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Vitamins are substances your body needs for normal growth and functioning. Some are needed for crucial chemical reactions, some help our immune system function properly so it can and fight off diseases, while others act as building blocks for the body. Here's an overview of the most essential vitamins, what they do, and where you can find them.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is comprised of carotene (from vegetal-sources) and retinol (from animal sources). Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A have a tendency to be deep green or yellow-orange tinted, and the darker the color, the higher content of retinol.

Some foods rich in Vitamin A include: Fish liver oils, liver, dairy products (vitamin A); carrots, dark-green leafy vegetables (beta-carotene).

We Need Vitamin A for:
Healthy skin, strong teeth and bones, maintaining resistance to infection, normal growth, cell structure, & normal eyesight.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Plays a large part in metabolism and how a person's nerves and muscles work and develop. It is vital for the fabrication of energy from glucose. The more carbohydrate you consume the more of this Vitamin B you will require. Thiamin also helps increase mental vigilance.

Some foods rich in Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) include: Whole grains, brown rice, beans, peas, organ meats, lean pork, seeds/nuts.

We Need Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) for:
Our bodies to use carbohydrates, digestion and appetite, normal function of nervous system.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Operates as an antioxidant and protects the immune system. It is concerned with the metabolism of meals and energy production. It is also used as a yellow food coloring and will change the color of the urine too. This is nothing to be worried about.

Some foods rich in Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) include: Dairy products, meats, poultry, fish, green vegetables (broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, spinach)

We Need Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) for:
Normal growth, formation of certain enzymes, cellular oxidation, prevention of sores and swelling of mouth and tongue.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Is presented in 2 forms, as Nicotinic acid and as Nicotinamide. The first of these may cause blushing of the skin if used in excess, though this is harmless. Vitamin B3 has important roles when regarding energy production and metabolism and takes care of the skin, nerves, intestines and thinking progression. It has been used in treatments against hay fever, asthma, depression, arthritis, an overactive thyroid, and for lessening cholesterol levels.

Some foods rich in Vitamin B3 (Niacin) include: Lean meats, fish, poultry, whole grains

We Need Vitamin B3 (Niacin) for:
Activities of enzymes in the body's use of carbohydrates and fats, detoxification of pollutants and alcohol, nervous and digestive system functions, production of sex hormones, healthy skin

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Another B-vitamin dealing with energy assets of the body and for sustaining a healthy nervous system. It assists in cell growth in curing tissues and is thought to improve hair condition. Its derivative (Calcium pantothenate and Pantotheine) are thought to improve liver function in those persons suffering viral Hepatitis A.

Some foods rich in Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) include: beef, eggs, legumes, mushrooms, whole grains and vegetables.

We Need Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) for:
To break carbohydrates and fats down into fuel, and it has also been dubbed the ´┐Żanti-stress vitamin´┐Ż.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Is essential for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It supports the fusion of a number of brain chemicals and aids in controlling the function of sex hormones.

Some Foods rich in Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) include: Meats, whole grains, wheat germ, brewer's yeast

We Need Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) for:
Protein metabolism, the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is also essential for the regulation of the nervous and immune systems.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Is typically present in the body in satisfactory amounts because it can be easily stored. Lack of this vitamin has as a primary consequence in the form of anemia.

Some Foods Rich in Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) include: Fish, dairy products, organ meats, beef, pork, eggs

We Need Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) for:
Nervous system functions, normal development of red blood cells, production of genetic material in cells, effective use of carbohydrates and folic acid from foods


Biotin is used in the conversion of food to energy and in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins

Some Foods Rich in Biotin Include: Nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, organ meats, brewer's yeast

We Need Biotin for:
Conversion of food to energy and in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Biotin is also important for health hair, skin, and nails.

Folic acid

Folic Acid is involved in stabilizing amino acid levels in the blood and it is used in DNA synthesis to allow cells to divide normally. Folic Acid is also needed in the formation of protein and hemoglobin.

Some Foods Rich in Folic acid include: Green leafy vegetables, oranges, beans, peas, rice, eggs, liver

We Need Folic Acid for:

Important metabolic processes in the body, growth, reproduction, production of red blood cells

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C is mainly an important antioxidant which helps the growth and preservation of red blood cells, teeth, skin and bones. It aids in the repair of cells and the formation of collagen, and even more it helps the body resist stress and infection. It increases the absorption of calcium and iron.

Some Foods Rich in Vitamin C include: Citrus and other fresh fruits, fresh vegetables.

We need Vitamin C for:
Healthy skin, bones, teeth, gums, ligaments, and blood vessels; immunity to disease; wound healing; absorption of iron from the digestive tract

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food and can also be made in your body after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Sunshine is a significant source of vitamin D because UV rays from sunlight trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin

Some Foods Rich in Vitamin D include: Fatty fish, liver, eggs, fortified milk

We need Vitamin D for:
Strong bones; regulation of the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the digestive tract

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an Antioxidant which acts to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism. Free radicals can damage cells and may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Some Foods Rich in Vitamin E include: Whole grains, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, eggs

We Need Vitamin E for:
Normal brain function, formation of red blood cells, maintaining some enzymes, normal cellular structure, protection against pollutants

Vitamin K

Vitamin K controls normal blood clotting and protein creation. It also upholds healthy bone growth.

Some Foods Rich in Vitamin K include: Green leafy vegetables, dairy products

We Need Vitamin K for:
Blood clotting and protein creation.

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