Growing up, most of us have been told to regularly eat our vitamins, if we want to be stronger and taller. The word ‘vitamin’ has become synonymous with good health for the general public and the very mention of it might make children scrunch their noses, thinking of every bitter green vegetable in existence. After all, a healthy diet is not always as tempting as the savoury food we love to consume, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary.
Vitamins are much more than textbook definitions. They are a rich storehouse of nutrients, which help our body in maintaining healthy functions. Just a small required amount of vitamins in our diet can make a huge difference. Be if it the magical Vitamin A that aids our vision or the incredible Vitamin D which keeps our bones strong, every vitamin has its special quality, which keeps our bodies going.
Though most of us might have heard about all the vitamins, there is one that is not as well known: Vitamin U. Despite not being as popular as Vitamin C or Vitamin D, it is still a vital constituent of a healthy diet.
It is a rather special vitamin. Because, in fact, it is not a proper vitamin in nature, but rather a derivate of the amino acid, methionine. So, what is Vitamin U and just how does it help our bodies? If you want to find out, just read on, because we are going to tell you all about it!
What is Vitamin U?
As stated before, Vitamin U is not a true vitamin. It was a term created in 1952 to identify a compound present in cabbage juice. It was a name given by Dr Garnett Chancey.
This Vitamin U is a derivate of the amino acid known as methionine. It is found in derivative states such as S-methylmethionine (SMM), 3-amino-3-carboxypropyl dimethylsulfonium, methylmethionine sulfonium (SMM), amongst others. Even if it may not be a true vitamin, there are still many Vitamin U benefits which you can reap if you include it in your diet.
Vitamin U can be consumed both naturally and through manufactured supplements. In natural form, Vitamin U is found in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.
Though you can consume it through supplements as well, it is probably safer to eat it naturally. After all, supplements are made through chemical processes and could always lead to potential side-effects in certain people.
Additionally, the vegetables in which Vitamin U is present also have many nutrients. Thus, the safest way to utilize all the Vitamin U uses would be to do it through natural foods.
Other than this, Vitamin U might also be used in beauty products such as creams, face masks, etc.
Vitamin U benefits
Now that you know all about what is Vitamin U, you might need a final push to consider including it in your diet. We understand that those Vitamin U vegetables might not sound particularly tasty, but the Vitamin U uses are worth it. Plus, you can always get creative and make tasty dishes with the healthiest, greenest ingredients.
Here are 4 Vitamin U benefits that you can enjoy:
1. Providing protection to your skin
Certain studies have shown that Vitamin U might help in speeding up the healing of skin wounds, as well as protecting against damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Hence, it might provide extra support to your skin, which is an important defensive barrier for the rest of your body.
This might be why certain beauty products might use Vitamin U. However, the European Chemical Agency has suggested that Vitamin U could cause skin, lung and eye irritation in case it comes in direct contact with these regions.
Hence, it is better to be careful when using any cosmetics which do contain this ingredient.
In general, always be sure to do a patch test when using new products, to check how your skin reacts to them.
2. Helping lower cholesterol levels
Though enough research has not been done to produce conclusive results, certain studies suggest that Vitamin U might help in lowering one’s cholesterol levels, as well as reduce the amount of triglyceride, which is a kind of fat found in your body.
Even apart from this being one of the possible Vitamin U uses, the vegetables it is found in will surely have a positive effect on your health.
3. Aiding in the healing of Stomach issues, like ulcers
Vitamin U might help in easing stomach issues such as ingestion, bloating, acidity, etc.
Research has particularly been done about the effect of Vitamin U on the healing of stomach ulcers, with certain evidence suggesting that it can help them heal faster. However, there need to be more studies conducted to be sure of this.
But vegetables such as cabbage as known to be good for digestive health and help in the healing of many stomach troubles. So, whether it is Vitamin U at work or not, some juice from cabbages would surely do wonders to your health.
4. Providing protection for liver, kidneys and lungs
Certain research has suggested that Vitamin U might help in reversing the damage done on the liver, while also helping reduce lung and kidney damage.
Though more studies are required, Vitamin U might protect your important organs, keeping them healthy and functioning.
The secret to a healthy life
Ultimately, the key to a healthy mind, body and soul is consistency. Know that good health is a gradual process and trying to seek quick results will only prove detrimental in the long run. After all, only hard work can get you to stability. It is the efforts you put in that will make the result even more satisfactory.
Hence, be patient with yourself and encourage yourself every step of the way. After all, just starting this journey is something to be proud of. We, at The Voice Of Woman, are here to remind you that you have done so well!