Vitamins are present from eating a variety of foods but sometimes supplements will be required where a body is not receiving enough nutrients.
This makes it useful to know which foods contain which of the vitamins, and then what those vitamins are responsible for in terms of our body’s health. Whether they benefit physical or mental wellness.
The definition of a vitamin is what is essential for normal human growth yet can only be obtained from the diet because it is not manufactured by the human body.
So, let us start to think about a few of them, leaving you to research the other vitamins with greater enthusiasm, once you understand how important they are to the body.
Vitamin A is perhaps a lesser-known vitamin to many, but still an important one in terms of our health. It will keep many of our organs working effectively, such as our heart, lungs, and liver.
Foods that contain vitamins include salmon, beef liver, carrots, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, mangoes, apricots, and dairy products. So, there should be plenty of opportunities to top up on vitamin A whilst maintaining a balanced diet.
Understanding Vitamin B is complex because there are essentially eight different types. They are:
B1 (thiamin) – helps the body convert food into energy.
B2 (riboflavin) – converts carbohydrates (food) into glucose (fuel).
B3 (niacin) – aids the body in lowering cholesterol and easing arthritis, as well as boosting brain function.
B5 (pantothenic acid) – has a similar function as B2.
B6 (pyridoxine) – is important in terms of brain development and maintaining a healthy immune and nervous system.
B7 (biotin) – assists metabolism regulation, the nervous system, and is essential to maintaining healthy hair, nails, and skin.
B9 (folate) – assists in the manufacture of red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body.
B12 (cobalamin) – keeps the blood and nerve cells healthy.
The missing numbers here are because they are no longer classed as vitamins. This is following the definition which is stated in the introduction to this article.
So, thinking about who needs vitamin b, you can see from the above list that we all do. However, it is a scientific fact that those who are elderly will require more vitamin b. The same applies to those who have had any kind of gastrointestinal surgery. This also applies to anyone who has a gastrointestinal disorder or a problem with alcohol abuse. Pregnant women often require more vitamin b of the folate kind. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 15 percent are deficient in B12. Vegans and vegetarians need to make sure that they are not deficient in it.
Foods containing vitamin b include meat, organ meats, eggs, fish, seeds or nuts, whole grains, and cereals that are fortified. So, choosing the right cereal to eat for breakfast will be important to start the day off the right way.
Another name for vitamin c is ascorbic acid. It boosts our immune system, and in times of a pandemic, we could all do with that. The vitamin also increases our iron absorption when it comes to obtaining it from the plant-based foods that we eat. So, this is an example of one vitamin helping another.
As an antioxidant, vitamin c will protect our cells from the damage that free radicals cause. It was interesting to read that smokers will require 35 extra mg of vitamin c per day to repair the cell damage that is caused by the free radicals that exist in tobacco smoke.
As well as the above, vitamin c helps heal wounds and produces collagen. This is the protein responsible for maintaining healthy joints and our skin’s elasticity.
With so much provided by vitamin c, it is certainly worth eating plenty of fruit to maintain a healthy body. It can be found in citrus fruits and vegetables such as kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, red and green peppers, and also tomato juice. Tomato is a fruit and not a vegetable, of course, as many people used to think.
Baked potatoes, if the skins are left on will provide you with vitamin c, B6 as mentioned above, and also folate.
So, that’s the ABC of vitamins covered. We also, of course, have vitamins E and K to know about, along with calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, when considering minerals as well.