What is food; it is regarded as one of the basic unit of life which contributes to keep us alive. It provides nutrition in form of certain elements like Vitamins, Minerals, Amino acids, trace meats, moisture, protein, carbohydrates, fibres and many more. Each of them are classified with several sub parts. Here, we will be discussing about Vitamins and its types; with the functions and health benefits.
What is Vitamins?
The term Vitamin means a ‘vital amine’ and was proposed by a Polish researcher, Dr. Cacimir Funk, in 1911 to designate a new food substance which cured many diseases such as beri beri. Vitamins are potent organic compounds which are found in small concentrations in foods. They perform specific and vital functions in the body chemistry. Following is the table which shows; different types of vitamins, their sources and functions in human body.
List of Vitamins, their functions and rich sources:-
|Name of Vitamin||Source||Health benefits|
|Vitamin A1||Fish liver oil, Cod, Tofu, Liver||Antioxidants present helps to make your skin healthy, also corrects your vision|
|Vitamin A2||Cheese, Butter, carrots, spinach, pumpkin, papaya||Good both teeth and bones, helps body to absorb calcium|
|Vitamin D||Fish liver oil, Wheat germ oil, egg yolk, milk, butter||Strengthen your arteries and internal organs, also corrects any deformities related to bones and teeth|
|Vitamin E||Wheat germ oil, Cotton seed oil, peanut oil, cod, olive||formation of blood cells, strengthens muscles, boosts the immune system|
|Vitamin K||Cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, flax seeds||Essential for blood clotting|
|Vitamin B1||Cereals, Pulses||Aids in neural health|
|Vitamin B2||Nuts, Yeasts||Helps in Energy production|
|Vitamin B3||Liver, meat, yeast||Helps to convert food into energy and balances brain function|
|Folic acid||Green vegetables, nuts||Helps in RBC formation and good during pregnancy|
|Vitamin B5||Yeast, milk, egg, cheese||Good for various nervous system function|
|Vitamin B6||Banana, tomato juice, colourful vegetables||Converts protein into energy and produces proteins|
Now, this was the brief detail of Vitamins and supplements. Vitamins, which are of several kinds differ from each other in physiological functions, in chemical structure and in their distribution in food. They are broadly divided into two categories, namely fat soluble and water-soluble. The various functions of common vitamins, their deficiency symptoms, natural sources, daily requirements and their therapeutic uses are discussed as follows. We shall be talking to detailed information about Vitamins.
Different types of Vitamins and their functions:-
1. Vitamin A-
It is also called anti-ophthalmic. Vitamin A is one of the essential vitamins for body growth and vitality. It builds up resistance to respiratory and other infections and works mainly on eyes, lungs, stomach and intestines. It is helpful to prevent eye diseases and helps in nourishing the skin and hair. The main sources of this vitamin are fish liver oil, whole milk, curd, pure ghee, butter, cheese, cream, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, turnip, carrot, prunes, mangoes, papaya, apricot, almonds and other dry fruits. Deficiency in Vitamin A may lead to inflammation of eyes, poor vision, frequent colds, lack of appetite, hormonal imbalance and many more.
2. Vitamin B3-
It is also called Niacin or nicotinic acid essential for proper circulation of blood, healthy functioning of nervous system and proper protein and carbohydrates metabolism. It is essential for synthesis of sex hormone, cartisone, thyroxine and insulin. The rich sources of the Vitamin are liver, fish, poultry, peanut, whole wheat, dates, figs, green vegetables, tomatoes, prunes etc. The deficiency of this Vitamin may lead to skin eruptions, frequent stools, mental depression, insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders, anaemia and many more. Larger doses many also result in problems like high cholesterol, migraine and many more.
3. Vitamin B6-
It is also called Pyridoxin. It helps in the absorption of fats and proteins, prevents nervous and skin disorders and protects against degenerative diseases. The main sources of this vitamin are yeast, milk , eggs, fresh vegetables, liver, walnuts, soyabeans, bran, wheat germ and many more. The deficiency of this vitamin may lead to dermatitis, conjunctivitis, insomnia, headaches and heart attacks too.
4. Folic acid-
It is regarded as one of the healthiest Vitamins and are called Vitamin B9. It is necessary to take this along with Vitamin B12 for the formation of red blood cells. It is essential for the growth and division of all body cells for healing processes. Valuable sources of this vitamins are deep coloured vegetables especially the greens, mushrooms, nuts, yeast and liver. The deficiency may lead to certain types of disorders like anaemia, fatigue, mental depression, hair loss, impaired circulation, serious skin disorders and many more.
5. Vitamin B12-
Vitamin B12 is commonly called cobolamin also called ‘red vitamin’. It is essential for the proper functioning of Central Nervous System, production and regeneration of red blood cell., utilization of fats, carbohydrates and protein for protein building. Valuable sources of this Vitamin are kidney, liver, meat, egg, bananas, peanuts, walnuts etc. It is beneficial in the treatment of anaemia, poor appetite, loss of energy, mental disorders and many more.
So, in this way we came to know about different types of Vitamins and a chart which provides a very good information about Vitamins. So, eat well and live well!
She is a learner and health conscious person. She is always interested in seeking knowledge regarding Ayurveda, herbal medicine and Yoga to cure any health ailments naturally.
She holds a Bachelor Degree in Alternative Medicine and interested in Naturopathy.