Most of us probably know that vitamins play an important role in keeping the body healthy, but do we really know what they do and do we really need them?
Vitamins are organic compounds that our bodies need to work properly and because we can’t make most of them, we have to get them from our diets. There are 13 vitamins altogether and they are classed as micronutrients because we only need them in small quantities.
We need vitamins to help build up our immune system and protect us from diseases, and without them our bodies wouldn’t be able to perform vital tasks such as converting food into energy, building and maintaining bones, teeth, muscle, skin, blood and hair, and keeping our brain, eyes, nervous and immune systems in good working order.
Our body doesn’t naturally produce all the vitamins we need, except for vitamins D and K, and to ensure you get your daily dose of these nutrients you need to eat certain foods, but supplements can help plug any nutritional gaps or restore low levels after illness or periods of poor eating.
If we don’t get enough vitamins we can develop deficiencies. For example, vegans and some vegetarians are at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency because it’s mainly found in animal foods. A B12 deficiency can lead to fatigue, depression and serious nervous system problems. People with conditions that may affect nutrient absorption, such as coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease, may be at risk of several deficiencies, as can those taking certain medications and the elderly. Older people may not be able to absorb nutrients properly due to declining levels of stomach acid. Smokers may have low levels of vitamin C, heavy drinkers of B vitamins and overweight and obese people have been found to have low levels of vitamins C, D, B12 and folate.
Low levels of key vitamins can lead to vague symptoms such as fatigue, aches and pains, low immunity, low mood, and skin, hair and nail problems.
The most important
All vitamins are essential, but we need to consume the water-soluble vitamins every day because we pass out any excess. Luckily, they are found in plenty of different foods. Besides oranges, vitamin C can be found in broccoli, strawberries, red and green peppers, Brussels sprouts and even potatoes! Supplement with 1 to 4 tablets daily of Holland & Barrett Gentle Non-Acidic Vitamin C tablets.
You can get your Bs from wholegrain foods, fortified cereals, rice, oats, liver, meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, soya beans and pulses. If you’ve been feeling more tired and fatigued than usual and have an otherwise healthy lifestyle and sleeping pattern, you may need a little more vitamin B in your life. Try Holland & Barrett Complete B Vitamin B Complex caplets.
Many of us have low stores of vitamin D which is important for bones, muscle and immunity. Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient. People at risk of low vitamin D levels are those who don’t go outside much, people with dark skin or those who cover their skin. Food sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs, fortified cereals, meat and fat spreads. Make taking your vitamin D as easy as possible with Holland & Barrett
Vegetarian Vitamin D Gummies. A tasty orange-flavour gummy provides just enough to nourish your body every day.
Don’t forget that just like adults, children and babies need vitamin D every day
to stay healthy so giving them a drop of
Vitabiotics Wellbaby Vitamin D Drops from Holland & Barrett is an easy way to ensure that your child gets a daily dose safely.
Often recommended for women, Folic Acid is a B vitamin normally found in a variety of food, including lentils, liver, broccoli and spinach but it is a vitamin that can benefit men too. A folic acid deficiency in men, as in women, can trigger a range of anaemia-type symptoms, including: extreme tiredness, lethargy, headaches and on top of its cell producing power, folic acid also contributes to the formation and repair of DNA. Take one tablet a day with meals of Holland & Barrett Folic Acid.
One of the best and easiest ways to look after your health is by taking a multivitamin. But what is the best multivitamin for women? Nature’s Way Alive! Women’s Energy Multi-Vitamin Tablets are specially balanced for women and are high in Vitamins B6, B12 & Vitamin C with Copper for normal Immunity and energy release
Holland & Barrett Vegan High Strength Multivitamins are specially formulated using a blend of essential minerals and vitamins that provide the body with a daily dose of nutrients. Its unique formula can be of benefit to vegetarians and vegans as it is enriched with vitamin D.
Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking any medications or are under medical supervision, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional and always read the label before use.
‘Just Ask Us’
Holland & Barrett is one of the world’s leading health and wellness retailers, and the largest in Europe, so it makes sense that if you want expert advice on any of their extensive product range you ask one of their store colleagues.
Pop into Holland & Barrett Gibraltar and ‘Ask Us’ about anything you want to know and give them the opportunity to ‘show off’ their skills, their high level of customer service as well as their product knowledge which has been attained through extensive training.
Don’t forget that in the Holland & Barrett Gibraltar store there are lots of specialist products with an emphasis on ‘Free from’ e.g. gluten, lactose supplements and foods and they also offer vegan alternatives for most of their supplements.
One topic that customers often ask about are vitamins; what they are, how much they need and whether they need to take supplements. Read our handy guide below, but don’t forget to ‘Just Ask Us’ in store to clarify any questions you may have.