6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is beneficial for building and strengthening collagen and connective tissues, bolstering the immune system, and promoting wound healing. Some claim supplementation with vitamin C may aid in preventing cancer or protecting against heart disease. Consuming vitamin C as part of a healthful diet provides your immune system with the necessary nutrients to prevent disease and maintain good health. However, there is no concrete evidence that high doses of vitamin C supplements will keep cancer or heart disease at bay. Therefore, money spent on these supplements may be money wasted. Good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and peppers.
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is essential for fighting off infection and forming blood vessels. Claims that vitamin E supplements halt the development of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack, or cancer have not been proved. In fact, some studies show that vitamin E supplements can increase the risk of stroke by as much as 22 percent. To obtain the healthy doses of vitamin E that may help your body stave off disease, obtain this nutrient from foods. Green vegetables, nuts, vegetable oils, and fortified cereals are good sources of this important vitamin.
Due to its benefits to the immune system, zinc often shows up in products that claim to fight the common cold. However, research does not indicate that zinc supplements will prevent a cold. Zinc may reduce the time suffered with a cold by one day when taken within 24 hours of the first cold symptoms. Unfortunately, zinc supplements also have side effects. Zinc may cause nausea, stomach upset, and a loss of taste or smell. According to the Mayo Clinic, more serious side effects include copper deficiency, anemia, and nervous system disorders. For a safe dose of zinc, stick to beans, dairy products, seafood, and whole grains.