Vitamins are vital nutrients for our overall health that perform hundreds of roles in our bodies. They are responsible for the immune system function and health of all our organs. Vitamins also help your body properly convert food into energy. Therefore, it’s important to maintain normal vitamin levels and avoid deficiencies. Some people get vitamins with foods while others take supplements. However, the impact of advertising and myths makes it difficult to understand what our body needs. We’ve collected six myths that may help you figure out how to provide your body with the necessary nutrients.
Myth №1: Natural vitamins are better than synthetic ones
This myth can be harmful. Firstly, people who believe this misconception try to get vitamins from food which often leads to an unbalanced intake of nutrients. Secondly, there is no strong evidence that proves that synthetic and natural vitamins affect the body in different ways.
Myth №2: Vitamins don’t expire
Actually, vitamins expire but not in the way certain foods do. Their properties will degrade over time which means they won’t be so effective for your body. However, expired vitamins won’t harm you, unlike expired foods.
Myth №3: You need to take multivitamins
We all have different diets, therefore our levels of vitamins are different. Some people may need more vitamin A, while others may have a vitamin E deficiency. Choosing supplements depends on individual needs and state of health. Therefore, to avoid health consequences caused by hypervitaminosis, you should consult a specialist. Your health care provider may prescribe a complex of vitamins depending on your diet and blood tests.
Myth № 4: Fruits are the best source of vitamins
Although fruits are rich in vitamins, there are certain products that contain more vitamins than fruits. Here is a list of groups of vitamins and their best sources:
- A vitamins: sweet pepper, carrots, cheese, and butter
- B vitamins: cereals, whole grain bread, pork, liver, brewer’s yeast, whole milk, cottage cheese, peanuts, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, poultry, fish, green soybeans, peas, liver, kidneys, and yeast
- C vitamins: pepper, cabbage, green peas, green onions, and rose hips
- D vitamins: fish, cod liver, eggs, and butter
- E vitamins: vegetable oils, beans, bread, nuts, and cereals
- K vitamins: leafy greens, spinach, and zucchini
Myth № 5: Vitamin excess is better than a deficiency
Vitamins and minerals seem to be harmless but, in fact, they can be dangerous in excess. Hypervitaminosis leads to various health consequences, including toxic damage to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system which may result in death. An overdose of vitamin D can cause kidney stones and contribute to bone destruction. An overdose of vitamin E provokes gastrointestinal disorders, increases the risk of cardiovascular disorders, and can negatively affect the immune system. Hypervitaminosis A manifests itself in drowsiness, nausea, headaches, impaired liver function, and cardiovascular diseases. People with hypervitaminosis A often require additional high blood pressure treatment. An overdose of vitamin C can cause kidney and pancreas problems.
Myth № 6: Cooking destroys all vitamins
Very high temperatures can destroy some vitamins but this depends on the type of a product and vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K vitamins) are resistant to any temperature while water-soluble vitamins may lose most of their beneficial properties during boiling or frying.