Vitamins are indispensable to human metabolism. Vitamins are present in small quantities in food and sometimes, the human body produces them. Vitamins can also be artificially created. We all need vitamins; if we dont have enough vitamins in our diet, we run the risk of developing vitamin deficiencies that can ultimately lead to serious ailments. If you are looking for the best diet for life it should include the food sources for each of the vitamins mentioned below.
Vitamin A: The Vitamin for the Eyes
A fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin A plays an important part in eyesight, helping us to distinguish things around us when there isnt enough light. Vitamin A also contributes to the creation of skin, hair and mucous membranes and keeps them in good condition. Vitamin A strengthens the immune system and it is also connected with the development of bones, teeth, and epithelial cells, the cells situated on the inside and outside of body cavities such as the nose, mouth, throat, lungs, stomach, intestines, urinary tract.
Sources:Foods that contain high levels of vitamin A include orange and yellow vegetables and fruits (e.g., nectarines, cantaloupe, carrots), spinach, broccoli, butter, eggs, milk, fish oil and liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb).
Vitamin B: The Vitamin for Metabolic Activities Vitamin B consists of several vitamins: B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin, folic acid, niacin and pantothenic acid. The B vitamins have an essential role in the human metabolism. They are responsible for transporting red blood cells, which contain oxygen, throughout the body. The B vitamins also have a major role in the process of protein synthesis and creation of energy.
Sources: Vitamin B is present in whole grains (e.g., oats and wheats), peas, beans, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, seafood, eggs and dairy products such as milk and yogurt, and meat. A type of bacteria residing in the large intestine is also capable of producing some types of B vitamins. Vitamin B deficiency is responsible for the occurrence of the so-called “Beri Beri” disease. Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency include weak muscles, cracked lips and malformed red blood cells. Vitamin B deficiency can affect a person’s normal growth and can create problems in the nervous system.
Vitamin C: The Antioxidant Vitamin Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. Vitamin C plays a key role in collagen production. Collagen is a type of protein that provides strength in the case of bones, cartilages, ligaments, tendons, muscle, teeth and blood vessels. Vitamin C helps keep the gums and muscles in good shape. Vitamin C is also responsible for accelerating the healing of various wounds. Vitamin C also prevents fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E, and other fatty acids from oxidizing.
Sources: High levels of vitamin C are present in citrus fruits (e.g., orange, lemon) and in other fruits (e.g., cantaloupe, strawberries) and vegetables (e.g., broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage).