Vitamin? What does this word mean? What are the 13 essential vitamins? All these questions will be answered here.
It originates from Vita+Amine, vita means life. So, Vitamins are any of a group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet. These vitamins are essential because they cannot be synthesized by the body.
Your life literally depends on them but that does not mean you need to take them via multivitamin pills. Most people can get all the vitamins they need from a healthy diet. The best scientific evidence to date says that you do not need vitamins in pill form. And getting your nutrition from whole foods is always better than getting it from a pill.
List of 13 Essential Vitamins
There are 13 vitamins that are required for the body to work properly. These are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Biotin (B7)
- Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
- Folate (Folic acid and B9)
These vitamins are grouped into two categories:
- Fat-soluble vitamins: They are stored in the body’s fatty tissue. The four fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins K, E, D, and A. An easy way to remind them is the word KEDA means insect in Hindi. These vitamins are absorbed more easily by the body in the presence of dietary fat.
- Water-soluble vitamins: There are nine water-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and travel into your blood. Most of the water-soluble vitamins, with the exception of vitamin B-12, cannot be stored in the body. Excess amounts are excreted from the body via urine.
Each vitamin listed below has its own unique and important function in our body. Not eating enough fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and fortified dairy foods may create vitamin deficiency. This may increase your risk for health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and poor bone health.
- Vitamin A helps to forms and maintains teeth, bones, mucus membranes, skin and soft tissue.
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) help to converts carbohydrates into energy, plus helps regulate heart function and nerve cells
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B1) promotes the production of red blood cells, helps other B vitamins to function optimally.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) helps maintain healthy skin and nerves. It also has cholesterol-lowering effects.
- Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) essential for the metabolism of food and helps in the production of hormones and cholesterol.
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) helps produce red blood cells, maintains brain function, mediates protein functions (you need more pyridoxine if you eat more protein).
- Biotin (Vitamin B7) metabolizes protein and carbohydrates, helps produce cholesterol and hormones.
- Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12) crucial for general metabolism, helps form red blood cells and maintain the nervous system.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums. It helps the body absorb iron and maintain healthy tissue. It also promotes wound healing.
- Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It helps the body form red blood cells and uses vitamin K.
- Vitamin K helps in blood coagulation, may promote bone health.
- Folate works with vitamin B12 to help form red blood cells. It is needed for the production of DNA, which controls tissue growth and cell function.
This article became too long and might become boring for some of the readers. So we decided to cover it up in the next article.
This is not the end, we are coming with food sources for these 13 essential vitamins and the disease caused by their deficiency.