The Most Common Vitamins Explained

The Most Common Vitamins Explained

in Nutrition by

The Most Common Vitamins ExplainedOkay. We all know there are vitamins in some of the foods we eat and that vitamins are good for you. But what does it all mean? What does it do exactly?

Vitamin A:

This vitamin is a potent antioxidant and micronutrient. Antioxidants prevent from any damage to your cells and tissue by harmful substances as well as aiding in  bone and teeth development and giving moisture to your mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, throat and lungs.  It is essential in that it gives you healthy vision, cell reproduction, wound healing and a strong immune system against diseases. It can help to treat and prevent cancer and improves your resistance to infection. It can prevent night blindness. Vitamin A derivatives are used to renew aged skin and treat acne, but excessive intake leads to yellow discoloration of your skin.  Vitamin A can be found in meats, animal fats, low fat dairy products, egg yolk, fish liver oil, liver. It is closely related to beta carotene that can be found in most fruits and vegetables: dark green veggies such as spinach; and pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes. Fruit: apricots.

Vitamin B-complex:

There are 8 vitamins that fall under this category namely B1, B2, B6, B12, folate, biotin, niacin and panotothenic acid. We will only be looking at the first two in this group.

The Vitamin B-complex gives you a healthy skin, good vision, a healthy nervous system and formation of red blood cells.

Vitamin B1:

Helps with your metabolism and is essential for normal digestion and appetite and is therefore not stored in the body. It can be found in whole grain cereals, peas, beans, peanuts, oranges, heart, kidney, liver and many vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin B2:

Essential for normal growth and helps oxygen reach your cells. It can be found in eggs, green vegetables, liver, kidney, lean meat, milk, wheat germ, yeast and dried enriched foods.

Vitamin C:

The most common and well-known of all the vitamins. Mainly because it helps us fight off colds, asthma and allergies. It boosts your immune system and helps with healing of wounds, broken bones and skin problems. If you paid attention in history class you’ll know it prevents you from getting scurvy: an awful disease that causes your gums to bleed (suffered on ships). Mostly found in vegetables: tomatoes, red and green peppers and citrus fruits.

Vitamin D:

This vitamin is stored in your liver and is usually associated with Vitamin A. It helps your body to absorb calcium. This vitamin can be found in butter, egg yolk, fish liver oils, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, herring, sardines), liver, oysters and yeast. Vitamin D can help you lose weight: it helps your body’s metabolism.

Vitamin E:

This vitamin doubles as an antioxidant and protects other vitamins (A, C) from being destroyed. Vitamin E can be used to prevent cancer and the aging decline of your immune system. It can be found in vegetables, fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fortified cereals. If you experience cramps during exercising or the night, make sure you include this vitamin in your diet.

Certain studies has also shown that in taking Vitamin E it can decrease the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and can aid in the fight against certain types of breast disease.

Vitamin K:

Don’t worry about getting supplements for this vitamin, because it is produced naturally by your body. This vitamin helps in keeping healthy bones and teeth; and aids in blood clotting. You still need the following foods so that your body can produce vitamin K: broccoli, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, olive oil, soybean oil and canola oil.

Sulet Linde is a writer for the popular online health shop based in South Arrica. Have a look on their blog section for more interesting healthy living posts.

Image Credits