its production is partially regulated by sunlight, so one of the best ways to boost vitamin D levels is to expose your skin to sunlight. If you live in a northern area, or are often indoors during daylight hours, you might want to look into finding a way to increase your vitamin D levels.
Perhaps the best known vitamin is C, and is commonly shared as an attempt to shore up the immune system and prevent colds. Thankfully, there are a number of foods available which offer vitamin C doses which far exceed the necessary amount, so keeping normal vitamin C levels is relatively easy.