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Are Vitamins important to human body?

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Why do we need to eat Vitamins? Their importance to the human body Vitamins are essential nutrients that we get from eating a varied and nutritious balanced diet. It is important to the body in small amounts to function properly for example, immunity and metabolism.

It is also best to eat nutrient rich foods that contain vitamins and minerals instead of taking artificial vitamin and mineral supplements. As vitamin A is not made in our bodies, hence we must obtain them from our food. Here we need to know what these vitamins are, how much do we need and what happens if you take an overdose?

They are mainly two types of vitamins: Fat soluble and Water soluble.

Fat soluble vitamins are widely found in fatty foods like animal fats, lard, butter, liver, oily fish, vegetable oil or dairy foods. The fat soluble vitamins easily dissolve in fat and not water. These vitamins require dietary fat so that it is absorbed in the small intestines and later stored in the liver and fatty tissues. Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K.

Water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body hence you need to have them frequently. These are found in fruit, vegetables and grains. The water soluble vitamins easily dissolve in water and the leftover amounts are not stored and will get released from the body through the urine.

For this reason, we must consume them on a continuous basis. The water soluble vitamins are Vitamin B, C and folic acid. Apart from the above, there are also other types of vitamins that are an important element in a healthy diet.

Some of the vital vitamins rich foods that you must include your balanced and healthy diet are:

  • Vitamin A: Cod liver oil, Liver and Kidney are the best sources of vitamin A. Other vitamin A rich foods are Sweet Potato, Carrots, Dried Apricots, Butternut squash, mint, cheese, eggs, yogurt etc. Some important functions of vitamin A are strengthening immunity against infections and good vision. The amount of vitamin A and women need to take is 0.6 mg while men should take 0.7 mg.
  • Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in the human body. It can be obtain from direct sunlight. Vitamin D helps in maintaining the function of the nervous and aids in absorption of calcium. It also helps to keep bones strong and healthy. Children with vitamin D deficiencies often develop rickets and weakening of muscles and bones. It is said that an average healthy adult, between ages 19 and 50 should take about 200 IU’s of vitamin D per day. Foods like Milk, Cereals, Salmon, Eggs, Orange juice, Tofu and Soy Milk, Mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E is a complete cover of eight different nutrients, four different tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Each of these vitamin E is considered a fat-soluble antioxidant and are found in different degrees in our daily food. We need vitamin E to boost the immune system so that it can fight with various bacteria and virus. Foods rich in vitamin E are wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, sun dried tomatoes, almonds, cod liver oil, mayonnaise, corn oil, soya oil, groundnut oil, peanuts, sweet potatoes, spinach, beet greens, shrimp, raisins and tomato puree.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K is not a single nutrient but is a group of vitamins of similar composition. The other two main group of vitamin K are vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. K1 is mainly found in many green leafy vegetable while K2 is produced by bacteria in fermented foods or from meats, cheese and eggs. Vitamin K plays a vital role in helping the blood clot and preventing excessive blending.
  • Vitamin B: Vitamin B group are water-soluble and the body does not store them. Vitamin B helps the body to convert carbohydrates (food) into glucose (fuel) which is later burned to produce energy. Vitamin B is necessary for hair, eyes, and healthy skin. Dietary source rich in vitamin B are whole unprocessed foods, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chilli peppers, beans etc.
  • Vitamin C:  This is one of the most familiar of all the nutrients and is almost available in most citrus foods. This is considered one of the best known antioxidant. Vitamin C is richly available in most citrus fruits as well in non-citrus fruits which includes orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon and in non-citrus fruits like papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, raspberries, watermelon, pears and bananas etc.

It is very important that we must have a nutritious balanced meal as our body requires an array of essential nutrients to run smoothly. They help us fight against diseases, builds our body and proper growth. So remember to include foods that are rich sources of these vitamins and eat every day to stay healthy and fit.

Listed below are some yummy and delicious recipes that you could try out:

Lime in Chilli Chicken

Lemonade Indian Style

Thotakura Amaranthus Pappu


Healthy Mixed Vegetable Omelet

Potato & Spinach Curry – Aloo Palak

Prawns – Shrimp cooked in sour Greens gongura

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