5 min read
Can you imagine how easy things would be if you could pop a vitamin and effortlessly reach your weight loss goal? Goodbye gym membership, hello Netflix!
Unfortunately, these magic pills don't exist. The relationship between vitamins and weight loss is more complex. But, if properly taken, supplements can help your body get more of what it needs, meaning you eat less of what it doesn't.
If you’re not sure which vitamins and supplements make the most sense for you, here’s a quick guide to help get you started.
Vitamin B, which actually has eight different variations, is a critical part of any well-balanced diet. Research has shown that B vitamins can help stimulate the creation of blood cells, support healthy energy levels, support the nervous system, and stimulate healthy nail and hair growth.
B vitamins are most commonly found in foods like broccoli and spinach, citrus fruits, whole grains, meats, and dairy products — so vegetarians and vegans in particular are at a higher risk of deficiency. If you have certain dietary restrictions, like allergies to common fruits and vegetables or a gluten intolerance, you might also be at risk for deficiency.
People who are deficient in B vitamins tend to feel low energy or fatigued, which can make reaching for that afternoon soda easier or getting that workout in a bit harder.
Take, for example, the impact of thiamine, or B1, which is just one of the vitamins found in B-Complex. By having sufficient thiamine levels in your diet, your body can turn the carbohydrates you eat into energy, which can then be used for exercise or other activities that promote weight loss. On the other hand, low levels of thiamine can slow down your metabolism, which makes it harder to shed those lbs.
Studies suggest Vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity. In fact, a diet with insufficient levels of Vitamin D has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
Vitamin D is critical for promoting strong bones as it helps the body absorb calcium. What’s more, according to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin D also reduces inflammation, promotes immune function and modulates cell growth. Vitamin D supplements can help you bridge the gap between the amount of Vitamin D you need and the amount you receive from diet and sun exposure alone.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, calcium is the most plentiful mineral in the human body. Calcium is found in many dairy products. It helps to create and sustain healthy bones and teeth, and if you maintain proper levels of calcium throughout your life, calcium can also help you to avoid osteoporosis as you age. As importantly, calcium helps our bodies maintain a normal heartbeat, helps our blood to clot, our muscles to relax and flex, aids in the release of hormones, and assists proper nerve signaling.
A study performed in 2010, suggested that a diet high in calcium intake and Vitamin D can help in weight loss. Calcium and Vitamin D work in tandem so it is particularly important to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of both to ensure that you are reaping the benefits. Given that Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium, you need enough of it to feel the full effects of calcium, even if you are getting enough calcium in your diet or through supplements.
Think of the mineral iron as a blacksmith in the human body, as it plays a key role in the production of red blood cells. It is a critical component of hemoglobin which moves oxygen from the lungs to the tissues throughout the body. Given that iron moves oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues, if you are working out to promote weight loss, you want to ensure you have enough iron in your system to add in that oxygenation. Most crucial for weight loss, iron supports a healthy metabolism.
Fish oil supplements, which contain Omega-3 fatty acids, can help to avoid a variety of health ailments, by reducing levels of triglycerides, slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration, and helping to relieve some of the symptoms that come with rheumatoid arthritis.
There have been many studies performed, and more are ongoing, that suggest there may be a link between the consumption of fish oil and weight loss.
Magnesium ought to be a critical part of your weight loss program, particularly if you plan on working out and trying to build muscle. That is because magnesium plays a key role in helping to produce energy as well as muscle contraction. Magnesium can help you to keep your energy up to burn those extra calories and lose that extra weight.
Probiotics have grown in popularity in recent years, given their wide variety of health benefits. These benefits include managing your weight, boosting your immune system, and keeping your digestive system healthy. Probiotics are basically a good bacteria, which is usually found naturally in your body. However, when we do not have enough of the good bacteria, it is much easier for bad bacteria to congregate in our gut. That bad bacteria causes many problems, including weight gain, which is why it is so critical to take probiotics if you are trying to make sure you are losing weight.
Protein, believe it or not, helps us lose weight. According to many studies, this is due to the fact that meals high in protein are more filling and satiating than those meals primarily composed of fats or carbohydrates. You feel full longer by eating protein, which can actually make you eat less overall.
If you have a diet that is naturally low in some of these vitamins - or protein genreally - you may want to consider separately boosting those.
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