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13 Types of Vitamins Explained

Vitamins are nutrients that are essential for the normal and healthy functioning of our body. They facilitate cell function, growth, and development, and even contribute to strengthening our immune system.

Aarushi Chadha
The body usually gets the required vitamins from food and not getting proper nutrients can increase the risk of developing certain serious diseases.
The body usually gets the required vitamins from food and not getting proper nutrients can increase the risk of developing certain serious diseases.

Vitamins are vital nutrients that are classified as either water-soluble or fat-soluble. There are thirteen types of vitamins and each of them has a distinct job to do. Water soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C and B vitamins are absorbed by our intestines and carried by the blood to specific tissues or organs where they are required.

On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, take a lot longer to break down and remain in the body for longer periods of time. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins are not easily lost through either sweating or urinating. The body usually gets the required vitamins from food and not getting proper nutrients can increase the risk of developing certain serious diseases.

13 types of Vitamins

Vitamin A- The best source of vitamin A is carrots, broccoli, milk and milk products, kale, pumpkin, collard greens, and fish. The main function of vitamin A is to keep the eye healthy and to promote healthy muscle growth, healthy skin, a healthy reproductive system, and strong immunity. A deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness.

Vitamin B1- The best source of vitamin B1 is kale, potatoes, pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, asparagus, cauliflower, and oranges. Vitamin B1’s main function is to produce enzymes that help break down sugar. A deficiency of vitamin B1 can lead to beriberi, a disorder that can cause lasting damage to the nervous system and heart.

Vitamin B2- Bananas, persimmons, chard, okra, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, green beans, and fish are the best source of vitamin B2. Its function is the facilitate the growth and development of body cells and help metabolize food. Vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to inflammation of the lips and fissures in the mouth.

Vitamin B3- Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and our body requires niacin to grow and work correctly. Its deficiency can lead to pellagra, diarrhea, skin discoloration, and intestinal upset. Chicken, beef, eggs, salmon, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, lentils, and carrots are good sources of Vitamin B3.

Vitamin B5- Whole grains, yogurt, meats, avocados, and broccoli is the best source of vitamin B5. The main purpose of vitamin B5 is to produce energy and hormones. A deficiency of vitamin B5 can lead to paresthesia.

Vitamin B6- Nuts, bananas, chickpeas, squash, and beef liver is the best source of vitamin B6, a vitamin that facilitates the formation of red blood cells and proper brain function. A deficiency of vitamin B6 can lead to anemia and peripheral neuropathy.

Vitamin B7- The best source of vitamin B7 is cheese, broccoli, spinach, egg yolk, and liver. Vitamin B7 aids the absorption of other nutrients, especially structural protein keratin that promotes healthy nails, skin, and hair. Its deficiency leads to dermatitis.

Vitamin B9- Foods such as leafy vegetables, fortified grain products, liver, peas, sunflower seeds, and legumes are rich in vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 aids in the formation of DNA and RNA in fetuses and prevents the carcinogenic transformation of these genetic units. A deficiency of vitamin B9 leads to megaloblastic anemia.

Vitamin B12- Foods that are good sources of vitamin B12 are meat, milk, milk products, fortified nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, eggs, and fortified soy products. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia and neurological issues because the main functions of vitamin B12 in our body are the maintenance of the central nervous system and healthy metabolism.

Vitamin C- Vitamin C or ascorbic acid has anti-aging benefits as it promoted collagen formation. It also helps wounds heal faster, strengthen blood vessels, and maintains a healthy immune system. Foods rich in Vitamin C are cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, and raw citrus fruits.

Vitamin D- Vitamin D is the only vitamin that the human body can synthesize adequately from sunlight. Other sources include supplements, dairy products, fish oil, and certain fishes. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to rickets or osteoporosis because vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium and aids in the growth of bone tissues.

Vitamin K- Present in broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, and green leafy vegetables, vitamin K aids in blood clotting post getting wounded. A deficiency of vitamin K can lead to hemorrhage or bleeding diathesis.

Vitamin E- Leady green vegetables, nuts, wheat germ, kiwis, eggs, almonds, and vegetable oils are a great source of vitamin E, a vitamin that aids in the formation of red blood cells and reduces oxidative stress. Its deficiency can leafy to neuropathy and hemolytic anemia in newborns.

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