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Why Do We Need Vitamins? - Their Types & Sources

Vitamins are an essential part of the body. Starting from maintenance of a healthy skin to healing, clotting and immune reactions, Vitamins play a pivotal role in helping with the body 's natural coping mechanisms. In this article, we are going to discuss vitamins, their sources and why we need them? Let’s start discussing it in detail.

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are compounds of organic molecules that are required by an organism in necessary small amounts. These essential biomolecules are obtained out of our dietary sources as our body doesn't produce it at all or seldom does, but it's an obligation that we need to provide them in sufficient quantities on a daily basis for smooth homeostatic and metabolic functions. When they are the biomolecules whose presence in our body shouldn't be compromised with anything else. Universally recognized Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Including the Vitamin B complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12, there are a total of 13 varieties of proteins.

Vitamins, Types of Vitamins, Vitamins Sources

Different Types Of Vitamins And Their Classification

Vitamins are basically classified on their solubility. Whether they are fat soluble or water soluble.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat soluble Vitamins are mostly stored very easily inside the fatty tissues and liver and these are soluble in fat and accounting for the same reason body rarely face deficiency of this category of Vitamins. But if the body does, it takes some time to return back into normal functionality as they have their own important role in physiological activities.

Fat soluble Vitamins are namely:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Water Soluble Vitamins

Water soluble vitamins don't stay inside the body for a longer time as they are soluble in water and get easily expelled out of the body through urine. Hence it's easy that their deficiency occurs during water and electrolyte imbalances in body fluids. For the same reason their regular consumption is also very important and necessary.

Water soluble vitamins are two, namely:

  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Vitamin C

Sources Of Different Vitamins

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found to be abundant in Carrot, Sweetpotatoes, Egg, Milk and Milk products.

Beta carotene is a compound which is the precursor of Vitamin A and is found in large amounts inside, colorful vegetables like broccoli, spinach etc.

Other sources of Vitamin A are Liver, Beef, Fish, Egg yolk.

Vitamin D

Synthesised inside the body on exposure to sun, also found abundant in fortified milk products and dairy products including yogurt, cheese, butter and cream, in fish and liver oils and cereals.

Vitamin E

Found in papaya, mango, nuts, oils of safflower, sunflower and corn, Dark green vegetables including turnip greens, asparagus, spinach and broccoli.

Vitamin K

Present in dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, asparagus, turnip greens, from cereals, cabbage and cauliflower.

Vitamin B

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) - Thiamin is found fortified in large amounts within cereals, bread, dried beans, fish, and whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - Found plentiful inside fortified breakfast cereals, yogurt and milk products as well as eggs.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - Vitamin B3 is found rich inside fish (salt water fishes and tuna), poultry, legumes, avocado, eggs and nuts.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - Found abundant in Legumes and lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, mushroom, Organ meats and White and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - Found rich in legumes, meat, Avocado, Banana, nuts and leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) - Plenty in peanuts, walnuts, milk and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) - Found in dark green vegetables including Brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach and inside whole grains, liver and seafoods.
  • Vitamin B12 - Found enriches inside Fortified foods such as soymilk, shellfish, Milk and milk products, organ meats specially kidney and liver.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Found rich inside those Kitchen tomatoes. So it's never too difficult to put on a vitamin rich diet plan because all that you need is around you. What you need is a mind to actually consume them in the right way.

Gooseberries, Oranges, Pepper varieties and Strawberries are other food articles with abundant Vitamin C content.

Why Do We Need Them?

Vitamin A

  • Important for vision
  • Normal cell reproduction.
  • And to fight free radicals caused by diseases.

Vitamin B

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is important for normal nerve cell functions and converts carbohydrates into consumable energy forms.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is important for the production of red blood cells.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps in maintaining healthy skin, helps to regulate cholesterol levels inside the body and also converts carbohydrates into energy.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) helps in meeting the energy requirements of the body.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps in processing amino acids as well as in the synthesis of hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin.
    Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) is important for the fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism in the body.
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is important for healthy skin and hair and for the normal hydration levels of the body.
  • Vitamin B12 is an important component for DNA replication, for erythropoiesis (Red blood cell production), and helps in nerve cell regulation.

Vitamin C

Helps in maintaining healthy skin, possess antioxidant actions, helps in the absorption of iron, and plays an important role in wound healing.

Vitamin D

A very important factor for healthy teeth and bones and nails. For the same matter, it helps the body to absorb Calcium.

Vitamin E

Helps in immune responses of the body and helps the body to combat the free radicals.

Vitamin K

Crucial component for blood clotting.

Now that you know, dietary sources are the best ways to provide our body with necessary vitamins rather than opting for supplementary sources. All those green leafs that you most probably are putting aside on your plate contain a large amount of essential vitamins. So pay attention when you ignore the greens from your food next time.

All the necessary vitamins and macro-micro nutrients our body needs are found plenty inside the foods we eat everyday. From the easily available kitchen tomatoes to those greens you keep aside, the vitamins are found inside very simple food articles.

Know what your body needs and know how to provide them efficiently as our health depends on what we consume everyday. Eat healthy and no doubt that your body will definitely reward you for the same.

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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