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What are the Best Vitamins and Supplements in 2021

What are the Best Vitamins and Supplements in 2021

What are the Best Vitamins and Supplements in 2021

With all of the news stories of the past year and a half, it’s no surprise more and more of us are focusing on our health.

For many people, that means exercising more, quitting smoking and practicing better mental health habits. But for even more of us, we’re looking to our diets to support our bodies’ health.

And that’s a sensible thing to do. Because without the right vitamins and minerals, you’ll never be as healthy as you’d like to be. But while we can get most vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet, many of us don’t have the time (or the money) to plan meticulously balanced meals to hit the RDI of dozens of trace minerals.

Instead, we look at supplements to give our health and wellbeing a little boost. But with so much choice on offer, how do you find the right supplement to reach your health goals?

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. 

What do Various Vitamins and Minerals Do?

Below, we’ll help you to choose the best possible vitamin and mineral supplements to meet your health goals, but before we do it’s worth a quick lesson on what your body needs various vitamins and minerals for:

Vitamin A

  • Improves night vision
  • Promotes eye health
  • Supports the immune system
  • Supports bone health

B Vitamins

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

  • Supports digestion
  • Supports the nervous system

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Promotes eye health
  • Promotes skin health
  • Supports digestion

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

  • Supports digestion
  • Supports the nervous system

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Supports digestion
  • Promotes better blood health

Folate (Folic Acid)

  • Promotes better blood health
  • Promotes better health for unborn babies

Vitamin C

  • Promotes better cell health
  • Improves skin, bone and cartilage maintenance
  • Promotes better healing

Vitamin D

  • Promotes bone health
  • Promotes tooth health
  • Promotes muscle health

Vitamin E 

  • Promotes eye health
  • Promotes skin health
  • Supports the immune system

Vitamin K

  • Promotes better healing

Calcium

  • Promotes bone health
  • Promotes tooth health
  • Promotes heart health
  • Promotes better healing

Iodine

  • Promotes thyroid health
  • Maintains a healthy metabolism

Iron

  • Promotes better blood health

Mineral supplements also contain a range of other minerals which your body needs in trace amounts to maintain your health and energy. These include manganese, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.

Best Vitamins and Minerals for Hair

One of the most visible outward signs that you’re healthy is your hair. There’s no wonder that our bad hair days tend to come when we’re exhausted, feeling under the weather, or are lacking in something important.

Usually, that something important is the right balance of vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking for a vitamin supplement to improve the health of your hair, you’ll need to choose something that contains the following compounds:

Vitamin A

All of your cells need Vitamin A to grow, and your hair has the fastest-growing cells in your body. Choosing a supplement high in Vitamin A will support this growth, and help your scalp to produce the natural moisturising oils that give your hair a healthy, glossy sheen.

B Vitamins

B Vitamins have a wide range of effects on your hair. A lack of one in particular, biotin, is linked to hair loss – which is something you obviously want to avoid! Other B Vitamins support your blood health, which means your scalp receives enough oxygen and nutrients. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, B12 supplements are particularly important as they usually come from animal-based foods.

Vitamin C

Aging poses a real threat to your hair, and free radical damage can accelerate the process of aging. A Vitamin C supplement is packed with a powerful antioxidant which reduces free radical damage, and helps your body to produce the collagen which forms a part of your hair’s structure.

Others

Other vitamins and minerals also have a small effect on hair health. Vitamin D helps your body create new hair follicles, while iron and zinc both aid in the growth and repair of any tissues and cells in your body including your hair. 

Best Vitamins and Supplements for Skin

Much as with your hair, your skin can provide an instant snapshot of your health and wellbeing. So choosing supplements that support your skin health is crucial if you’d like to live a happier, healthier life. Fortunately, there are four key vitamins that will promote radiant, healthy skin:

Vitamin D

There’s a reason that our skin looks better after some sunshine. It’s because the Vitamin D we absorb from sunlight helps your body create new, healthy cells. But if it’s dark and dim outside, or you’re unable to spend much time outdoors, your body can’t make any Vitamin D. That means it’s time to add a supplement to your diet.

Vitamin C

Much like with your hair, the anti-aging and antioxidant properties of Vitamin C are key to healing damaged skin, warding off the effects of aging, and even reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Vitamin C also helps you to generate new collagen – a vital building block of your skin.

