First of all, let’s take a look at what vitamins really are, why they are so important. They are small compounds that we require in order to live. Sounds pretty important, right? How do we get them? We normally get the right amount of vitamins that we need from a balanced diet, from the foods we eat. However, there are other means as well, such as for the vitamin D intake, which comes mostly from sun exposure.
Some general “must know” facts about vitamins might be that:
- There are 13 vitamins we need to be aware of
- They can be either water-soluble (for example, vitamin C and B) or fat-soluble (for instance A, D, K and E)
- Although food is the best source of vitamins, at times this is not enough and can be advised to use supplements
Now let’s take a step-by-step look at these vitamins and what each of them is good for.
Why do we need it? It is great when it comes to protecting eye health, immunity, and relief inflammation, boosts bone health, reduces cholesterol and so much more.
Where can we get our vitamin A dose from? A great source for vitamin A are broccoli, carrots, liver, butter, spinach, eggs, apricot and even milk.
When it comes to vitamin B, the supplements usually contain the eight types of vitamin B, meaning B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamin).
What is it good for? Well, let’s just say that without vitamin B your body will just lack energy. Other roles it might have is help cells multiple and create new DNA. Sounds quite important, right?
Where can we get it from? Although they can be found in food, we have to bear in mind that they are water soluble, which means that the body does not keep them for long. That’s why many times your doctor might find it necessary to prescribe B vitamin supplements. However, certain foods where we can get out intake from are: cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, asparagus, kale, oranges and eggs.
What is vitamin C good for? Quite a great deal of things, in fact. It helps in the formation of connective tissues, bones, blood vessels and skin. It also offers us protection against heart disease, helps us absorb iron and lately researchers claim that it helps combat various cancer types.
Good news is that vitamin C is easy to get form foods. You can find it in apples, berries, broccoli, cabbage, citrus fruits, kiwi, kale, spinach, peppers, cereals and grains.
It is also known under the name of “sunshine vitamin”. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin which is produced as a reaction of our skin to sunlight. It helps regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and boost our immune system. Without taking in the right amount of vitamin D we can risk certain bone abnormalities, such as soft bones or fragile bones.
Where do we get our vitamin D from? Naturally it’s produced when we are directly exposed to sunlight, however there are certain foods as well that contain this vitamin: salmon, milk, cereals, yoghurt, orange juice, egg yolk and sardines.
What is it known for? Healthy skin, strong eye health and strong immune system. Vitamin E deficiencies are rather rare and can mostly be met in people who suffer from certain diseases, such as digestive problems and cystic fibrosis.
What foods can offer us vitamin E? Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, eggs, nuts, vegetable oils, almonds, avocado and whole-grains.
Why do we care about vitamin K? It has lately been associated with improved insulin sensitivity, improved heart rate and reduced cancer risks. Once again, a deficiency in vitamin K is quite rare, since it can be found in various vegetables and foods.
Where do we get it from? Green leafy vegetables, especially kale, spring onions, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cucumbers, avocado and kiwi.
Although my aim was not to convince you to eat more veggies, we can clearly see the effect and the role they play in our diet and why having a balanced diet is so essential. Having a deficiency in either of the above mentioned vitamins might lead to serious problems.
In case you notice any abnormalities that can be associated with these vitamins, do not hesitate to contact your doctor in order to be properly examined and he can then prescribe you the right amount of vitamin intake you need.
A good conclusion to keep is that vitamins are essential, each of them playing its own role in the well-functioning of our body. Hence, neglecting them through a non-healthy diet is not a good idea on the long term.
We are awaiting for your own personal story related to vitamins, if you had any, how you solved it and how you found it, all in the comments’ section!