A vitamin is a tiny molecule that the body needs, this to carry out or distribute a certain reaction. Vitamins are essential in small quantities, this for certain designated bodily functions to occur, such as cellular growth, the repair of tissue, and the basic maintenance of health for proper function.
Based on diet, most should get enough supply of these vitamins from the foods consumed. But because of this hectic lifestyle we enjoy, processed food has become the norm. So what then results is most need to take a vitamin supplement to make up the deficiency, as the lack of vitamins leads to failing health.
For the body to remain healthy, what it needs are 13 different vitamins, this from vitamin A, to the B’s, vitamin C, and all the other essential vitamins in between, all the way up to vitamin K.
The Need For Water Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins that are water soluble are easily absorbed by the body. Vitamins C and all of the B vitamins need to be dissolved in water, this before the body can absorb them.
Water-soluble vitamins that the body can’t absorb are flushed out by the kidneys, turning into urine, as the body isn’t able to store these vitamins in significant amounts.
So what’s needed is a fresh supply of vitamins on a daily basis, this to avoid depletion. What’s not possible when it comes to water soluble vitamins, is overdosing unless you take massive amounts.
Water soluble vitamins found in food are easily flushed out while preparing or storing them, so proper precaution needs to be taken to minimize the vitamin loss.
It’s recommended that all fresh produce be refrigerated, milk and grains kept away from strong light, while using bone stock when making soups and stews.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
What vitamin B1 does is stimulates appetite, aids digestion, the absorption of food, while increasing resistance to infection. It’s also essential for the proper functioning of nerve tissues and the major organs. Aging, exercising, and weight gain, increases the need for this vitamin.
What a deficiency in vitamin B1 can cause is a slower heartbeat, poor appetite, nervousness, intestinal and gastric disorders, poor lactation, enlarged adrenals and pancreas, mental confusion, muscle weakness, edema, and beriberi.
The most valuable food sources which contains vitamin B1 includes: meat and fish, whole grains such as wheat germ, fortified breads, cabbage, celery, carrots, pineapple, lemons, grapefruit, parsley, and pomegranate.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
What vitamin B2 does is helps in releasing energy from food. It’s also excellent for the skin, the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, promotes better vision, and helps in the assimilation of iron and protein metabolism.
A lack of vitamin B2 may cause digestive issues, lack of stamina and vitality, loss of hair, cataract issues, cracks in the corner of the mouth, tongue ulceration, the eyes becoming sensitive to light.
The best food sources of vitamin B2 includes: meat, eggs, dairy, carrots, cabbage, spinach, apples, and apricots.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
What vitamin B3 does is helps the body turn food into energy. It also helps digestion, while promoting normal appetite along with healthy skin and better nerve function.
What a lack of vitamin B3 may cause are skin disorders, mental confusion, bowel irregularities, and irritability. The best natural food sources includes red meat, fish, poultry, fortified hot and cold cereals.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
What vitamin B5 does is helps in energy production, while helping in the formation of hormones. What a lack of vitamin B5 does is causes nausea, fatigue; abdominal cramps, and difficulty falling asleep.
The best possible natural food sources for vitamin B5, includes meat, liver, whole grains, egg yolk, and legumes.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 is considered extremely important for the proper functioning of the brain and nerves. What it does is helps the body break down proteins, produces red blood cells, and helps the body use fats better.
What a lack of vitamin B6 can cause are skin disorders, dermatitis, kidney stones, anemia, and nausea. The best food sources includes: red meat, poultry, fish, potatoes, eggs, seeds and nuts, bananas, green leafy vegetables especially spinach, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)
What vitamin B9 does is helps in the production of red blood cells, while breaking down proteins, along with keeping the heart healthy. It also may prevent birth defects of the spine and brain, while lowering homocystein levels leading to coronary heart disease risk.
Symptoms of a lack of vitamin B9 includes anemia, smooth tongue, and diarrhea. The best food sources includes: poultry, leafy green vegetables, dried beans and other legumes, asparagus, and all citrus fruits.
Vitamin B12 is extremely important as it helps in building DNA, along with the development of red blood cells, and proper nerve cell function.
What the absence of vitamin B12 causes is pernicious anemia, degenerated peripheral nerves leading to numbness, neurological disorders, and tingling of the fingers and toes. The best food sources includes: red meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, and eggs.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C, known as ascorbic acid, is needed to form collagen, which is a tissue which helps to hold cells together. It also helps in healing wounds, better bone and tooth formation, while strengthening the blood vessel walls.
Vitamin C is vital when it comes to the proper functioning of the immune system, while improving the absorption and the utilization of iron and calcium. It also contributes to better brain function.
A lack of vitamin C may cause a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, heart disease, poor blood vessels, tooth decay, sore bones and joints, difficulty repairing broken bones, peptic and duodenal ulcers, poor adrenal function, and headaches.
The best sources of vitamin C includes: cabbage, cucumber, parsley, radish, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, citrus fruits, papaya, and pineapples.