A 10-Point Plan for Health (Without Being Overwhelmed)

The Importance of Vitamins in Our Diet

Vitamins are organic substances contained in various natural foodstuffs in minute amounts. Since these are essential to the normal metabolism of the body, not having enough can lead to medical conditions.

As organic compounds, vitamins contain carbon, an essential nutrient that the body does not produce enough of, thus the need to obtain them from food. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins and fats, however, vitamins don’t supply energy, but they help the body work and grow at best capacity.

There are thirteen essential vitamins offering an entire variety of health benefits like better eyesight, stronger bones and immunity, better energy absorption from food, and more. 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. Because your body doesn’t keep these water-soluble vitamins, you need to replenish your stores on a regular basis.

Essential Functions

All the thirteen vitamins have their own individual functions, but they can work as a group as well in improving your health. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight and immune function, as well as better skin, teeth and bones.

Vitamin C contributes to optimal tissue development, promotes iron absorption, and improves immunity. Vitamin D paired with the mineral, calcium, also plays a big role in immunity and bone health. Vitamin E aids in your body’s use of vitamin K, which affects bone health and blood-clotting mechanisms, and contributes to optimal production of red blood cells.

Of course, the B vitamins have their part to play, mostly in relation to better central nervous system functions, hormone synthesis, cardiac operation, basic cellular maintenance, brain activity and body metabolism.

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. When vitamin C deficiency is severe, a person can have scurvy, with symptoms including gum disease, anemia, muscle and joint fatigue and skin hemorrhage.

Lastly, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, or the softening and weakening of bones in children, and the existence of autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure and poor bone health in adults.

There is so much information you can read these days about the importance of vitamins. The above can put you on the right track.