It has become common knowledge that taking vitamins is beneficial to your health. But not many people really understand why… we just do it because we’re “supposed to”.
Simply put, your body must have the right amounts of the right vitamins and minerals to function at its full potential. In addition to keeping you healthy, their benefits directly relate to achieving weight loss goals. Vitamins regulate your body’s core processes such as…
- Appetite and hunger
- Brain activity
- Nutrient absorption
- Metabolic rate
- Fat and sugar metabolism
- Thyroid and adrenal function
- Energy storage
Food is the best way for your body to get the vitamins and minerals it needs. Despite our efforts to create the perfect multivitamin, we have not been able to replicate the complexity of what is found in healthy foods.
Consider broccoli. It is extremely rich in vitamins and fiber which are completely integrated in to the molecular structure of the vegetable itself. The fact that it contains the individual Vitamins A, C, K and folate (among many other nutrients) is not the only reason that it’s healthy.
More importantly, broccoli is healthy because of how nature has built the nutrients into the broccoli. Nature has…
- Built in specific amounts of each nutrient
- Created the vegetable so that each nutrient interacts with the other nutrients and elements of the broccoli in precise ways
- Made the healthy elements of broccoli accessible to absorption by your body
Plucking out the single Vitamins A, C, K and folate and taking them in a pill form can not reproduce the natural effect.
Still, medical research has found specific vitamins themselves (rather than specific foods) to be essential for your body. If your diet does not give you everything you need, vitamin and mineral supplements can help to offset what your body doesn’t get from food.
After bariatric surgery, your body is especially vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies because surgery either…
- Reduces your body’s ability to absorb vitamins (malabsorptive procedures)
- Doesn’t allow your body to hold as much food from which to draw vitamins (restrictive procedures), or
- Both of the above
In addition, as many as 80% of bariatric surgery patients don’t get enough vitamins before surgery, so the right bariatric diet and bariatric vitamins are that much more important following surgery (1).
Making sure your body has the right amount of each vitamin will keep you healthy, help you lose weight and help your body keep the weight off.