What role do they play in our body?
Vitamins are a group of essential micronutrients required for a normal cell function, proper functioning of its metabolism, to work properly and stay healthy. They keep your body healthy and functional, by protecting you from a variety of diseases. Vitamins are organic substances, made by plants or animals, divided in two categories:
- -The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K): dissolve in fat and are stored in your body.
- -The water-soluble vitamins (C and the B-complex vitamins such as: vitamins B6, B12, riboflavin, niacin, and folate): dissolve in water.
Where do they come from?
Improves eye health, the immune system and reproduction.
- -You obtain it from: sweet potatoes, butter, kale, spinach, pumpkins, collard greens, some cheeses, eggs, liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, apricots, cantaloupe melon, and milk.
Produce various enzymes that help break down blood sugar and help convert food into energy.
- -You obtain it from: brown rice, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, yeast, pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver, and eggs.
Supports healthy metabolism and helps break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
- -You obtain it from: milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, asparagus, bananas, persimmons, chard, cottage cheese, fish, and green beans.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Keeps the body in good working order, reduces blood pressure, and boosts brain function.
- -You obtain it from: tomatoes, leafy vegetables, chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, milk, eggs, broccoli, carrots, nuts and seeds, tofu, and lentils.
Promotes healthy skin, hair, eyes, liver, and produces energy and hormones.
- -You obtain it from: broccoli, avocados, meats, whole grains, and yogurt.
Supports immune function, brain health, and boosts cardiovascular health.
- -You obtain it from: bananas, squash, chickpeas, beef liver, and nuts.
Stimulates healthy ageing, promotes healthier hair, nails, and skin.
- -You obtain it from: spinach, egg yolk, liver, broccoli, and cheese.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
Improves healthy cell growth and function. During early pregnancy, it is crucial to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.
- -You obtain it from: legumes, liver, some fortified grain products, leafy vegetables, some fruits, peas, and sunflower seeds.
Keep your body’s blood and nervous system healthy.
- -You obtain it from: eggs, milk, fish, fortified nutritional yeast, shellfish, fortified soy products, meat, poultry, and other fortified cereals.
Boost the immune system, help manage high blood pressure, boost your blood antioxidant levels, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and improve iron absorption.
- -You obtain it from: raw fruit and vegetables.
Improves bones and teeth strength, promotes cardiovascular health, and regulates insulin levels, supporting diabetes management.
- -You obtain it from: beef liver, fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms, and exposure to UVB rays from the sun.
Antioxidant activity, supports immune function, prevents inflammation, and promotes eye health.
- -You obtain it from: almonds, eggs, nuts, germ, kiwis, leafy greens, and vegetable oils.
Necessary for blood clotting, helping wounds to heal, and regulate blood calcium level.
- -You obtain it from: leafy greens, figs, pumpkins, and parsley.
Consequences of a deficiency, impact in our health, and how to prevent it?
Vitamin supplementation is recommended to prevent deficiencies, which can impact on your health, causing several consequences in your body related to the biochemical roles they play. Consequences, such as weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, cramps, tingling in the hands and feet, mouth ulcers, hair loss, along with others.
Because it’s difficult for people to get enough vitamins from food alone, everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement.
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Harvard Health. (2021, August 17). The best foods for vitamins and minerals. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-best-foods-for-vitamins-and-minerals
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