Vitamins are essential for our body. Deficiency of vitamins leads to health issues. It is advisable to include vitamin rich natural foods, instead of taking vitamin supplements. Taking vitamin supplements in excess can lead to imbalance and other side effects in your body. Take vitamin supplements only on the advice of your doctor.
We all include water rich fruits and vegetables to combat the summer heat and dehydration. In the same way, make your diet filled with natural foods which are loaded with vitamins.
Let us understand more about vitamins.
Our bodies cannot produce all the nutrients that are needed to function properly. In view of the same, we need to eat foods which have vitamins in them.
There are 2 main types of vitamins
Water soluble vitamins cannot remain in the body for a long time and we remove it from the body through urine. Due to this reason we need to replenish our body daily by eating foods which have Vitamin C, vitamin B, Vitamin H, Thiamine etc.
If you are on vitamin supplements, then you might find your urine bright orange in colour. These are water soluble vitamins that your body is not able to process and hence needs to be removed out through urine.
Fat soluble vitamins remain in the body for a longer time. They are stored in the liver and in other fatty tissues. They are not removed every day but twice or thrice a week. For e.g., Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K etc.
Let’s move on further to understanding vitamin rich foods.
Vitamin A is needed for all the round development of the body, especially the eyes, teeth, skin and reproduction etc. Some of the natural foods that are rich in vitamin A are carrots, pumpkin, oranges, sweet potato, meats like liver, cod liver oil etc.
It is needed for a good immune system to process fats, carbohydrates, iron absorption etc.These vitamins are mainly found in unprocessed foods like whole grains, legumes, cereals, bananas, lentils, yeast etc.
Vitamin B has the following sub groups:
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – beef, nuts, cereals etc.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – milk, mushrooms, spinach etc.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – broccoli, tuna fish, rice bran , peanuts etc.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) – citrus foods, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, lentils and avocado.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – eggs, chicken, fish etc.(vegetarian diets do not have this vitamin)
It helps to strengthen the blood vessels, immune system, nervous system etc. It has high antioxidant functions which help in cleansing and detoxifying the body.It is found in oranges, guava, gooseberry (amla), capsicum, sprouts, strawberries, kiwis etc.
Sun rays are the best source of vitamin D. It provides more than 90% of the Vitamin D needs of the body. It is an important vitamin for bone development. If you can take 15 minutes to 30 minutes of sunshine daily, it will meet the Vitamin D requirements of your body. Other than sunshine, Vitamin D is found in fish, mushrooms, cheese etc.
This vitamin is essential for blood circulation, helping absorb vitamin A and making red blood cells. It is a powerful antioxidant and so a deficiency will lead to hair loss, low immunity and dry skin. You can find it in sunflower seeds, tomatoes, avocado, nuts etc.
It is essential for blood clotting. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to bleeding. For e.g., spinach, turnips, kale, brussels sprouts etc.
It is needed for the development of healthy teeth and bones. A deficiency in calcium can cause osteoporosis and other bone diseases. You can find calcium in ragi, milk, yoghurt, cheese, tofu, fish, broccoli etc.
It is needed to build muscles and maintain healthy blood. A deficiency in iron can cause anaemia, fatigue and weakness.Iron is found in oysters, clams, liver, lentils, beans, soya beans, nuts etc.
It helps to heal wounds internally. It maintains the sense of taste and smell. A deficiency of this mineral can lead to lower immunity. Some of the foods rich in zinc are lamb meat, chickpea, mushrooms etc.
It helps in the development of muscles, teeth and bones. A deficiency in this mineral leads to fatigue, muscle cramps and a loss of appetite. It is found in dry fruits, green leafy vegetables and also in dark chocolate.
These are some of the essential vitamins and minerals that need to be included in our daily diet. Encourage your family to eat natural foods rich in these vitamins and minerals. These foods are easily available and can be included in your diet to make it healthy.
Please read our earlier article 7 amazing facts about nuts
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