Vitamin E

If Vitamin D shows that a little sunshine is good for your skin, Vitamin E supplements are what protect you from too much UV exposure. Sun damage can really harm your skin health, but Vitamin E’s function is to minimise this damage and reduce skin inflammation for healthier, glowing skin.

Vitamin K

The final vitamin supplement to consider for healthier skin is Vitamin K. This nutrient helps your body’s healing processes, which are believed to help a range of skin conditions. Many people think that getting enough Vitamin K can help reduce the visibility of scars, stretch marks and dark spots.

Best Vitamins and Supplements for Women

We’ve all got human bodies, so most of the vitamin and mineral requirements that women and men have are the same. Women can benefit from a daily multivitamin, just as men can.

But we’re all individuals, and there are definitely some vitamins and minerals that women need more of than men. Especially in certain circumstances.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more Vitamin B6 and B12, and women who are trying to conceive often find it helpful to take a regular folic acid supplement. 

This is especially important for strict vegetarians and vegans who may also need additional B12 whether or not a baby is involved.

Some dieticians also believe that women are more likely than men to have a calcium deficiency, so you should also consider either a calcium supplement or a multivitamin that’s packed with this as it’s very important for bone and tooth health.

Best Vitamins and Supplements for Men

Much like we’ve said above, men's vitamin and mineral requirements will be broadly similar to those of women – meaning a daily men's multivitamin can be very beneficial and ensure that you get enough of the vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.

If you’re working a more active job, then supplements high in iron and Vitamins D and C will help you feel stronger and less prone to muscle injuries. 

And if you’re trying to conceive, a supplement high in Zinc could also prove helpful as it is believed to help with testosterone regulation (as well as protecting you against hair loss).

Best Vitamins and Supplements for Energy

Feeling tired and lethargic can be a sign of a vitamin deficiency. If your body isn’t getting what it needs, then of course you’re not going to be feeling like you’re full of verve and ready to leap out of bed!

While a daily multivitamin can help you ensure that you’re getting enough of a broad range of vitamins and minerals, there are some things in particular that your body needs a little more of if you want to be as energetic as possible.

Vitamin B12

Like all B Vitamins, B12 plays a role in your body’s chemistry that helps your digestive system turn the food you eat into energy you use. Because this vitamin is mostly found in animal proteins, many vegans and vegetarians that are lacking in energy find that a B12 supplement helps them feel much more lively.

Iron

Your body needs oxygen to power it. Without enough oxygen in your blood, you’ll feel lethargic and tired. And in extreme cases, you can become anemic, fatigued and weak. An iron supplement helps your body create red blood cells which carry more oxygen, helping you feel much stronger and full of vigour.

Best Vitamins and Supplements for your Immune System

Your immune system is your body’s first and last line of defence against all manner of illnesses. Strengthen your immune system, and you’ll fight off viruses and illnesses much more effectively, feeling happier and healthier as you do. 

In fact, if you want to know the effect that vitamins have on how your body fights off various viruses (including that one), we’ve created a whole deep dive post for you to read:

Read Vitamin Supplements and Viruses

Many vitamins and minerals are proven to support good immune system function, so if that’s your main priority, you need to look at supplements rich in the following compounds.

  • Vitamin D: Helps the production of immune cells and regulates antimicrobial protein
  • Vitamin C: Helps you absorb other nutrients, making you more resistant to some diseases
  • Vitamin A: Supports strong cell functions in your immune system and beyond, and also fights inflammation
  • B Vitamins: Promote strong antibody production and regulate immune responses
  • Zinc: Supports strong immune cells to reduce the risk of infections

What’s the Best Supplement for You?

You know your body better than anyone, so only you are positioned to make that decision. Unless of course you have a medically diagnosed deficiency, in which case your doctor will tell you which vitamins you need more of. 

So we can’t give you advice on one magic bullet supplement that’ll be perfect for your health goals.

Instead, we’d advise that you read up on vitamins (you’ve made a good start by reading this far), start with a daily multivitamin, and try a specific supplement for a month or two. You’ll know yourself whether or not it’s helping to provide the boost you’re looking for.

Here's to your good health!

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