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The Importance of Vitamins in Our Diet
Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in natural foodstuffs. Because of the crucial role these substances play in normal metabolism, a lack of them can cause a whole range of medical conditions.
Being organic compounds, vitamins contain carbon, which is an essential nutrient that the body produces in inadequate amounts, hence the need to source it from food. But in contrast to proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins supply no energy, although they are do help the body work and grow at optimal levels.
There are thirteen essential vitamins that provide a whole range of health benefits, including better eyesight, a stronger immune system, stronger bones, faster wound healing process, and several others. Without enough vitamin intake, you could be vulnerable to many different diseases or medical conditions.
Types of Vitamins
Depending on how the body stores or uses them, vitamins can be fat-soluble or water-soluble. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, and this means that they are stored in fats, where they stay for up to about six months.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin C and the vitamin B series (B6, B12, pantothenic acid, folate, biotin, thiamine and niacin) are all distributed all over the body through blood circulation. Considering that your body does not retain water-soluble vitamins, you have to make sure that your stores are constantly replenished.
Each of the thirteen vitamins comes with is own particular functions, but they can also work as a team to improve your health. Apart from stronger bones, teeth and immunity, vitamin A also gives you better eyesight and glowing skin.
Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, boosts immunity and promotes good tissue development. Vitamin D, together with calcium (another mineral), also has a role in bone health and immunity. Vitamin E helps your body make use of vitamin K, and this is involved in blood-clotting and bone health maintenance, and also plays a part in essential red blood cell formation.
Of course, the B vitamins have their own work to do, most of which is related to metabolism, cellular maintenance, heart and brain health and hormone production.
Consequences of Vitamin Deficiencies
Insufficient vitamin intake puts your health at risk, specifically in relation to heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Insufficient vitamin B intake sets the stage for anemia and irreversible nerve damage.
When you take too little vitamin C, your system will not produce enough of the body’s primary tissue known as collagen. In extreme vitamin C deficiency cases, people can be afflicted with scurvy, which is characterized by overall weakness, gingivitis, anemia and skin hemorrhage.
Lastly, vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets, which manifests as bone pain and deformation, and overall poor growth in children, and as poor bone health, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases in adults.
If you’re really keen on learning about vitamins and their importance, just look online and you find tons of information. The above can put you on the right track.