Vitamins are a hot topic in the nutrition world currently. There is a direct correlation between energy and vitamins, and many people swear by a specific number of these compounds for increased energy.
Vitamins are actually just organic molecules (often fat-soluble) necessary for sustaining metabolic function in living creatures including humans. By eating a diet rich in these molecules, we can improve our brain, organ, and metabolic health. These improvements add up to an increase in energy and overall well being. Here are some specific vitamins we believe are important to focus on for improving energy.
Energy and vitamins: try B-vitamins
B-vitamins come to mind for many who think about energy and vitamins.
A review published in 2016 examines the mechanisms of B-vitamins and concludes that “their collective effects are particularly prevalent to numerous aspects of brain function, including energy production, DNA/RNA synthesis/repair, genomic and non-genomic methylation, and the synthesis of numerous neurochemicals and signaling molecules.” In layman’s terms, this means the production of energy and potential feelings of limitlessness.
B-vitamins contain mechanisms of action that are particularly important for brain health. Taking B-vitamins in quantities larger than governmental recommendations is a good approach for improving brain health as well as prolonging it.
Here are some specific B-vitamins to consume more of as well as how to source them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is commonly associated with an increased need during pregnancy. When looking at why it is needed in larger amounts during pregnancy, it can tell us something about why folic acid makes the list when talking about energy and vitamins. When ingested, vitamin B₉ is converted to folate in the body where it works to preserve and generate new cells. Folate is also responsible for preventing DNA mutations that can lead to diseases such as cancer. A renowned use of folic acid supplements is the prevention of anemia. As previously mentioned, folate is responsible for the generation of new cells. This includes red blood cells. If you’ve ever experienced anemia, then you know how draining it is. Physical activity feels impossible, light-headedness is common, and extra rest is a must. To avoid anemia, be sure to consume enough folic acid on a daily basis.
Vitamin B₁₂ Vitamin B₁₂ is a popular health topic particularly due to the rise of vegetarianism and veganism. Many people in the health community believe it is difficult to get enough of this B-vitamin as a vegan or vegetarian. Meanwhile, plant-based eaters point to research indicating that a healthy gut can create its own, absorbable B₁₂. This is an ongoing argument because B₁₂ is one of the most important nutrients for those trying to increase their intake of vitamins for energy. A deficiency of Vitamin B₁₂ can also cause anemia, a specific type called megaloblastic anemia. It makes people especially prone to weakness and tiredness. B₁₂ is necessary for the production of DNA and the health of our nerves and blood. Without it, our energy simply will not feel right. If you’re worried about your intake of B₁₂ and want to increase it while being kind to your body and environment, try seafood. Certain fish such as mackerel and sardines are easy to buy sustainably caught and offer a plethora of Vitamin B₁₂ and other nutrients as well.
If you’re thinking about energy and vitamins, make sure your B-complex pill contains this powerful B-vitamin: vitamin B₆. This one is particularly important for metabolic function, as well as the production of red blood cells and neurotransmitters. One study even notes that “neuropsychiatric disorders including seizures, migraine, chronic pain, and depression have been linked to vitamin B₆ deficiency.” Vitamin B₆ and the other B-vitamins listed above can be found in fish, vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts), whole grains, grass-fed beef, and in eggs.
Energy and vitamins: incorporate vitamin D
“Vitamin D” actually represents a group of compounds (the most important for humans being D₃ and D₂) essential for the absorption of other nutrients such as calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. Through this and other mood-enhancing benefits, Vitamin D makes the list of essential vitamins for energy.
A very specific study published this year honed in on diabetic women with anxiety, low vitamin D levels, and high inflammatory biomarkers. The research found that supplementation of vitamin D can increase anti-inflammatory biomarkers while improving mood.
There’s been plenty of other research linking vitamin D, particularly from the sun, to increased mood, energy, and decreased rates of depression. Further, it has been found that Vitamin D is actually a cheap, effective treatment for some cases of depression.
You can get much of your vitamin D from the sun. If you’re not relying on the sun, however, focus on adding egg yolk, raw dairy, and seafood to your diet.
Vitamin E is also important
Vitamin E is less commonly talked about but should nonetheless be added to your list of necessary vitamins for energy.
Vitamin E is best known for its antioxidant capacity and thus its importance in preventing oxidative stress and cancer as well as other diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. It is also an important nutrient for immune health. It raises energy levels by helping to fight off invaders that pose a threat to optimal wellness.
Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, and other vegetables such as broccoli.
Energy and vitamins: should you supplement?
There’s nothing wrong with depending on supplements for some of the above energy-enhancing nutrients. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, for example, you may feel better obtaining a high-quality vitamin B₁₂ supplement. Some nutritionists may even suggest that vegans and vegetarians take a full B-complex vitamin since many Vitamin-B containing foods are animal-based foods.
If you live in a rather sunless place, it is ok to rely on a vitamin-D supplement to keep your mood and energy levels high.
Whenever supplementing, it’s worth spending a little more money to obtain sustainably sourced nutrients that are free of additives, fillers, and toxic processing agents such as magnesium stearate. Seek supplements that offer high bioavailability and have good reviews.
Whether you decide to get them from food, supplements, or both, including a high intake of energy-boosting vitamins will assist you in becoming better in all aspects of life. Energy and vitamins are in direct correlation!
Overall, having energy makes responsibilities feel effortless while bringing clarity to the mind and lightness to the body. Enjoy adding more vitamins to your wellness routine!
Interested in learning more about what your body needs for optimal health? Stay informed with the TelMD Upstream Blog!
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