collaborative post | Maintaining a well-balanced diet is crucial for your overall health and wellbeing, and one essential element that will make your diet well-balanced is vitamins.
Our bodies need vitamins to help various parts work better – vitamin A is vital for growth and development, vitamin C will boost your immune system, vitamin D is to keep bones and teeth healthy, and so on. As you can see, you just can’t be healthy if you don’t have the right amount and type of vitamins in your diet, but sometimes getting those essential nutrients can be hard to do.
The good news is there are a number of ways you can get more vitamins in your diet that won’t be hard and that you might even enjoy; you just need to know what they are, and then you can get started. With that in mind, read on to find out how to get more vitamins in your diet so you can be as healthy as possible.
Eat A Colourful Variety Of Fruit And Vegetables
The more colour you have on your plate, the more vitamins will be in the food (as long as those colours are natural, of course). That’s why it’s often recommended to make your plate as bright as possible, and to fill it with a rainbow of different colours rather than just one or two.
Interestingly, you’ll find that red and orange food tends to have a lot of vitamin C in it, and dark green food offers plenty of vitamins A, D, and K, for example.
When you’re putting your meal plan together, think about each meal and make it as colourful as possible. In some cases, that might just be one or two colours, like if you added strawberries and blueberries to porridge for breakfast, but in others, you could have a whole range of colours, and the more you get, the better.
Sometimes it’s just not possible to get enough vitamins in your diet, perhaps due to allergies, time constraints, or any other reason. If that’s the case, don’t just ignore the problem and hope that you can stay healthy anyway; use supplements instead.
Supplements like the products in the Active Iron range can help in a variety of different ways, and whatever you need to top up, you should be able to find it.
For those looking to build muscle, for example, extra vitamins can be useful to help them get the results they want. For pregnant women, extra vitamins and nutrients can be good for the growing baby. Whatever the reason, if you find you’re not getting enough vitamins in your diet, adding supplements can be a great way to help yourself stay healthy.
Eat Unprocessed Foods
Processed foods should be avoided as much as possible as they have many negative health implications associated with them, but on top of that, when it comes to vitamins, it’s vital to steer clear.
The fact is that processed foods lose a lot of their vitamin levels during the manufacturing process, so even if they look as though they might be healthy because of the ingredients, they won’t be as healthy as you might think or hope.
It’s far better to stick to whole, unprocessed foods instead, as they’ll still have their original vitamin content. That means including things like brown rice, quinoa, and wholewheat bread in your diet rather than alternatives. Even with these ingredients, however, you should still try to include the colourful food to make sure your meal is extra healthy.
Eat Seasonal, Locally Sourced Food
When you choose food that’s seasonal and, ideally, locally sourced, this can be a great way to boost your vitamin intake substantially, and it’s an easy thing to do. This is because seasonal produce is often fresher and more nutrient-dense, as when fruit and vegetables are picked at their peak, they tend to have higher levels of vitamins.
Locally sourced foods also spend less time in transit and storage, which is when other foods can lose their vitamin content – the closer the food is to you, and the sooner you eat it after it’s been harvested, the more vitamins it will have to help your health.
In other words, try to buy fresh food when you can, and always read the labels. Of course, sometimes frozen food can be a convenient alternative, and in some cases, this isn’t a bad thing.
Make sure you research the food company to find out more about its methods of picking and packaging food, as it might be that if they freeze the items as soon as they’re picked, they’ll still retain their vitamin content, and they’ll be fine to include in your diet.
Don’t Overcook Your Food
Did you know that when you overcook your vegetables, it can lead to a loss of vitamins? Some vitamins, like B and C, are water-soluble, so when you cook them for too long in water, you’ll be reducing how useful they can be for you, not to mention boiling away all the taste, which might mean you don’t want to keep trying to add more vegetables to your diet in the future.
The best thing to do is not to boil your food (and risk overcooking it), but to opt for other cooking methods instead, like sauteeing, roasting, or steaming, for example. Or, if you do want to boil your vegetables, why not keep the cooking water and use it as the basis or a sauce or soup so you can enjoy as many of the vitamins as possible that would otherwise have been completely lost?
Snack On Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great addition to any healthy, well-balanced diet, as they’re great sources of healthy fats and protein. However, as well as this, they’re full of vitamins – almonds, for example, contain vitamin E, and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, and so on.
Snacking isn’t a bad thing, and it’s better to eat something if you’re hungry (especially if it means your main meals are smaller), but choosing healthy snacks is crucial, and nuts and seeds could be the answer – you’ll top up your vitamin levels and stop feeling so hungry at the same time.