Eating a balanced diet goes beyond just eating vitamins as a major component of a healthy meal. You may be eating a ‘balanced diet,’ but you are missing out on some of the essential vitamins. That is why we have cases of vitamin deficiencies, which is a serious health problem.
The kind of food you eat is crucial when addressing the issue of vitamins. You must eat the right food and the right amount to get adequate amounts of essential vitamins. Otherwise, you might develop vitamin related complications.
Importance of Vitamins
Vitamins help the body to grow and develop. They also play a critical role in bodily functions such as immunity, digestion, and metabolism. However, there are specific vitamins that help in these functions, and thus, their deficiency can cause serious health complications. Fortunately, all these vitamins are found in the food we eat. However, you need to eat the right food and the right portions to get adequate amounts of vitamins. It is also important to note that the essential vitamins do not only come from fruits and veggies but also other foods such as dairy products.
Essential Vitamins And Food To Eat
There are many vitamins that the body needs, but there are the essential ones. These are vitamins that, when the body is not getting enough of them, you will start having health issues. In this guide, we have put together 10 essential vitamins that everyone needs for the body to function correctly.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin is one of the crucial vitamins for a properly functioning body. The vitamin plays a critical role in maintaining healthy eyesight, healthy teeth and skin, and the overall growth and development of the body. If you have a Vitamin A deficiency, you will start experience poor sight and dental problems, amongst other health issues. You can get this vitamin naturally by adding carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe melons in your diet.
2. Vitamin D
When it comes to developing and maintaining healthy bones, you need to consume an adequate amount of vitamin D. One of the most significant sources of vitamin D is the sun. Make sure that you have created time to bask in the sun every day. In addition to that, you need to eat eggs, fish and mushrooms since they are rich in Vitamin D.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid supports many functions in the body. Most important, it helps to strengthen blood vessels and to improve skin elasticity. It is useful in promoting iron absorption as well as anti-oxidant function. Some of the foods rich in Vitamin C include oranges, guava, green peppers, strawberries, cantaloupe, grapefruits and kiwi, amongst others.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is good for blood circulation. It also protects the body from free radicals hence reducing possibilities of cancer, amongst other diseases. So, it is one of the vitamins that are crucial in enhancing the immune system. There are several foods that are rich in these vitamins, including almonds, tomatoes, nuts, and sunflower seeds.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin is crucial for treating bleeding injuries. It helps in the process of blood coagulation or blood clotting. People with vitamin K deficiency have bleeding problems because the blood does not clot. Some of the foods rich in vitamin K include leafy greens, kales, spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
6. Folic Acid
Folic acid promotes cell renewal. It also prevents birth defects in pregnancy. So, it is an essential vitamin for expectant mothers. In most cases, it is given as a supplement during pregnancy. Some of the foods to include in your diet include dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, asparagus, seeds, corn, nuts, beets, and beans.
7. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 or thiamine is essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. That is why it is prescribed as a supplement for people dealing with metabolism issues, including unhealthy weight gain. The vitamin is responsible for maintaining normal digestion, appetite and proper nerve function. You get the vitamin naturally by adding legumes, nuts, grains, pork, and seeds in your diet.
8. Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin helps the body to metabolize energy as well as aiding adrenal functions, maintain healthy skin, and promote normal vision. You can get them natural from foods such as fortified cereals, grains, lean meat, raw mushroom, fortified soy, poultry and dairy products.
9. Vitamin B3
Also known as Niacin, vitamin B3 metabolises energy and promote normal growth. If used in a large dose, it can help lower cholesterol. That’s why it is widely prescribed to people dealing with unhealthy weight gain and high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin B3 include poultry, eggs, seafood, lean meat, fortified bread, legumes and cereals.
10. Vitamins 12
Vitamin B12 is the most essential for all the B vitamins. It is the vitamin responsible for the making of the red blood cells, RNA, DNA, and myelin for the fibre. So, it is one of the essential vitamins to the body. B12 is widely prescribed for expectant mums to improve the health of the baby and that of the mother. B12 is found in all animal products, including eggs, poultry, fish, meat, milk, and milk products.
Other B vitamins you should have in your diet include pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folic acid (B9). They are crucial for energy production and iron absorption. You can get them naturally from processed foods such as bananas, chilli peppers, whole grains, yeast, and molasses.
In conclusion, Vitamins are an essential part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, most people have no idea which food they should eat to consuming all the essential vitamins. Just eating vegetables and fruits does not guarantee you all vitamins. To avoid vitamin deficiency, use this guide to help you compile a perfect daily diet that provides all the essential vitamins. We also recommend that you visit a dietician.