vitamins in a cup on a gray table with flowers around them

Vitamins for Teens: Everything You Need to Know

vitamins in a cup on a gray table with flowers around them

The teenage years of a person’s life are some of the most critical years for their development. During this time, growth spurts begin, and immune systems develop.

While exercise and eating a healthy diet are significant aspects of teen development, ensuring they get adequate vitamins and minerals into their systems is equally important.

Understanding Vitamins and Their Functions

Vitamins and minerals play a significant role in how teenagers develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies can lead to several serious issues and health problems. Vitamins can also help prevent the common cold, the flu, and more. Therefore, parents should emphasize the importance of vitamin and mineral intake at a young age.

More than a dozen vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy development. Vitamins and minerals help many different parts of the body fully develop, including the organs, bones, teeth, eyes, and more. Having insufficiencies in one or more of these vitamins or minerals can lead to mild or severe health problems.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are a group of vitamins that get absorbed into the body via cells. The body hangs on to these vitamins for dear life, which means they absorb readily into your system and are extremely difficult to eliminate.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins. You can get them from your diet, supplements, and – at least for Vitamin D, the sun.

pills and capsules on a red background

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Unlike fat-soluble vitamins reserved and stored in the body, water-soluble vitamins travel freely throughout various systems in your body. Because your body does not keep extra water-soluble vitamins, your body eliminates anything deemed unnecessary via stool or urine.
Vitamin C and all eight of the B vitamins are considered water-soluble vitamins. As with fat-solubles, you can get water-soluble vitamins in the things you eat and drink and through supplements.

pills and capsules on a yellow background

Common Vitamin Deficiencies in Teens

It’s one thing to say that vitamins are essential for teenagers who want to develop fully and stay healthy. However, to stress the importance of vitamins, here are some diseases and conditions people are prone to when they have vitamin deficiencies.

  • Rickets
  • Osteoporosis and other bone diseases
  • Anemia
  • Goiter
  • Developmental and intellectual disabilities
  • Celiac disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Being underweight

While it’s possible to be deficient in any significant vitamin or mineral, zinc, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B deficiencies are the most common. Because of the many potential problems associated with vitamin deficiencies, proper nutrition is vital. Many of these deficiencies could lead to severe mental and physical health problems.

Essential Vitamins for Teens

Let’s delve into some vitamins essential for teenage development and why they’re so important.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the most critical vitamins for maintaining optimal vision and eyesight. Vitamin A also helps your body produce mucus and helps to keep healthy skin, bones, and soft tissue. You can get Vitamin A by eating dairy products, leafy greens, and wholesome fruits and veggies.

vial with supplements

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for supporting healthy bones and teeth by working with calcium to make this possible. You can get Vitamin D in your system through dairy products or by soaking up the sun naturally.

vitamin d package and pills

Vitamin C

In terms of overall importance, Vitamin C is often considered the number 1 vitamin for teens and adults alike. Vitamin C, primarily found in fruits and vegetables, is a super vitamin that helps prevent illnesses and diseases by boosting your immune system.

lots of fruit rich with vitamin C

B Vitamins

There are 8 B Vitamins, each critical in different ways for development and functionality.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant you can get by eating certain foods such as whole grains and leafy greens.

A table full of natural food sources of vitamin b12 and a blackboard in between it that writes "VITAMIN B12".

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting and maintaining healthy blood cells, and you can get it by eating healthy greens and veggies.

Supplementation for Teens

Because of how essential vitamins are for the growth and development of teens, some parents consider vitamin supplementation. While vitamin supplementation may help your teen, ideally, you should consult a doctor first to determine if supplementation is viable for teens.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, vitamins play a huge role in the healthy development of teens and children. While trying vitamin supplements is tempting, teens should get everything they need by eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle. However, if you want to guarantee that your teen gets all the vitamins and minerals they need for healthy development, medically-guided supplementation is an option.

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