6 Steps To A Healthy Glow Without Vitamins

Photo Credit: Brooke Lark

Photo Credit: Brooke Lark

I don’t know that I’ve ever been asked as much as I am now if I’ve been drinking enough water whenever I complain of feeling bad. That’s because everyone is becoming a lot more aware of what should be in the foods that they eat, how much exercise they should get, and how much water they should be drinking. If there’s anything I could call today’s society, I’d call it the “health age”. In this age, the “next big thing” is often a new weight loss product, a new herbal tea that miraculously does away with anxiety (*rolls eyes*), or, most commonly, a new vitamin that everyone should be trying to better their overall health. No doubt, vitamins are seen as miracles in the form of a pill. They’re supposed to keep your heart healthy, make your hair grow faster and fuller, and give your skin a goddess-like glow. But, do they really?

Interestingly enough, vitamins may not actually contribute as much to your health as you might think. For example, let’s take a look at the highly favored multivitamins. They’re advertised to “promote general health” and “prevent chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease”. But according to Consumer Reports, once clinical trials took place for these vitamins, it was actually shown that aside from helping to “prevent nutrient deficiencies in specific groups, such as pregnant women”, multivitamins didn’t prove to be beneficial to already healthy individuals. 

No doubt, vitamins are seen as miracles in the form of a pill. They’re supposed to keep your heart healthy, make your hair grow faster and fuller, and give your skin a goddess-like glow. But, do they really?

Okay, so, wait a second: are the results of clinical trials saying that if you’re already a generally healthy individual, multivitamins don’t contribute to making and keeping you healthy? That blows my mind. But, wait, there’s more! If you’re looking to take vitamins for their antioxidant properties (like vitamin E or beta-carotene), you may want to think twice about how often to take them (or whether or not to take them at all). Antioxidants in excessive volumes actually support the protection and growth of cancerous tumors inside the body. Scientific American reports that Scientist Martin Bergö, of the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center in Sweden, tested the effects of antioxidants on metastatic tumor cells in mice. He and his colleague “...found higher levels of glutathione, an antioxidant made by the body, inside metastatic tumor cells in treated mice compared with untreated mice.” In looking at the effects of the tumors in the mice treated with antioxidants, they found that “...when the body is given extra antioxidants, its tumor cells get to keep more of the antioxidants that they already make themselves. The cells can store the surplus, improving their ability to survive damage.” 

The above, plot-twist like information makes keeping yourself healthy seem a little bit tricky. It seems like too much of anything can prove to be unhealthy, so what can anyone do to make sure they aren’t accidentally putting themselves at risk of a worsening state of health? Not to worry, friends! It can actually be easier to stay healthy in spite of vitamin woes than you may think. Take these tips into account to keep yourself as energetic and fit as a fiddle, without vitamins being necessary:

 

1. Make regular visits to your doctor to make sure everything in your body is in balance.

This will give you a chance to make sure you can detect anything that may be abnormal before it has time to progress (and worsen), and be able to get a professional recommendation to get your health game up. You can never visit your doctor too much, and your doctor will love seeing your beautiful face more frequently.

 

2. Eat vitamin rich foods.

If you find that any levels in your body are outside the "normal" range, such as iron levels, research a list of foods you can incorporate into your regular diet that will provide you with the right amount of minerals you need, without over-doing it with the supplements. For example, to make sure you don’t get weak and weary from low iron levels, you can throw some spinach into a salad and take it to work with you! That’ll give you a good pick-me-up, without having to gobble down a huge horse pill of a vitamin.

 

3.  Stay hydrated.

I know I poked fun at this point earlier in the post, but staying hydrated is truly more important than you may think. Please be sure to keep up with a regular intake of water and other fluids (that aren’t alcohol). Trust me, I had to learn this the hard way. You’d be surprised how god-awful you can start to feel when you don’t have enough fluids in your body. Your body uses water for pretty much everything it does, so it’s understandable why you would feel so gross without it.

 

4. Allow yourself to de-stress!

STRESS. MANAGEMENT. IS. NECESSARY. When your body is constantly under the pressure of worries, woes, frustration, or any sort of negative emotion, it can throw everything way out of whack. People oftentimes forget that mental health is just as important as physical health, as mental health can directly affect your physical state of being. You’ll start to feel tired all the time, find yourself getting sick more often, and feel like you’re losing a grip on your life. Take some time to check in with yourself each and every day, and have a woo-saa session. Even if you don’t have a lot of time due to a busy schedule, just give yourself an hour or even a few minutes. If things are way too overwhelming, do not be afraid to seek help. If you’re in college, there’s a good chance that your college may provide free counseling services while you’re enrolled (they had better, with all that tuition you’re already paying!). If not, don’t be afraid to check in with a counseling center in your area to see if there is a way to get you set up to talk to someone. Don’t let that fear of potential expenses stop you from helping yourself.

 

5. Stay in tune with your body. 

You know that feeling you get sometimes when you just feel…off? That’s your body telling you to slow down and pay attention to what you’re doing, and what may be affecting it. It’s better to be safe than sorry about this. While it’s easy to write a little discomfort off as nothing, it’s just as easy for that bit of discomfort to progress into a world of hurt.

 

6. Keep up a regular self-care/hygiene routine.

It can sometimes be easy to forget to brush your teeth twice a day, not feel like taking a shower straight after a long day at work, or even get out of bed to brush your hair (don’t even front, we’ve all been there). But prolonged neglect of hygiene turns out to be way worse than not really feeling like keeping up with your self-care routine every day. Gingivitis can affect your gums and teeth, caused by improper dental care, and various infections can result in not showering regularly. I’m sure anyone can say that temporary exhaustion definitely doesn’t override any of those things.

See there? Vitamins and supplements aren’t the only things that can keep you feeling reborn every single day! You can get along just fine without all of that extra stuff, as long as you make sure to look out for yourself. What other things do you do to make sure your health game stays on point?

 

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Deana Jones is a 22-year-old and a friendly neurotic. She graduated with an Associate's Degree from Angelina College and is currently working toward her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University. Deana also runs a blog called Moods Reflective, where she talks about life, what she wishes she would have known about it, mental health, and everything else in between. She's hoping to help society one written word at a time. 

Read more of Dee's work on her blog, Moods Reflective.

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