Vitamins play an important role in maintaining our health. Today, let’s discover the numerous health benefits provided by these vitamins!
Vitamins and their functions
The most common vitamins that we hear about are the vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K. While vitamin B and C are water soluble (are not stored in the body and must be replaced every day), the rest are water insoluble.
Vitamin A for better vision
Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy eyesight and is also useful in treating night blindness, which is caused due to vitamin A deficiency. This vitamin also keeps your immune system strong.
Now, you may want to know where to get your vitamin A from:
Perhaps you’d heard your grandmother say, eat carrots and you may never have to wear glasses – well, it might not be entirely true, but carrots definitely help in keeping your eyesight sharp! Make sure one or more of these vegetables/fruits are a part of your daily diet:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red Bell Pepper
B complex vitamins for energy
Actually, vitamin B has a big family – B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, niacin and pantothenic acid – phew, that’s some group! So, vitamin B is responsible for generating energy and setting it free when the body needs it. This bunch of vitamins also helps in making red blood cells, and carrying oxygen throughout your body.
Vitamin B deficiency can lead to weakness, fatigue and in some cases you might even end up developing cardiovascular problems. You can get your B complex vitamins from:
- Lean meat
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Soy nuts
Vitamin C for resistance
Vitamin C helps you build resistance against common infections such as colds, flu, helps rebuild tissues, bones and blood vessels. Researches have proven that vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system, supports your connective tissues and even prevents nasal congestion. Get your dose of vitamin C from:
- Green chillies
Vitamin D for strong bones
Your body needs Vitamin D for absorbing calcium and phosphate, which in turn is necessary for the growth and development of bones. Lack of vitamin D in the body can make your bones soft and brittle and may cause osteoporosis. In addition, insufficient vitamin D in the body can lead to chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets in children, a disease which causes softening of bones leading to fractures or deformity.
In order to avoid this, make sure you diet comprises of the following foods:
- Cod liver oil
- Fortified dairy products
- Swiss cheese
You can also get your vitamin D by basking in the sunlight for a few minutes every day!
Vitamin E for younger looking skin
This one helps protect your cells and tissues from damage. The health benefits of Vitamin E come from its antioxidant properties. It promotes heart health, respiratory health and is good for your brain.
In addition, vitamin E is beneficial for skin and hair care. It is packed with antioxidants and therefore promotes blood circulation to the scalp. Vitamin E oil is known to speed up cell regeneration and is used to treat scars, acne and wrinkles. This in turn creates an anti-aging effect, making your skin look younger. Foods rich with vitamin E include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine nuts
- Chili power
- Cooked spinach
- Cooked taro root
- Olive oil
- Turnip greens
- Dried apricots
Vitamin K for blood clotting
Remember, as a kid, how surprised you were when you got a cut and your blood acted like glue, stuck together at the surface of the cut to stop the bleeding? That’s vitamin K at work! It plays a vital role in blood clotting. It is also important for building of strong bones and preventing heart diseases.
Vitamin K helps prevent post-menopausal bone loss and calcification of arteries. Recent studies show that vitamin K may possibly provide protection against liver and prostate cancer.
Here’s where you can get your vitamin K from:
- Green beans
Photograph via sxc.hu
You may also like:
- Natural Wonders: Carrots
- Veganism, being truly vegetarian!
- Eggseptionally healthy! The many health benefits of eggs