Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that are required in small amounts by higher forms of animal life for normal health and growth. Vitamins differ from other biologically important compounds like proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in several ways. Although these latter substances are also required for proper bodily functions, animals can synthesise almost all of them in sufficient quantities.
On the other hand, vitamins cannot be synthesised in sufficient amounts to meet bodily requirements and must therefore be obtained through the diet or from a synthetic source. Vitamins are referred to as essential nutrients because of this. Vitamins also differ from other biological compounds in that they only require a small amount to perform their functions.
These functions, in general, are catalytic or regulatory in character, facilitating or controlling essential chemical reactions in the body’s cells. A particular deficiency condition can arise if a vitamin is missing from the diet or is not well absorbed by the body.
Vitamins, like oxygen and water, are necessary for survival. They not only maintain your body healthy and efficient, but they also safeguard you against a number of ailments. Vitamins are naturally occurring organic compounds generated by plants and animals. They are frequently referred to as “essential” since they cannot be manufactured by the body (with the exception of vitamin D) and must therefore be obtained from food.
Vitamins are typically identified by alphabet letters, such as vitamin C or vitamin D, but they can also be identified by chemical names, such as niacin or folic acid. Water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins are generally divided by biochemists into two classes.
Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins
Vitamins are either fat or water-soluble, or dissolvable. We’ll go over both types in detail below:
Fat-soluble vitamins include A, B, C, D, E, and K. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fatty tissue and the liver, and reserves of these vitamins can last for days, if not months, in the body.
Dietary fats aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the intestine.
Water-soluble vitamins don’t last very long in the body and can’t be stored. They are expelled from the body through the urine. As a result, people require more water-soluble vitamins than fat-soluble vitamins on a regular basis.
Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin B and all of the C vitamins.
Getting adequate vitamins can also keep your body healthy and help you avoid a variety of ailments. The top foods high in vitamins A, B, C, and D are listed below.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps to enhance your eyes, immune system, and red blood cell synthesis, among other things. Adults should obtain 700 to 900 mcg of this vitamin each day on average. Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, and fruits like pumpkin and cantaloupe are high in vitamin A. For example, half a cup of roasted sweet potato contains 961 micrograms of vitamin A. 953 micrograms of vitamin A are found in the same serving size of canned pumpkin.
Vitamin A aids in a variety of body functions and helps to avoid a variety of issues, including:
- Night blindness
- Infections, especially in the chest, throat, and abdomen
- Dry, rough skin caused by follicular hyperkeratosis.
- Fertility issues
- Children’s delayed growth
List of foods rich in vitamin A:
- Sweet potato
- Winter squash
B vitamins are a group of nutrients that includes not just B-12 but also B-6, B-9, and B-1 through 3. Vitamin B-6 aids the function of your hormone and nervous systems, vitamin B-12 aids nerve and blood cell health, and vitamin B-9 aids brain function. The recommended daily allowance for each B vitamin is different; individuals, for example, require 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B-6. B vitamins can be found in a variety of foods like milk. B vitamins are also found in leafy greens.
- May boost mood and reduce stress
- May help eyesight
- Can improve digestion
- Can help in healthy brain function
Vitamin B1 Thiamine Foods:
- Green Peas
- Brussels sprouts
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Cremini mushrooms
- Ground flaxseed
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin Rich Foods:
- Natural yoghurt
- Sun-dried tomatoes
Vitamin B3 Niacin Foods:
- Green peas
- Sunflower seeds
Vitamin B6 Foods:
- Pinto Beans
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Blackstrap Molasses
Vitamin B12 Foods:
- Nutritional yeast
- Feta cheese
- Cottage Cheese
Vitamin C has various roles in the body, including functioning as an antioxidant to keep your cells healthy. Every day, adults should consume 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C. This vitamin is abundant in vegetables and fruits, particularly citrus fruits and liquids. Oranges and grapefruit juices, strawberries, kiwis, red pepper, and broccoli are just a few examples. A 6-ounce portion of orange juice can contain up to 93 milligrams of vitamin C, but 1 cup of whole strawberries contains 85 milligrams.
The following are some of the vitamin C advantages:
Healing of wounds:
Vitamin C is found in skin, muscle, and other tissues and aids in collagen production.
Heart and circulatory health:
Vitamin C may aid in the prevention of heart disease and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Age-related macular degeneration and cataracts:
Vitamin C may aid in the prevention of cataracts and the slowing of age-related macular degeneration. More research, however, is required.
Vitamin C helps persons with iron deficiency anaemia absorb more iron, and some doctors recommend taking vitamin C supplements along with iron tablets to promote absorption.
Vitamin C Foods:
- Red pepper
- Black Currant
- Green peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Although vitamin D is regarded as the sunshine vitamin, according to a new survey conducted by Prevention and supplement firm Centrum, few of us think to look for it in the refrigerator – which is a significant mistake.
Our careless use of sunscreen exacerbates the problem; SPF 15 prevents 93 percent of UVB rays, which our bodies utilize to produce D. With age, the skin also has a harder difficulty manufacturing vitamin D. All of this adds up to a major problem, as evidence mounts that the vitamin, which has long been linked to bone health, also aids in immune system management, lowers blood pressure, protects against depression, and lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and various types of cancer.
Vitamin D has a number of functions in the human body:
- Promoting bone and tooth health
- Supporting the immunological, nervous, and brain systems
- Keeping insulin levels in check and assisting with diabetes control
- This supplement aids lung and cardiovascular health.
- Changing the expression of genes that play a role in cancer formation
Sources and Foods Rich in Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is made in the skin from cholesterol and is produced by exposure to sunlight.
- Raw Milk
Adopting a broad healthy diet is the greatest way to ensure you obtain a variety of vitamins in the right proportions. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, low-fat protein, and dairy products are all highlighted. The good news is that many everyday foods have numerous vitamin sources, making it simple to achieve your daily requirements. The most significant factor in illness prevention and good health is the whole diet and eating habit. It is preferable to consume a diet rich in a variety of nutrients rather than focusing on a single vitamin as the key to good health.
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