When taken as part of a balanced diet, certain vitamins can help you live a longer, healthier life and play important roles in maintaining overall health.

Although taking supplements is one way to get these vitamins, it’s important to get them from a varied and balanced diet as well, as they may promote overall health and maybe contribute to longevity.

The following 5 vitamins are well-known for their possible role in extending life:

1. Vitamin D​

Often called the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is essential for immune system performance, bone health, and mood control. Sufficient amounts of vitamin D have been linked to a decreased likelihood of long-term illnesses such cancer, autoimmune disorders, and heart disease. Sunlight exposure, fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), fortified foods, and supplements are some of the sources.

2. ​​Vitamin C​

Packed with antioxidant properties, vitamin C boosts immunity and shields cells from harm from free radicals. It also aids in the creation of collagen, the healing of wounds, and the absorption of iron. Research indicates that consuming enough vitamin C may reduce the risk of heart disease, several types of cancer, and cognitive loss brought on by aging. Broccoli, bell peppers, kiwi, citrus fruits, and berries are also excellent sources.

3. Vitamin E​

Known for its strong antioxidant properties, vitamin E aids in shielding cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to aging and chronic illnesses. It also promotes healthy skin and a strong immune system. According to several studies, vitamin E may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Nuts, seeds, spinach, vegetable oils, and fortified cereals are examples of food sources.

4. ​​Vitamin B12​

Especially as we age, vitamin B12 is vital for red blood cell creation, DNA synthesis, and neuron function. It also plays a critical role in overall health. Sufficient consumption of B12 may help avoid anemia, guard against heart disease, and preserve cognitive function. Meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products, and fortified foods are examples of food sources. For those who are at risk of insufficiency, such as elderly people and vegetarians or vegans, supplements are advised.

5. Vitamin K2​

Vitamin K2 is necessary for healthy blood coagulation, heart health, and bones. By keeping calcium from building up in arteries and soft tissues and directing it toward the bones and teeth, it may lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Food sources include cheese, egg yolks, fermented foods (like natto), and animal products raised on grass.

The takeaway​

Important contributions to a long life are played by other lifestyle choices like stress management, regular physical activity, getting enough sleep, abstaining from tobacco and alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight. Prior to making any major dietary or supplemental changes, always get professional advice.