The Importance of Vitamins in Our Diet
Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in natural foodstuffs. Because of the crucial role these substances play in normal metabolism, a lack of them can cause a whole range of medical conditions.
Carbon is a main component of vitamins, being organic compounds; and because the body produces insufficient amounts of them, it is necessary to obtain them from food. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins and fats, however, vitamins don’t supply energy, but they help the body work and grow at best capacity.
There are thirteen essential vitamins that offer various health benefits, such as immunity boost, stronger bones, faster wound healing, enhanced eyesight, better use of food-sourced energy and many more. Without enough vitamin intake, you could be vulnerable to many different diseases or medical conditions.
Types of Vitamins
Vitamins are either fat soluble or water-soluble, depending on body storage. There are four fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K – all stored in fat tissue for up to as long as half a year.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin C and the vitamin B series (B6, B12, pantothenic acid, folate, biotin, thiamine and niacin) are all distributed all over the body through blood circulation. As water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, it is important to replenish your stores regularly.
All thirteen vitamins have their own specific functions, but they can also work together to benefit your health. Vitamin A gives you better skin, bones and teeth, aside form good eyesight and immunity.
Vitamin C also strengthens immunity, encourages good tissue development and helps the body in absorbing iron. Vitamin D, together with calcium (another mineral), also has a role in bone health and immunity. Vitamin E helps your body make use of vitamin K, and this is involved in blood-clotting and bone health maintenance, and also plays a part in essential red blood cell formation.
Of course, the B vitamins have their part to play, mostly in relation to better central nervous system functions, hormone synthesis, cardiac operation, basic cellular maintenance, brain activity and body metabolism.
Effects of Vitamin Deficiencies
Insufficient vitamin intake puts your health at risk, specifically in relation to heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Vitamin B deficiency in particular can cause anemia and permanent nerve damage.
When you take too little vitamin C, your system will not produce enough of the body’s primary tissue known as collagen. In prolonged cases of vitamin C deficiency, a person can develop scurvy, whose symptoms include gingivitis, skin hemorrhage, anemia and general weakness.
Lastly, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, or the softening and weakening of bones in children, and the existence of autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure and poor bone health in adults.
There is so much information you can read these days about the importance of vitamins. The above can put you on the right track.