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Importance of Vitamins

Importance of Vitamins The nutrients required by the body are present in different foods that we consume daily. Proteins Ė the body building nutrient can be derived from milk, legumes or meat. Calcium is the mineral that strengthens the bone and teeth. Carbohydrates in breads, cereals, pasta, and rice take care of energy requirements. Vitamins, although required in smaller quantities, cannot be neglected in the diet. Let us now delve into the importance of vitamins.

The importance of vitamins lies in their ability to meet several body requirements including bone development, immunity building, eye vision improvement and their role in helping the body to utilise other nutrients.

Vitamins are either fat soluble or water soluble. To appreciate the importance of vitamins in diet, we need to realise the individual benefits of some essential vitamins:

Vitamin A, known as Beta carotene and Retinol helps to prevent night blindness and skin disorders such as acne. Vitamin A also acts as an anti oxidant and helps the body against diseases like cancer. It further helps to slow down the ageing process. Fish liver oils, green and yellow vegetables and fruits such as peaches, papayas, cantaloupe, apricots and sweet potatoes are rich sources of Vitamin A.

The benefits of Vitamin B1 cannot be ignored while understanding the importance of vitamins for human body. Thiamine or Vitamin B1 helps to increase blood formation and circulation. It plays a significant role in maintaining proper nerve impulse transmission, optimising cognitive activity, and in the functioning of the brain. The foods rich in Vitamin B1 include brown rice, egg yolk, legumes, peas and whole grains. The importance of vitamins in their B3 form lies in its assistance in red blood cell formation and good blood circulation. Vitamin B3 lowers cholesterol and assists in the maintenance of skin, nerves, and blood vessels. The deficiency of this vitamin can cause Pellagra and problems such as fatigue, insomnia, limbs pain, loss of appetite, and canker sores. The foods sources of Vitamin B3 include beef liver, broccoli, carrots, dates, egg yolk and whole wheat products.

The importance of vitamins as known to most people is their significant role in the different metabolic functions of the body. Vitamin C excels in this function. Known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is an anti oxidant required for tissue growth & repair, adrenal gland function and healthy gums. It strengthens the body immunity against cold and cough, pollution impacts, and common infections. Common wounds like cuts and bruises can be healed faster with the intake of Vitamin C. It also helps in the absorption of iron in the body. All citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of Vitamin C. The daily diet must include such foods since Vitamin C is lost from the body through excretion. The importance of vitamins in their C form is also emphasized by doctors and health experts.

Vitamin D is essential for growth and development of bones and teeth in young children. It is found in butter, sweet potatoes, milk and fish. The importance of Vitamins E and K lies in their ability to build body resistance against cancer and cardio vascular diseases.

The importance of vitamins in diet is often not realised till the body starts to show negative symptoms due to their deficiency. However, now that you know the importance of vitamins, do take care to include them in some form in your daily meals.
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