So, why are vitamins essential for good health? This is a very good question to be asking when you are on your route to getting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
There are many vitamins out there, and they can come in many forms. This is a list of the essential vitamins you need to stay healthy and ultimately alive and some of the most common foods to find them in.
Yes, there are 13 vitamins that you need to live! Here is a quick list of them and why you need them to survive.
Vitamin A: This is needed for healthy hair, nails, and skin. It also promotes the growth of new cells and helps with night vision.
Vitamin B1: Needed for a healthy metabolism, and to maintain normal digestion and appetite as well as proper nerve function.
Vitamin B2: Aids in adrenal function, normal vision, healthy skin, and is needed for energy metabolism.
Vitamin B3: Has been shown to lower cholesterol in larger doses and aids in normal growth and the metabolism on energy.
Vitamin B5: Normalizes blood sugars and aids in energy metabolism.
Vitamin B6: Is used to help in proper nerve function, the synthesis of blood cells, the release of energy, and promotes protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
Vitamin B7: Helps maintain a healthy metabolism.
Vitamin B9: Used to make DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and to synthesize certain amino acids in your body. For pregnant women it also helps prevent birth defects in the fetus.
Vitamin B12: Used to make RNA, DNA, red blood cells, and the myelin found on nerve fibers.
Vitamin C: Promotes wound healing, iron absorption, is a key antioxidant, strengthens blood vessel walls, helps prevents atherosclerosis, and supports your immune system.
Vitamin D: This is a companion vitamin, as it is needed for your body to absorb calcium. Not surprising it aids in strong bones and teeth
Vitamin E: This one is a key antioxidant, protects fatty acids and helps maintain muscles and red blood cells.
Vitamin K: This vitamin is needed for your blood to clot properly.
When it comes to vitamins, they really do fall into 2 different categories; fat soluble and water-soluble. But what does that even mean?
Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fat and need fat to be absorbed into your body. This also means that your body can store these vitamins in the fat cells in your body to be used later if there is a surplus in your diet.
Water-soluble vitamins are somewhat similar and vastly different from the fat soluble ones. They can dissolve in water and this is needed for the body to use them. Unlike the fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are NOT stored in the body. They are consumed by you then used or not by the tissues of your body. Any extra that is not used by your body is then expelled from the body.
Both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins can be gotten from both animal and plant sources.
B1 (thiamine): Water-soluble
B2 (riboflavin): Water-soluble
B3 (niacin): Water-soluble
B5 (pantothenic acid): Water-soluble
B6 (pyroxidine): Water-soluble
B7 (biotin): Water-soluble
B9 (folate): Water-soluble
B12 (cobalamin): Water-soluble
C (ascorbic acid): Water-soluble
Here is a list of the top five foods where you can find each of the 13 essential vitamins.
Vitamin A: sweet potato, carrots, tuna, butternut squash, spinach
Vitamin B1: lean pork chops, salmon, flax seed, navy beans, green peas
Vitamin B2: skirt steak (beef), fortified tofu, low-fat milk, salmon, portabella mushroom
Vitamin B3: beef liver, chicken breast, tuna, turkey, salmon
Vitamin B5: chicken liver, sunflower seeds, avocado, portabella mushroom, salmon
Vitamin B6: 1% milk, ricotta cheese, salmon, tuna, eggs
Vitamin B7: liver and other meats, egg yolk, yeast, nuts &seeds;, salmon
Vitamin B9: legumes, asparagus, eggs, leafy greens, beets
Vitamin B12: animal liver & kidneys, clams, sardines, beef, fortified cereal
Vitamin C: guavas, bell peppers, kiwi fruit, strawberries, oranges
Vitamin D: salmon, herring & sardines, cod liver oil, canned tuna, oysters
Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, spinach, butternut squash
Vitamin K: kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, pickled cucumber
As you may guess, this is by no means a complete list of where to get these essential vitamins. This is a good place to start and work your way from there. It is always good to vary your diet and what you eat to make sure that you get all the vitamins and nutrients that you need to stay healthy.
There are many places that you can get vitamins from. There are many ways that you can get all that you need, and one of the biggest options is multivitamins; but how good are these?
There are many options out there for you to chose from. One of the main differences is between the multivitamins that are designed specifically for men and women. Women’s multivitamins can have higher amounts of iron and this can be bad for men who do not need as much.
What would be best would be to talk with your doctor and see if s/he could recommend what one would be best for you based on your individual needs. That way you make sure that you are getting what you need and nothing of what you don’t or something that could be harmful for you.
For example, you could be on a medication that requires you to have a lower intake of potassium so you would need to take a multivitamin that complied with this. Your doctor will be your best source of helping you make this decision.
As it says right there, it mostly matters that you get the vitamins that you need. I hope that this answered your question as to “Why are vitamins essential for good health?”. Vitamins are so important to getting and keeping yourself healthy.
As always, I want to encourage you to contact your doctor before making any adjustments to your diet or vitamin intake. It is important they are on the same page and help you make decisions that are the most beneficial to your health.
I would love to hear from you! If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.