Typically, those who have heard of the miracles of a Keto diet want to try it right away. However, there can be resulting changes to your body which can require some additional input and consideration when it comes to ensuring your body has everything it needs.
Cutting out all the carbs, it will be hard not to limit yourself when it comes to finding essential vitamins and important minerals. Most micronutrients can be found in nutrition, but you will have to track your food and calculate your micronutrient intake.
This article provides you with valuable information regarding vitamins and minerals, details of the Keto diet, and how to ensure you get the right balance of intake.
The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals
Good nutrition is synonymous to leading a healthy life. Vitamins are key nutrients for growth and body maintenance and since we do not have the capacity to produce them, we typically ensure their supply through food.
Vitamins are active in very small amounts (hence the term micronutrients) and are involved in various metabolic processes, including those related to energy production and storage, immune system protection, bone and tissue formation, cell formation and maintenance.
Traditionally, vitamins are grouped into two groups according to solubility criteria: fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and water-soluble vitamins (B complex and vitamin C). In the body, each vitamin has its own specific function, and it is not possible to compensate for the lack of one with a greater contribution from the other.
Today, hectic lifestyles can lead to poor eating habits, exacerbated by the increased consumption of non-nutritious foods. This can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals in the body. Therefore, in order to maintain an optimum balance, specific supplements should be added where needed.
Vitamin D is found in the body as two biomolecules: cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). Its main source is UV radiation, which activates its production from 7-dehydrocholesterol. Both forms D2 and D3 are biologically inactive. Some of the vitamin D that is absorbed is converted in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which has little biological activity. It is the active form of vitamin D in the kidneys that is produced: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D or calcitriol.
Its function in the body relates to immunity, reproduction, insulin secretion and differentiation of epidermis cells. Vitamin D is involved in the active transportation of phosphate in the intestine and calcium homeostasis: it intervenes in the processes of calcium fixation in bone and in the increased renal resorption of these minerals.
There are two types of vitamin A. One is called preformed and is found in foods of animal origin, such as beef, fish, poultry and dairy. Meanwhile, the second is provitamin A, which comes from vegetables, with beta carotene being its most common subtype.
“Among the plant products where it is found, there are green leafy vegetables and green, orange and yellow vegetables (such as broccoli and carrots), in addition to fruits such as melon, apricots and mango”, – reports the portal of the National Institutes of Health of U.S.
According to the site, it is not common for people to suffer from vitamin A deficiency while eating a balanced diet, so if you consume all kinds of foods you should not have problems.
The exception to this is that some groups of people who, due to certain circumstances, may need to ingest more vitamin A than others. This includes premature babies, young children, pregnant women and those with cystic fibrosis.
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is not produced by the body. It is important for meeting nutritional deficiencies and maintaining good health (especially maintaining healthy triglyceride levels).
Studies reveal that Omega 3 (present in foods such as fish oil) has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, such as reducing joint inflammation. It can decrease the risk of arthritis and slow premature aging of the skin, preventing wrinkles. It can also play an extremely important role in regulating cell function and maintaining the skin’s flexibility and elasticity, whilst also reducing the negative effects of UV rays on the skin.
Omega 3 helps to maintain eye health as it prevents dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration. More importantly, its use can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder and depression.
Memory, reasoning agility and humor are the other factors that can all be influenced by the presence or absence of this essential fatty acid in our brain.
Can You Get Enough Vitamins From Food Alone?
It is worth remembering a few details so that the vitamins from food are absorbed in the best way.
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables (it is advisable to eat them as soon as possible) – they contain 30-50% more vitamins than those that have already lain.
- For the assimilation of most vitamins, the body must have a sufficient amount of protein, so combine all the “vitamin” products with protein.
- Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, therefore they should be consumed with emulsified fats (for example, add a spoonful of fat cream in carrot fresh).
- In addition to vitamins, you should not forget about minerals – if you you are going to buy a multivitamin, make sure that it contains iodine, calcium, fluorine, potassium, etc.
Should I take multivitamins?
In general, it is best to obtain trace elements from natural products. This is because nutrients are most effective when they come from food, moreover flavonoids, carotenoids and antioxidants are not found in most supplements. Supplements are not intended to replace food. But in modern products, there can be fewer nutrients, which means that we can try to replenish the main trace elements with the help of additives.
How to choose best multivitamin for your keto diet
Here are the basic things you need to keep in mind:
Beneficial ingredients – A perfect multivitamin for keto diet must be super healthy, containing properties beneficial for health, such as probiotics, chromium, branched-chain amino acids, L-Carnitine, piperine, beta-alanine, green tea extract, co-enzyme, etc.
Electrolytes – Zinc, iron, Calcium, magnesium must be replaced with the multivitamin, because they are naturally lost with Keto diet. Sufficient levels of potassium, Sodium, magnesium, Calcium must be infused instead, they are important for your health.
