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Friday, December 05, 2014

The Vitamins in Your Superfoods

The word “Vitamin” is a combination of two words: Vital and Amines. The human body needs vitamins to work properly, so that we can grow, develop and stay healthy. Vitamin deficiency can result in many serious disorders.

Vitamins are divided into two main categories: the fat-soluble vitamins designated as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, and the water-soluble vitamins which include vitamin C and the group of molecules known as the vitamin B complex. Each of them has its  own special function in the development of human body.

What are the most common vitamins in your superfoods?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a very big part in eyesight and helps us to see in dim light and at night. Vitamin A is also involved in the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. In addition, it is essential for proper bone development, tooth development, reproduction and for the development of epithelial cells that line any opening to the body, e.g. nose, throat, lungs, mouth, stomach, intestines and urinary tract.

Vitamin A can be found in carrots, spinach, potatoes, broccoli, apricots, nectarines and orange or yellow vegetables or fruits.

The deficiency of vitamin A may cause two major problems such as: night blindness and drying of skin.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B itself is a complex of different vitamins such as: B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid. These B vitamins are very important in metabolic activity and in facilitating the red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout your body. They also assist your body in producing protein and energy.

The top sources of vitamin B are leafy green vegetables, beans, peas, citrus fruits, whole grains such as wheat and oats.

The deficiency of vitamin B could cause cracked lips, weak muscles, malformation of red blood cells, growth and development and also disturbs the nervous system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a water-soluble, antioxidant vitamin that’s vital to the production of collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It is important for maintaining body tissues, such as gums and muscle tissues in good shape and it helps in healing of wounds. It also helps protecting the fat-soluble vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids from oxidation.

Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, strawberries, apples, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and in other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C deficiency impacts the healthy skin; wound healing and can lead to a disease called Scurvy which causes bleeding in gums, easy bruising, bumps of coiled hair on the arms and legs, pain in the joints and many other different problems.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the formation of bone and the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine. It helps {to control the movement of calcium between bone and blood, and vice versa. It is the vitamin you need for robust bones and teeth. In addition it helps your body absorb the amount of calcium it needs.

Vitamin D can be found in fish liver oil, egg yolks, milk and other dairy products. It is also produced in our body in the presence of ultra violet light and sunlight. For vegans and vegetarians it is recommended to take vitamin D supplements during the winter months.

Deficiency of vitamin D may cause weak bones and bowed legs in  children as wel as lack of appetite, weight loss, nausea, headache and depression.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin and is essential for the inhibition of oxidation in body tissues, formation of red blood cells, and also prevents breakdown of body tissues. It maintains the body tissues and protects the lungs from becoming damaged by polluted air.

This vitamin can be found in whole grains such as wheat and oat, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, nuts, bread, cereals and seeds.

The deficiency of this vitamin could cause many diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.