At Get More Vits we're all about health and wellbeing. We believe physical and mental health go hand in hand, so this month we're talking all about how vitamins can help with wellness. First, let's break it down. What is wellness exactly?
The World Health Organisation describe wellness as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. So rather than being free of illness, it is a more reflective of a state of optimum physical and mental health.
Wellness might be interpreted as an evolving process of becoming aware of and actively making choices towards a fulfilling life. However, what that means for you is completely individual and based on your own priorities whether that’s health, wealth, happiness, or something else.
As a key ingredient of a healthy balanced diet, vitamins and minerals play an important role in our overall wellbeing. However, due to our modern lifestyles and ‘Western diet’, achieving adequate amounts can be tricky. Few of us manage to eat 5-7 portions of fruit and veg a day and some research suggests that even if we do, we may not be getting the recommended levels. This might be down to food choices, the way food is grown, the distance is has travelled before we eat it, processing and preparation methods, the ability of our bodies to absorb and utilise nutrients and a variety of health and lifestyle factors, including sleep, stress and activity levels.
Eating a wide range of diverse foods can provide us with the nutrients we need to promote our wellbeing but in terms of achieving optimum health there are a few key vitamins and minerals that should always be part of a well-balanced diet.
Here’s our list of essential all-rounders:
– this sunshine vitamin not only helps us to absorb calcium but is a key ingredient for a healthy functioning immune system and supporting mental wellbeing by helping to ward off depression and promote a balanced mood.
: fatty fish, eggs, fortified foods incl. milk, cereal, juice.
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– involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in our body, magnesium is crucial for energy production, supporting the nervous system, bone health, regulating muscle function and aiding sleep, amongst others.
– beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, leafy green veg, dark chocolate.
– is not just important for healthy bones and teeth, it is also involved in regulating blood pressure and muscle contractions.
: dairy products, broccoli, kale, nuts, beans, lentils, fortified cereals.
– another key component for a healthy immune system as well as the metabolism, stress and wound healing.
: meat, seafood (especially oysters), pumpkin & sesame seeds, brown rice.
– plays a role in red blood cells production, brain function and energy levels.
: red meat, shellfish, beans, lentils, quinoa, spinach, fortified cereals.
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Folate (vitamin B9)
- a well-known nutrient in relation to pregnancy, it is important for preventing birth defects such as spina bifida. However, it is significant for all of us supporting both red and white blood cells, RNA, DNA and energy production.
leafy green veg, broccoli, peas, chickpeas, fortified cereals.
Vitamin B complex, incl. B12
– B vitamins are key supporters of the nervous system and help us to release energy from food. As B vitamins are water-soluble they are readily excreted by the body so need to be topped up regularly. B12 can be especially tricky for vegetarians and vegans as it is predominantly found in animal products.
meat, fish, eggs, dairy, some fortified cereals.
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