Verified manufacturer – The multivitamin you choose must be created by verified manufacturer. It should contain natural ingredients, which is crucial for Keto diet, and be free from sugars and low on carbs.
When you are on a Keto diet, your worst fear is pure sugar on a daily basis.
The problem with multivitamins is that they are often sugar-coated or might have maltodextrin and dextrose among its ingredients. Of course, it may seem that the general amount of sugar is not that big, but still it has its impact.
Iron is an important trace element that takes part in many biochemical reactions, is a part of the blood and nuclear apparatus of all cells. Today it is proved that iron provides the functioning of more than a hundred proteins and enzymes in a living organism.
It is believed that the iron contained in red meat is absorbed better than iron from plants. It is not true. For example, regular consumption of celery can restore the balance of this element in the body in a few weeks. Iron from plant foods is better absorbed when combined with animal products. Nevertheless, additional iron can bring you harm. And vegetarians should supplement iron as they don’t get any from meat.
Extra-strong B and C vitamins
All B vitamins are necessary for normal energy production and preservation of the vitality of the body, to strengthen the health of teeth, hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B5 promotes skin hydration, prevents dryness and roughness. Vitamins B1, B3, B6 and vitamin C play a large role in the normal functioning of the nervous system. Vitamins B1 and B6 stimulate the activity of the heart and circulatory system. Vitamin C helps protect cells from the adverse effects of free radicals and helps the absorption of iron from food.
Electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium
Sodium is the most common basic mineral and electrolyte, which people lack at the beginning of a Keto diet. You may be used to hearing that the amount of Sodium (salt) should be minimal in your diet but new studies show that this is not necessarily true. Sodium is very important for controlling blood pressure, maintaining a normal level of water in the body and the absorption of trace elements. The first two weeks on a Keto diet are most important for controlling sodium levels, because your body gets rid of most of the trace elements, especially if you have any physical activity.
Magnesium is responsible for more than 300 different biochemical functions in the body. This mineral and electrolyte plays a crucial role in protein synthesis, energy production (ATP), the formation of fatty acids and cell division. With Magnesium deficiency, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, and, very often, muscle cramps can occur. Your diet should have about 500 mg of magnesium per day on a Keto diet.
When Sodium begins to wash out of your body, you also lose potassium- another important electrolyte – at the same time. Potassium deficiency can lead to constipation, loss of muscle mass, physical weakness, irritability and skin problems. Extreme lack of potassium can lead to irregular heartbeats, and in some cases even to heart failure.
Extra ingredients: Chromium, L-Carnitine, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics
Chromium in the human body is involved in many areas and has a very important role, however, its main task is to maintain a normal balance of sugar in blood serum. This occurs by enhancing the carbohydrate metabolism by facilitating the transport of glucose into the cell. This phenomenon is called glucose tolerance factor (GTF). The mineral irritates cell receptors with respect to insulin, which more easily interacts with it, while reducing its need for the body. Therefore, the trace element is so vital for diabetics, especially with type II disease (insulin-independent), since their ability to replenish chromium reserves with food is very small. Even if a person is not sick with diabetes, but he has metabolic problems, he automatically falls into the risk category and his condition is regarded as diabetes-like.
The main task of levocarnitine is to transport fatty acids to the mitochondria, where they are split and release energy. It is also necessary for the smooth functioning of muscle tissue, the brain and the heart, since with a sufficient amount of this substance the likelihood of coronary disease and stroke is significantly reduced.
This is indispensable for the oxidative phosphorylation reaction. The highest concentration is observed in the liver, heart, brain, kidneys – organs that consume a lot of energy, when compared with others..
Probiotics can correct hypertension, optimize insulin sensitivity, and prevent the risk of cancer inside and outside the gastrointestinal tract (probiotic organisms can bind to potential carcinogens, helping to remove them).
Thus, the use of probiotics has a positive effect on immunomodulating, infectious prophylactic (protection against infections) and cardiovascular activity.
Greens Powder vs Multivitamin
Green powders are often seen as an alternative to multivitamins. They are a blend of organic vegetables and fruits, the greenest ingredients, do not contain sugar or other unhealthy ingredients. Many people have already proved that green powders really help. It’s much easier to get the nutrients from them than from the meals for which you need to select the right products. Green powders are great for people on Keto diet: they supply Magnesium, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, and vitamin K, A, D, C, E and many more.
During first few weeks of body restructuring, a Keto diet is able to provide all the necessary trace elements, if you follow it correctly. Avoid consuming calories from foods that contain small amounts of micronutrients, such as butter or vegetable oil. As long as your diet is rich in leafy green vegetables, natural dairy products, eggs, fish and meat, and while you avoid processed foods, you will receive all the necessary nutrients for your body.
Vitamins during the diet are vital compounds that minimize the stress level (due to the scarcity of the daily menu) and restore the balance of essential substances in the body.