Vitamins are substances found in foods that the body needs to remain healthy and be able to fight off disease. There are two kinds of vitamins – water soluble and fat soluble, and they each perform different functions in the body. Those that are fat-soluble are stored in the fat cells of the body until they are needed, which could be a few days or up to six months. Then, special carriers in the body take them to the specific organs and tissues where they are needed. Water-soluble vitamins travel through the bloodstream as soon as you eat the foods that contain them.
Vitamins are classified by letter and thus, by the duties they perform in the body.
This vitamin is essential for vision. It provides us with the ability to see in dark places as the pupils of the eye adjust to differences in lighting. These vitamins are also needed for discerning colors and they aid in keeping the skin healthy. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A include milk that has been fortified with the vitamin, liver, fruits and vegetables that are orange in color, such as oranges and carrots, and dark green, leafy vegetables.
The B vitamins are:
- Folic acid
- Pantothenic acid
These vitamins are essential for energy and the body’s metabolic rate. They also play a part in the process of manufacturing red blood cells in the body.
The foods that contain B vitamins are whole grains, fish and other seafoods, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products green, leafy vegetables and beans and peas.
This vitamin helps your body heal when you get a cut and helps it to stay in good shape by resisting infection. It is also essential for good gums and muscles. Fruits are the main sources of Vitamin C.
This vitamin is essential for strong bones and teeth because it helps the body absorb the calcium it needs from food. Foods rich in Vitamin D include fish, egg yolks, liver, and milk and cereal fortified with Vitamin D. The best source of Vitamin D is the sun, some exposure to sun will give you all the vitamin D you need.
This vitamin helps to maintain the tissues of the body, helps in the formation of the red blood cells and keeps the lungs from being damaged by polluted air. Foods that contain this vitamin include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, sardines, nuts and seeds and egg yolks.
This is the main clotting agent of the body. It helps the blood clot so that a cut will stop bleeding. Foods rich in Vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, dairy products, broccoli and soybean oil.