A vitamin is an organic compound that is required as a nutrient by the human body. And just as lubricants are required by all vehicles for glitch-free functioning; a human body requires regular shots of vitamins for a smooth run. They are our best defense against the attacks of viruses and bacteria that may end up causing an array of diseases.
There are 13 different vitamins namely A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E, and K; each of which is essential for performing some of the other function. Deficiency of even one or more types of vitamin can lead to serious health implications such as heart diseases, high cholesterol levels, eyes and skin disorders, and many others.
One important point to remember is that they need to be replenished on a daily basis because our body loses out on them through urine. Information as to why we need each and every vitamin has been provided below; so make sure to give a read.
Why do We Need Vitamins
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is needed to form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, body tissues, and good vision (especially in low light). It also helps in the treatment and prevention of acne and speeds up the healing of wounds. Vitamin A is found abundantly in sources such as eggs, meat, fortified milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, cod, and halibut fish oil.
Also known as thiamine, vitamin B1 is needed to prevent and treat conditions such as beriberi and inflammation of the nerves; digestive problems including poor appetite, ulcerative colitis, and ongoing diarrhea; and diabetic pain, heart diseases, and many other problems. It is found in many foods including yeast, cereal grains, beans, nuts, and meat.
Also known as riboflavin, vitamin B2 is required for body growth, red blood cell production, and releasing energy from carbohydrates. It also helps in the treatment and prevention of conditions such as acne, muscle cramps, eye fatigue & cataracts, ulcers, burns, and boosting the nervous system, metabolism, and immunity. It is found in dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, lean meats, legumes, milk, and nuts.
Known as niacin, vitamin B3 is required by the body to convert food into energy and also promotes healthy functioning of the digestive system and the nerves. It helps in the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches, dizziness, age-related memory loss, blood pressure, and improving blood circulation, etc. It is found in dairy products, eggs, enriched bread and cereals, fish, lean meats, legumes, nuts, and poultry.
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is essential for growth, helps the body properly perform the metabolism function, and production of hormones. It is also used in the treatment and prevention of stress, arthritis, infections, skin disorders, graying of hair, and high cholesterol. Vitamin B5 is found in cereal, chocolate, egg yolk, legumes, milk, nuts, organ meats (liver, kidney), pork, yeast, and whole-grain cereals.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, helps the body to: make antibodies and hemoglobin, maintain nerve function, break-down proteins, and maintain healthy blood sugars. It helps in the prevention and treatment of diabetes and related nerve pain, migraine headaches, asthma, night leg cramps, and other skin conditions. It is found in avocado, banana, legumes (dried beans), meat, nuts, poultry, and whole grains.
Known as biotin, it is used in the prevention and treatment of biotin deficiency associated with pregnancy, long-term tube feeding, malnutrition, rapid weight loss, hair loss, brittle nails, skin rash in infants, diabetes, and mild depression. It is found in small amounts in a variety of food types including dairy products, vegetables and fruits, meat and fish, and nuts and grains.
Also known as folic acid or folate, vitamin B9 is required by the body for tissue and cell growth. It’s also utilized by the body for the prevention and treatment of anemia, sprue, skin disorders, and gout. Vitamin B9 promotes digestion, healthy pregnancy, brain growth, and red blood cell formation. It is found in dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, and citrus fruits and juices.
Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, along with the combination of other vitamins, is required by the body for a healthy metabolism, formation of red blood cells, and proper functioning of the central nervous system. Its regular intake helps in the prevention and treatment of anemia, liver disorders, kidney disorders, and mouth ulcers, etc. It is found in eggs, fortified foods such as soymilk, meat, milk and milk products, organ meats (liver and kidney), and poultry.
Known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of body tissues and also works as an antioxidant to prevent damage from free radicals. The vitamin also plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of eye disorders, scurvy, common cold, infections, diabetes, stress, high blood cholesterol, heart diseases, kidney disorders, etc. It is found in fresh fruits (especially citrus fruits) and many vegetables.
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium, which is needed for the healthy growth of bones. It regulates blood pressure, promotes bone repair, boosts immunity, and helps in the treatment and prevention of rickets, arthritis, tooth decay, and diabetes. Vitamin D is found in dairy products, fatty fish like tuna & salmon, oysters, and cereal.
Vitamin E is needed by the body for its antioxidant properties for protection against damage caused by free radicals. It also boosts up the immune system against viruses and bacteria. Vitamin E also promotes the formation of red blood cells. It is found in various food items like vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, cereals, and juices.
Vitamin K, also known as the clotting vitamin, is required in the system because, in the absence of it, blood will not clot. It also speeds up skin healing and reduces swelling and bruising. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and other vegetables such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage; fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals.
Now that you’ve read about how each vitamin is essential for our system, start following a regular diet. Fill up on your vitamin intake, and protect yourself from falling into the hands of various health problems.