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Vitamins and what they do for you?

Disclaimer
Before taking any vitamin supplements, talk to your healthcare provider
about their necessity. Supplements can’t take the place of eating a
variety of foods.

Vitamin A or retinol

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin essential to our health and it has several important functions in the body. First, it helps you to see. Vitamin A is critical for vision because it supports the conjunctival membranes and cornea. It also promotes normal growth and health of the body cells, therefore it keeps your skin and the lining of some parts of the body healthy.

There are a lot of carotenoids, precursors of Vitamin A, in vegetables, such as sweet potatoes or carrots. For example, one medium carrot contains 100% of your recommended daily intake! Animal sources, especially liver, contain a lot of pure vitamin A. So there is no need to be concerned about its deficiency.

100%

of your recommended daily Vitamin A intake are in one medium carrot.

Taking large doses of retinol, however, may cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, dry skin and other problems.

Vitamin B1 or thiamin

This vitamin plays a critical role in metabolism — it helps the body’s cells turn carbohydrates into energy. Thiamin is also important for muscle contraction and conducting nerve signals.

Food sources of thiamin include whole grains, meat, and fish. Three ounces of cooked pork chops or trout contain 33% your recommended daily value. There are a lot of products enriched with Vitamin B1 like breakfast cereals, white rice, and bread.

Food sources of thiamin include whole grains, meat, and fish. 

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins. They can’t be stored in the body, so you need to consume this class every day.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin

This vitamin is an essential component of energy production, cellular function, growth, and development. It also aids the release of energy from proteins.

Eggs, organ meats (kidneys and liver), lean meats, and milk are particularly rich in riboflavin. Green vegetables and mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin B2 too. In many countries, grains and cereals are fortified with riboflavin.

Vitamin B3 or niacin

Niacin is made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep your nervous system, digestive system and skin healthy.

Foods rich in niacin include meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains. Vitamin B3 is also produced in the body from tryptophan, which is found in high-protein foods.

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid has several functions, such as helping release energy from food. It’s also required for making fatty acids and producing hormones.

Vitamin B5 is found in almost all meats, vegetables and mushrooms, specifically liver and avocado.

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine

This vitamin helps your immune system produce antibodies and haemoglobin. Antibodies are substances that fight many diseases and inflammations. Haemoglobin carries oxygen in red blood cells to tissues.

The richest sources of vitamin B6 is fish, organ meats like beef liver, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and fruits except for citrus. 

Vitamin B7 or biotin

Your body needs biotin to metabolize fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. Biotin helps your genes and DNA work properly as well.

Most biotin in foods is bound to protein, although some dietary biotin is in its free form. 

Some foods contain biotin in small amounts: these organ meats, eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts and certain vegetables (like sweet potatoes).

Vitamin B9 or folate or folic acid

It helps the body make healthy new cells, therefore, is very important when a woman is preparing for pregnancy and when she is pregnant. Getting enough folic acid can prevent major birth defects in the baby’s brain or spine

Foods with folic acid in them include leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas, and nuts. Fruits rich in folate include oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries.

For instance, a half cup of boiled spinach contains 33% of your recommended daily value. Four spears of boiled asparagus contain 22%, and one cup of shredded romaine lettuce contains 16%. There are also folate-enriched bread, cereals and other grain products available on the market.

If you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, it’s recommended to take a 400mcg folic acid supplement daily from the time you stop using contraception until you’re 12 weeks pregnant.

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin

Vitamin B12 plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. If  you are a vegetarian or vegan, you might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don’t contain vitamin B12.

It is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. 

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It is essential for normal growth, healing wounds, repairing and maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth. Humans are unable to synthesize and store vitamin C, so it is an essential component of our daily diet. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that helps the body reduce damage caused by free radicals.

The best sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate that are needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including the modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reducing inflammation.

There are not too many foods that contain Vitamin D. The flesh of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, and fish liver oils are the best sources in the diet. But vitamin D can also be produced by ultraviolet rays when they strike the skin.

Most bodies can make enough vitamin D from being out in the sun daily even for short periods of time. If you live in a country with a cold climate, however, you should be concerned about getting enough vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with antioxidant activities. It helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and it strengthens the immune system to fight against illness and infection.

Numerous foods provide vitamin E; vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens are good sources of it. 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps your blood to clot, so it’s really important for healing wounds. Vitamin K aids your body by making proteins for healthy bones and tissues.

There are different types of vitamin K. Most people get vitamin K from green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and some fruits. 

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, and it is stored in the liver. Therefore, there is no need to add it to your diet every day. Newborns have very little of it. They usually get a shot of vitamin K soon after they are born.

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