We all need energy and nutrients to keep us alive. The human body requires various kinds of nutrients to be healthy. Vitamins and minerals are one of the most important of these nutrients and are needed only in minute quantities. Nevertheless, their importance remains unwaveringly the same, given the amount that has to be consumed.
Another interesting fact about vitamins is that our body does not produce them. Vitamins are taken in through one’s diet or can also be ingested through supplements or multivitamins. In some cases, when you are facing a deficit of any of the vitamins, vitamin supplements are the best solutions.
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins, also known as vital organic compounds, are present in food (mainly fruits and vegetables). There are various types of vitamins, all of which perform diverse roles in our body. For example, some may help improve our immunity, while others may play a significant role in clotting our blood. To sum it up, we need different vitamins in different quantities to fill in our nutritional requirements.
Types of Vitamins
There are about 13 vitamins that have been discovered until now. All these types of vitamins have different sources through which we can quickly obtain them. Keeping in mind that taking in any vitamin in smaller quantities than it is required or more than the adequate amount can result in serious health issues.
In addition to that, all the essential vitamins found in our body are grouped into two categories. Water-soluble and fat-soluble. As the name rightfully suggests, water-soluble compounds are readily soluble in water and do not stay in the body for long. In contrast, our body fat-soluble vitamins can be stored for a long time and are, as the name suggests, soluble in fats. Hence, we need to consume more water-soluble vitamins than fat-soluble ones to keep ourselves in good health. Following are the water and fat-soluble vitamins that the human body needs to function correctly.
● Vitamin A
● Vitamin K
● Vitamin E
● Vitamin D
● Vitamin C
● Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
● Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
● Vitamin B3 (niacinamide)
● Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
● Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
● Vitamin B7 (biotin)
● Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
● Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is synthesized by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. However, some foods also contain vitamin D. For instance, beef, eggs, cod liver oil, fatty fish, mushrooms and liver etc. The primary function of vitamin D is to regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in our body and keep our bones healthy. When enough vitamin D is not taken through exposure to sunlight or in the diet, a deficiency known as rickets may occur in children and osteomalacia (softening of bones) in adults. To help combat this, in addition to eating vitamin D rich food, you could consider adding a quality vitamin d3 k2 supplement into your daily routine to ensure that you are getting enough of this important vitamin.
Vitamin A plays various roles in the human body. Not only does it boost up our immune system, but it also allows us to see in dim light. Furthermore, vitamin A supports bone growth and also helps in cell differentiation. Some of its primary sources are fish, milk, leafy green vegetables, yellow fruits, eggs, liver and butter etc. If one does not consume enough vitamin A in their diet, they can develop night blindness and have dry skin or poor growth.
Vitamin E is an organic compound essential for your body as it decreases the risk of inflammation and other diseases. In addition to being an antioxidant, it also strengthens the immune system and helps prevent blood from clotting. Vitamin E has many sources. Almonds, peanuts, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, spinach, and soybean oil, to mention a few.
Vitamin K is a nutrient that is essential for blood clotting. It also helps in protecting bone tissues from damage. Vitamin K is richly present in broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, lettuce and turnips etc. When one lacks vitamin K in their body, they can be very prone to poor bone development, cardiovascular diseases and continuous bleeding.
This vitamin is mainly used for growth and repair around the body. Be it tendons, blood vessels, ligaments or skin. Moreover, it helps you boost up your immunity. You are most likely to suffer from swollen or bleeding gums, fatigue, muscle pain, slow wound healing or depression if you lack vitamin C in your body. Some sources rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, strawberry, tomato, kiwi, blackcurrants and potatoes etc.
To summarise, vitamins play thousands of roles in the human body and greatly help keep it in order. Therefore, we should take ample amounts of each vitamin as all of them contribute immensely to keeping us healthy.