Vitamins are crucial nutrients, indispensable to execute different metabolic functions within our bodies to support optimal health, body growth, and prevent several diseases. Even though vitamins are required in small quantities, human bodies do not have the ability to synthesize the vitamins, and hence rely on the easily available vitamins found in plants and animals. Vitamins, in combination with other body nutrients, perform a gamut of tasks in the body such as breaking down proteins, facilitating the growth of tissue cells, bone, and promoting a healthy immune system. Just like their varied roles in the body, vitamins are also found in different sources.
Below is a comprehensive list of the vitamins and their sources.
There are thirteen different kinds of vitamins which are broadly classified into two.
- Water soluble vitamins
Our bodies require constant replenishment of the water soluble vitamins, either in the form of supplements or dietary sources. One of the key benefit of the water soluble vitamins lies in their nontoxicity and easy absorption into the body. Additionally, any surplus amount of the vitamin does not collect as storage fat.
B complex vitamin
This vitamin is necessary for promotion of a vibrant nervous system. The B complex constitutes the eight B vitamins, and the Vitamin C.
Vitamin B6, particularly, forms the chief constituent that strengthens the neural system and improves the cognitive well-being. Other major functions of the vitamin B complex include promotion of cardiac health, and prevention of heart attack (B6), prevention of kidney stones (B1), protects against pancreatic, and breast cancer (B9).
Food Sources of B complex vitamins
Common sources of these vitamins include; bananas, nuts, liver, eggs, groundnuts, vegetables, beans, and cereals.
- Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A, E, K, and D are referred to as fat-soluble vitamins. Just like their name suggests, the fat soluble vitamins have the ability to dissolve in fat. Unlike the latter, the fat-soluble vitamins are not required in regular replenishments. Apart from the absorption of dietary fats in the small intestines, the fat soluble vitamins have a tendency of collecting surplus quantities in the fatty tissues and the liver
Fat-soluble vitamins and their functions
Due to their antioxidant properties, these vitamins help in the improvement of the immune health, development of strong teeth and gums, beauty benefits, supporting of cardiac health, prevention of aging, help in blood clotting, and maintain a healthy reproductive system.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins and their sources
Some of the common food sources of the fat soluble vitamins include dairy products, legumes, Brazil nuts, avocados, broccoli, cereals, liver, and apples.
Both the water-soluble and fat soluble vitamins are necessary for the overall health. For a healthy body, consumption of a balanced diet enriched with all the nutrients is highly recommended. Under certain conditions, however, dietary supplements may be required to be taken along with the diet if the food sources are not readily available.
Infographic provided by Antares Health Products, a TPGS manufacturer