Healthy Vitamins And Why Your Body Needs Them!

Everyone knows the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet. It ensures that our bodies get all the required nutrients and minerals in the perfect amounts while also ensuring that we do not run out of energy at any time of the day after eating our food.

Vitamins are essential components that our body gets from different food sources. Since vitamins are organic compounds that our body cannot synthesize by itself, we will always have to rely upon our diet and food to obtain these vitamins for ourselves.

Although there are dietary supplements available in the form of pills that work as alternatives to the dietary options, there is no better substitute than the natural fresh food options that are incorporated with these vitamins.

Vitamins And Their Functions

While we know that vitamins are important for us, we also need to look into why each one is important. These vitamins have different functions in the context of our health, and only when they are inside our bodies in the required amounts can they perform their daily functions efficiently.

Given below is a brief overview of the most important vitamins and the important functions that they perform:

Vitamin A

  • The most important function of Vitamin A is to maintain normal vision by regulating the retinal pigment ‘Rhodopsin’.
  • Vitamin A also helps regulate the body’s natural defence system, thus helping the body fight off infectious agents and other foreign bodies that could potentially harm it.
  • Vitamin A also helps with healthy and normal cell growth and development.
  • Food Sources: Leafy green vegetables, carrots, milk, eggs, beef liver, fish oils, etc.

Vitamin B Complex

The Vitamin B complex includes Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6, and B12.

  • These vitamins help in carbohydrate metabolism that helps make energy available for the body. They also help metabolise proteins and fats.
  • They also help in the normal growth and development of the nervous system.
  • Food Sources: Fortified cereals, fish, beef, eggs, green beans, rice, yoghurt, bread, noodles, milk.

Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C helps keep the bones, hair, skin, teeth, and nails health and in proper condition.
  • It helps with wound healing and directs the growth of healthy tissue over the damaged or injured areas.
  • Food Sources: Citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes.
Photo by Diana Light on

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D helps retain and regulate calcium and phosphorus stores in the body.
  • It helps improve the mood and get rid of anxiety and depression.
  • Vitamin D also helps control infection and inflammation inside the body. In the long run, this effect helps fight off cancer and reduce its risk.
  • Food Sources: Fatty fish, fish liver oils, fortified cereals, milk, and other dairy products.

Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and helps keep the body free from free radicals that might damage the body and cause diseases.
  • It also helps with the production of red blood cells while simultaneously keeping the blood vessels wide enough to prevent and clotting from taking place inside them.
  • Food Sources: Peanuts, almonds, vegetable oils, spinach, broccoli.

Vitamin K

  • Vitamin K takes part in the production of several proteins that are involved in the clotting of blood. Thus, they have an important role in the clotting of blood.
  • Vitamin K is also involved in the stimulation of bone growth, which helps in the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Food Sources: Cheese, blueberries, figs, eggs, spinach, kale.

A Few Recipes

It is worth noting that while the vegan diet has been gaining popularity , in the long run it isn’t the best choice for human health. Adding eggs and diary by following a vegetarian diet is the better choice. Dairy cows are raised differently to beef cattle. Hens are easy to keep for a regular supply of eggs and are cute pets to have.

The Coronation Quiche. Treat yourself to this special recipe as Britain celebrates a new king. This recipe contains eggs which are a wonderful food source. Add green beans or a green salad as a side accompanied by cute new potatoes as per recipe or even small baked potatoes would suffice.

Buddha Bowls. These recipes by Weight Watchers are bursting with vegetables and would be an easy lunch too.

A vitamin E rich broccoli recipe. Vegetables can be the hero of a dish when presented in a recipe like this one.

Contributed by a medical professional and part of the Nourish foundation series.