Vitamins are one of the six essential nutrients required by the body. It helps in proper functioning of the body along with building stronger immunity. There are 13 vitamins that are needed by your body. These are Vitamin A, 8 kinds of vitamin B (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6 , folate and B-12), vitamin C, D, E and K.
Interestingly, body can only synthesize vitamin K and vitamin D on its own. This means other vitamins needs to be consumed either through your diet or by supplements.
Although required in smaller amounts, vitamins are necessary for proper functioning of our bodies including growth, general well being and prevention from many health problems. Here’s a list of 10 essential vitamins and their sources:
Vitamin A is necessary for reproductive capability, cell production and for vision. You should also consider intake of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted into vitamin A.
Sources- Leafy Vegetables, Milk products (Cheese, yoghurt, butter), Liver, Fish oil, beta-carotene (carrots, broccoli and spinach).
Vitamin B1 is Thiamin that is required by body cells to convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also required for muscle contraction and other nerve cell functions.
Sources- Peas and Legumes, Whole grains, Egg, Pork and Beef steak, Thiamin fortified breads and cereals.
Vitamin B-2 and B-3
While vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) helps in growth and production of red blood cells, vitamin B-3 called as niacin helps to control cholesterol, keep your skin healthy and converts carbohydrates to energy.
Sources- Chicken, Avocado, Eggs, Nuts & Legumes, Potato.
Vitamin B-5 also known as pantothenic acid is responsible for conversion of fats into energy, create red blood cells & sex related hormones and helps in skin care.
Sources- Milk, Mushroom, Broccoli, Eggs, Legumes & Lentils, Avocado, Whole grain cereals.
Vitamin B-6 also known as pyridoxine is important as it is responsible for production of various hormones like serotonin(regulates mood, sleep, memory, sexual desire), melatonin(regulates sleep) and dopamine(regulates motivation, lust, learning, addiction)
Sources- Banana, Avocado, Nuts, Poultry, Legumes and whole grains.
Vitamin B-12 is necessary for making DNA and helps in keeping blood and nerve cells healthy.
Sources- Milk & Milk Products, Shellfish, Eggs, Liver and Kidney meats, Soymilk
Vitamin C is responsible for many purpose – maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth, healing wounds and repair tissues in all parts of your body.
Sources- Spinach, Broccoli, Cabbage, Citrus Fruits, Potato & Tomato, Cauliflower.
Our body is able to synthesise vitamin D by itself after exposure to sunlight. It helps body to absorb calcium thereby resulting in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
Sources- Fish cod oils, Dairy products (Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter), Fortified cereals, Salmon & herring
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is responsible for protecting body cells by reducing free radicals. Vitamin E is used to protect skin against ageing, sun damage and inflammation. It also helps to bring shine and strength to your hair
Sources- Sunflower, Corn and safflower oil, Avocado, Papaya & Mango, Wheat germ oil, Spinach, broccoli, turnip.
Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting, bone health, regulation of cell growth and maintenance of arterial wall.
Sources- Spinach, Kale, Turnip, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Fish, Liver, Beef, Eggs, Cabbage.
Best way to obtain vitamins is through eating a balanced diet with variety of foods. Dietary vitamin supplements also ensure that necessary amounts of nutrients reach to the body everyday. However, you must consult your dietitian/doctor before starting any doses of multivitamin supplements.