Know Your Vitamins

Know Your Vitamins
V

itamins are organic compounds that are required by the body to grow and develop normally. Most of the vitamins are obtained from the diet, but some are acquired by other means. As a common man, it is important to understand the various vitamins, their food sources, and also how they can help us.

Mainly, there are 13 known vitamins of which some are fat-soluble and some are water-soluble.

 Fat-soluble vitamins are those vitamins that are absorbed by fat globules that travel through the small intestines and are distributed through the bloodstream. These vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. You can find these vitamins in high-fat food substances and are easily absorbed if eaten with fat. Example: fish liver oil, cheese.

 Vitamin A, D, E, and K are the fat-soluble vitamins.

 Water-soluble vitamins are those vitamins that are dissolved in water and are immediately absorbed by the body. Unlike the fat-soluble vitamins, the water-soluble vitamins are not stored in our body and therefore need to be replenished regularly through our food. Example: milk, whole grains, eggs, citrus fruits.

Vitamin B1(Thiamine), B2(Riboflavin), B3(Niacin), B5(Pantothenic Acid), B6(Pyridoxine), B7(Biotin), B9(Folate/Folic Acid), B12(Cobalamin) and Vitamin C are the 9 water-soluble vitamins.

Here’s a table that shows the various vitamins required by our body, their benefits, and the food sources that you can find them in.

 

Name of the Vitamin

Chemical Name

Benefits

Food Sources

Vitamin A - Fat soluble

 

 

Retinoids and Carotene

•   Bone and tooth formation

•   Vision

•   Immune system

•   Reproduction

•   Cell functions

•   Fortified milk, butter, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese

•   Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, mangoes

•   Eggs, shrimp, fish, beef liver

Vitamin B1 - Water soluble

Thiamine

•   Metabolism

•   Boosts immune system

•   Healthy skin, hair, and muscles

•   Nerve function

•  Nuts

•  Brown rice, whole grains and pulses, soybeans, cereals

•   Cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus

•   Oranges

•  Beef, pork, poultry

Vitamin B2 - Water soluble

Riboflavin

•   Healthy skin, hair, and muscles

•   Nerve function

•   Vision

•  Milk, yogurt, cheese

•  Banana, persimmon,

•  Green beans, Lady’s finger, asparagus

•  Meat, fish, eggs

Vitamin B3 - Water soluble

Niacin

•   Converts food to energy

•   Aids digestion

•   Metabolism

•   Guards against neurodegenerative diseases

•     Milk

•  Whole grains, and pulses

•   Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, carrot, broccoli

•   Mushroom

•   Meat - liver, heart, kidney, chicken, beef, fish

Vitamin B5 - Water soluble

Pantothenic Acid

•   Nervous system and liver

•   Healthy skin, hair, and eyes

•   Aids digestion

•   Milk and milk products

•   Whole grains

•   Broccoli, avocado

•   Meat, fish ovaries, eggs

Vitamin B6 - Water soluble

Pyridoxine

•   Reduces heart diseases

•   Aids in regulating mood

•   Improves immune function

•   Whole grains

•   Banana and watermelon

•   Meat

•   Nuts

Vitamin B7 - Water soluble

Biotin

•   Aids in the metabolism of fats and proteins

•   Vegetables

•   Egg yolk, liver

Vitamin B9 - Water soluble

Folate/Folic Acid

•   New cell creation

•   Reduces heart diseases and cancer

•   Fortified grains

•   Asparagus, Lady’s finger, greens, broccoli

•   Orange and tomato juice

Vitamin B12 - Water soluble

Cobalamin

•   Reduces heart diseases

•   Helps make RBC

•   Breaks down amino acids and fatty acids

•   Milk and cheese

•   Fortified cereals

•   Fortified soy milk

•   Meat, fish, poultry

Vitamin C - Water soluble

Ascorbic acid

•   Antioxidant

•   Aids better vision

•   Helps make collagen

•   Boosts immune system

•   Citrous fruits and fruits juices

•   Potatoes, broccoli, capsicum

Vitamin D - Fat soluble

Cholecalciferol

•   Strengthens bones

•   Fortified milk and margarine

•   Cereals

•   Fatty fish

Vitamin E - Fat soluble

Tocopherols

•   Antioxidant

•   Prevents Alzheimers diseases

•   Whole grains, wheat germs

•   Vegetable oils

•   Leafy green vegetables

Vitamin K - Fat soluble

Phylloquinone, Menadione

•   Activates proteins and calcium required for the body

•   Milk

•   Green vegetables

•   Eggs, liver

 Our regular diet consists of coffee/tea, rice, roti, dal, and vegetables and fruits. It can be seen that our daily diet does provide us with the nutrients required by our body, but due to certain reasons, there may be a lack of absorption of the vitamins into our bloodstream. It is then that we require dietary supplements to help replenish the nutrients for the proper functioning of the body.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins
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