You may have heard that vitamins are very important for our body. But how should you take them, what are their best dietary sources to get them? Get all the answers in this article about vitamins.  

Introduction  

Vitamins are organic substances that are important for your well-being. Your bodies don’t produce them, that’s why you need to consume them through foods and supplements. Vitamins help to boost your immune system and keep your bones, muscles, and other body parts healthy, and help in the growth of cells and provide energy to cells.  

If you develop any vitamin deficiency it leads to serious health problems. That’s why it is important to maintain the right amounts of vitamins in the body to maintain your health.  

Here’s an overview of the 13 vitamins that you need to consume regularly: 

  1. Vitamin A  
  • Chemical name: Retinol, retinal 
  • Function: This vitamin is essential for eye health.  
  • Sources: Sweet potato, butter, pumpkin, Collard greens, some types of cheese, eggs, apricots, cantaloupe melon, and milk. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Its deficiency can lead to night blindness and other vision problems. 

 

  1. Vitamin B1 
  • Chemical name: Thiamine. 
  • Function: This vitamin helps to break down carbohydrates and helps to activate various enzymes involved in digestion. 
  • Sources: Yeast, pork, sunflower seeds, kale, brown rice, cauliflower, oranges, livers, and eggs.  
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause beriberi and Wernicke- Korsakoff syndrome 

 

  1. Vitamin B2 
  • Chemical name: riboflavin 
  • Function: This vitamin helps in the development and growth of body cells and helps the metabolic processes that convert food into energy.  
  • Sources: bananas, cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs, fish, meat, and green beans. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Its deficiency can cause inflammation in the lips, tongue, or mouth, also, cause fissures in the corners of the mouth. 

 

  1. Vitamin B3 
  • Chemical name: niacin, niacinamide 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps with cell growth and DNA repairs. 
  • Sources: chicken, beef, fish (tuna, salmon), milk, eggs, tomatoes, carrots, nuts, seeds, tofu, and lentils. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: A deficiency of Vitamin B3 can lead to a health issue called pellagra, which can cause diarrhea, skin changes, and intestinal upset.  

 

  1. Vitamin B5 
  • Chemical name: pantothenic acid 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps in producing energy and formation of hormones.  
  • Sources: meat, broccoli, whole grains, avocados, and yogurt. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin B5 can lead to neurological symptoms such as paresthesia or pins and needles.  

 

  1. Vitamin B6 
  • Chemical name: pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal 
  • Function: This vitamin is important for the formation of red blood cells. 
  • Sources: chickpeas, beef liver, bananas, squash, and nuts.  
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Vitamin B6 deficiency leads to anemia and peripheral neuropathy. 

 

  1. Vitamin B7 
  • Chemical name: biotin 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps the body to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It also helps with keratin formation which is a structural protein for your skin, hair, and nails. 
  • Sources: egg yolk, salmon, liver, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cheese. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Deficiency of biotin leads to dermatitis and inflammation of the intestines.  

  

  1. Vitamin B9 
  • Chemical name: folic acid and folinic acid 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps in making our DNA and RNA. 
  • Sources: leafy vegetables, seafood, peanuts, peas, legumes, liver, and sunflower seeds. 
  • Disease caused by deficiency: Vitamin B9 deficiency can affect the fetus’s nervous system during pregnancy. That’s why doctors recommended folic acid supplements before and after pregnancy. 

 

  1. Vitamin B12 
  • Chemical name: cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and methyl cobalamin 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps to maintain a healthy nervous system. 
  • Sources: fish, shellfish, red meat, poultry, eggs, milk, other dairy products like cheese, and fortified cereals.  
  • Disease: Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to neurological problems and some types of anemia.  

      

  1.  Vitamin C 
  • Chemical name: ascorbic acid 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps with collagen production, wound healing, and bone formation. Other than that, it also helps to strengthen blood vessels, supports the immune system, helps to absorb iron, and acts as an antioxidant. 
  • Sources: citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, kumara, sprouts, kiwifruit, oranges, melon, guava, peppers, strawberries, black currants, potatoes, etc. 
  • Disease: Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, bleeding gums, loss of teeth, poor tissue growth, and problems with wound healing. 

 

  1. Vitamin D 
  • Chemical name: ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol. 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps to strengthen the bones and mineralize them.  
  • Sources: Exposure to UVB rays that are present in sunlight, fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, and mushrooms. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, osteomalacia, or softening of your bones. 

 

  1. Vitamin E 
  • Chemical name: tocopherol, tocotrienol 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps the body to prevent oxidant stress with its antioxidant properties 
  • Sources: wheat germ, kiwis, almonds, eggs, nuts, avocado, peanuts, sunflower oil, leafy green vegetables. 
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: Vitamin E deficiency happens and rarely affects mostly newborns with hemolytic anemia (this condition destroys blood cells). 

 

  1. Vitamin K 
  • Chemical name: phylloquinone, menaquinone. 
  • Functions: This vitamin helps with blood clotting so that blood flow stops when we get injured or wounded.  
  • Sources: soybean oil, canola oil, fermented soybeans, cheese and eggs, leafy greens, pumpkins, figs, and parsley.  
  • Diseases caused by deficiency: A deficiency of vitamin K may lead to unusual susceptibility to bleeding, or bleeding diathesis. 

 

Vitamins are essential to maintaining a good and healthy body. So, it is important to keep a check on your consumption of food so that you never miss any important vitamins from your diet.   

 

Want to know a diet plan that covers all necessary vitamins and minerals for you? Call us on 718-DORAL-55 to get a free consultation.