Vitamins have always been in the foods we eat, but their importance for health was only recently discovered less than a hundred years ago. They are essential for our health and the proper functioning of the whole organism and its organs. Since the organism does not produce most vitamins, we must structure our diet in such a way as to ensure their proper intake.
Vitamins are good for everything, of course, in the proper doses. Let’s understand what gives us a vitamin alphabet and what products are a real treasure trove of vitamins.
Vitamin C – ascorbic acid
Table of Contents
First of all, this vitamin is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, rose hips, currants, peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, spinach and tomatoes. Read Tomato Mentor for more information. Sufficient amounts of vitamin C help detoxify the body, strengthen the immune system, and protect the heart. It participates in the metabolic processes of fats, cholesterol and bile acids and stimulates the production of collagen and proteins. It also supports the fight against many pathogens.
Vitamin A – retinol
The most important is the effect of vitamin A on vision. Retinol contributes to the treatment of many eye diseases. It also supports the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and stimulates defense mechanisms against infections (strengthens the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, lungs and intestines). We have animal-derived retinol (beware of overdose) and plant-derived beta-carotene. The richest sources of vitamin A are egg yolks, fatty milk and dairy products, liver, fatty saltwater fish, and red, orange and green vegetables and fruits.
This is a whole group of compounds such as thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, and cobalamin. B vitamins are water-soluble, stored in the body, and must be consumed with food.
Vitamin B1 – thiamine
It is responsible for adequately functioning the nervous system, but its positive effects do not end there. It also promotes wound healing and relieves pain. The primary sources of vitamin B1 are yeast, eggs, grains, sunflower seeds, dried fruits and nuts.
Vitamin B2 – riboflavin
Responsible for the functioning of mucous membranes and vascular epithelium. It is involved in the formation of red blood cells and contributes to the excretion of excess adrenaline (relieves stress). Vitamin B2 can be found in mushrooms, meat, offal, milk, fatty fish and legumes.
Vitamin B3 – niacin
Best known and valued for its effect on skin health. It stimulates blood flow in blood vessels, ensuring beautiful skin color. It also helps lower blood pressure and helps treat migraines and headaches. It is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system and brain. Sources of niacin include nuts, wheat bran, liver, fatty fish, poultry and dried peaches.
Vitamin B5-pantothenic acid
This vitamin is worth taking if you want beautiful and healthy hair. It has a beneficial effect on their growth and pigmentation. It also stimulates the regeneration of skin cells and mucous membranes. Participates in hormonal processes and the production of antibodies. The natural richness of vitamin B5 comes from liver and red meat. We can also find it in fish, bran, eggs and ripened cheeses.
Vitamin B6 – pyridoxine
Significant is the soothing effect of vitamin B6 on skin and acne (regulates sebum). It participates in the formation of red blood cells, antibodies and hormones. It supports the immune and nervous systems. It may also help alleviate menstrual pain. Vitamin B6 treasure troves: nuts, cereals, bananas, avocados, milk, poultry and fish.
Vitamin B9 – folic acid
Folic acid is especially recommended for pregnant women (before and during pregnancy). It prevents severe congenital disabilities in the fetus. It plays a vital role in cell division, the production and development of red blood cells, the synthesis of amino acids and the formation of serotonin and norepinephrine. Therefore, it is worth knowing that vitamin B9 is found in yeast, liver, sprouts, spinach, egg yolk, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli and whole grain cereals.
Vitamin B12 – cobalamin
This is another vitamin from this group that forms red blood cells; it plays an essential role in preventing anemia and pernicious anemia. It is also involved in the synthesis of DNA and RNA and in the metabolic transformations of fats and carbohydrates. A deficiency of cobalamin can affect the nervous system and expected growth. Sources of vitamin B12 are liver, fish, meat, milk, and egg yolk.
Vitamin D – calciferol
Vitamin D is primarily associated with strong and healthy bones and teeth. This is because it optimizes calcium absorption. It has a beneficial effect on the nervous system and heart function. It regulates insulin secretion and stimulates bone marrow defense cells. The vitamin D we need is present in plants (provitamin D2) and in trout – provitamin D3.
Vitamin E – tocopherol
It is known primarily as the vitamin of youth. It is a potent antioxidant, protects collagen fibers from the harmful effects of free radicals. Skin elasticity is also affected by the regeneration of intercellular lipids and blood vessels, involving tocopherol. Sources include cold-pressed vegetable oils, almonds, nuts, lettuce, kale and butter.
Vitamin K is phylloquinone
Most importantly, this vitamin is involved in the blood clotting process. Vitamin K also helps with heavy menstrual bleeding. It has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The main groups of compounds are:
- Vitamin K1 (taken from food),
- K2 (produced by intestinal bacteria),
- K3 (produced artificially);
- Green vegetables (cabbage, spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, broccoli), cauliflower and tomatoes are considered valuable sources of vitamin K.
The basis of vitamin PP is nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. In animal products, niacin is found in the form of nicotinamide and plant products in the form of nicotinic acid. Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are very similar in their effects on the body. A more pronounced vasodilatory effect characterizes nicotinic acid. Niacin can be formed in the body from the essential amino acid tryptophan.
A lot of vitamin PP can be found in milk, cheese, liver, fish pork, tomatoes, potatoes, buckwheat, wheat and other cereals. It should be noted that this vitamin perfectly retains its properties when boiled, fried, frozen and other cooking processes. In this regard, a person’s daily requirement is expressed in niacin equivalents (NE). Thus, one niacin equivalent corresponds to 1 mg of niacin or 60 mg of tryptophan.