Immunity is the talk of the town, and with it, VITAMINS! "Take your vitamins" you have been hearing incessantly. And you should, but what is it about vitamins that make them so important for our health?
Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. Most vitamins need to come from food. This is because the human body either does not produce enough of them or does not produce any at all.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Vitamin C can be found in many delicious foods, some of them are coming into life in late spring, early summer: BERRIES!! I love foraging berries, it feels like I am receiving the medicine of Mama Earth that is needed in this moment of time. So I encourage you to go out and pick up some delicious berries that will help to keep you strong and healthy.
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. A lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia in adults.
Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. The body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. Its main role is to act as an antioxidant, scavenging loose electrons so-called “free radicals”that can damage cells. It also enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries.
Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of the most important vitamins for human life. It's necessary for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy. Vitamin B5 is one of eight B vitamins. All B vitamins help you convert the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat into energy.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, it is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water. It is not stored by the body, and it is excreted in the urine, so people need to take in Vitamin B6 every day. Functions of pyridoxine include protein and glucose metabolism, and the manufacture of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a component of red blood cells. It carries oxygen. Vitamin B6 is also involved in keeping the lymph nodes, thymus and spleen healthy.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an important water-soluble vitamin. It plays an essential role in the production of your red blood cells and DNA, as well as the proper functioning of your nervous system.Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods, including meats, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy
The immune system in Chinese medicine is not considered something separate, but actually it is considered as the sum of all functions in our body. This means that if our body is working good and all our internal organs are doing their proper function, then our immune system is strong and healthy, doing what it needs to be doing. Which is the protection of our individual self from external "evils". That being said, I don't love this idea, of something outside of ourselves being there to get us. I would like to suggest a different narrative to illness. The eastern medicine narrative: this narrative has the understanding that we are the same and not separate beings from nature, and since everything is part of nature, even this "evils" aka viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc... are part of nature. If we cultivate a life that has a good relationship with nature then our bodies will be able to co-habitat with all living beings in creation, including viruses. But we still live in a life where there are stresses and changes, and things that make us forget our interconnection and essence, so we act against our inner wisdom, and that is ok, we are humans and are not perfect. We need to keep being gentle with ourselves, with our loved ones, and with nature. So keep taking your vitamins through supplements or yummy food, they will help maintain you in good health.
I hope you are staying safe, healthy and happy!
Yours In Health,
Irene Sanchez-Celis RTCMP, RTC, BD, MD(Mexico)
Registered Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner
Registered Therapeutic Counsellor
Holistic Birth Doula
"Connecting with your true Self”
I acknowledge and I am grateful to live, work, and play on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil Waututh), and Tla-o-qui-aht (Cloyahuat Sound) First Nations.