All about Vitamins and Health, Vital Minerals rich Foods

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all articles on Yoga Concepts

As per Samkhya Philosophy,

each component of the universe

as we experience it,

is composed of the basic elements

put together in different proportions,

and combinations, for each entity so created.

Likewise, humans as a body are held

together by a mix of different elemental

combinations: some elements are present

in large quantities

and some in minuscule proportions,

The ones needed in lesser proportions are known as vitamins, or vital minerals.

The amount of an element present in the body is not proportional to its significance in keeping the life form throbbing. Conversely it’s the elements which are present in traces in the human body that provide the reason for existence in contrast to the ones present in larger amounts.

As these elements are required in small proportions for keeping the vital functions of the body in action, that is why we call them as vital minerals or Vitamins. A healthy body needs other plant nutrition elements too. A healthy Diet involves eating food in its natural form ( uncooked form ) as some of all vitamins present there in are susceptible to destruction on exposure to heat.

Let me run you through the basic facts about all vitamins every one must know, on the list of all vitamins which are vital to living a healthy life. Along with other details you will also get to know about all vitamin’s benefits. Its always better to ingest these nutrients from natural food sources than by consuming their supplements in the form of pills.

All about Vitamins

1. Vitamin C ( L-ascorbic acid) – Vitamins

  • It is water soluble, thus any extra amount in case ingested gets expelled via urine
  • Ascorbic acid cannot be synthesized by human body, thus it needs to be taken in from the outside environment
  • Its a powerful antioxidant (anti ageing) which prevents the connective tissue ( collagen) from breaking up with age, thus it helps in maintaining the health of all the body tissues, especially the skin for longer
  • It facilitates several metabolic processes, strengthens the immune system it deficiency can lead to body being easily invaded by infections – common cold, flu etc. – causing microbes
  • The deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy, weak collagen resulting in blood leaking out of the capillaries. Vitamins C is an important ingredient in the concoction prepared for treating common cold at home.
  • Green & red peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, lemons and oranges are rich sources of vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin C has the tendency to break down on exposure to the temperatures above a certain degree, thus one must consume the foods rich in vitamin C raw as far as possible
  • Meat, fish, poultry and dairy products contain very less amount of this vital nutrient, make sure to intersperse these food items with foods rich in ascorbic acid in order to meet the needs of the body in a balanced way
  • Recommended amount of vitamin C to be consumes per day is 40 mg, for both the sexes – male and female

All about B Vitamins

A. Vitamin B 1 ( Thiamine) – Vitamins

  • Thiamine is responsible for the changes in one’s mood, slowing down the destruction at the cell level (antioxidant), and for regulating the glucose ( energy production) within the body
  • It is an essential component for facilitating the conversion of carbohydrates to energy
  • Thiamine protects against lead toxicity by preventing the formation of lead induced fat per-oxidation
  • Not consuming adequate quantities of thiamine for long can lead to a medical condition called beriberi, which leads to mental confusion, anorexia and muscle weakness
  • Healthy amounts of Vitamin B 1 are present in whole cereals, legumes, seeds & nuts , bakery products ( large amounts of thiamine is present )
  • An adult must consume a minimum of 0.5 mg/1000 Kcal intake, or a minimum of 1.0 mg / day for those who consume less than 2000 Kcal daily

B. Vitamin B 2 ( Riboflavin)

  • Riboflavin helps in maintaining the overall health of the red blood cells ( helps maintain healthy blood), and keeps the skin, nails and the hair healthy
  • Its a water soluble vitamin, thus any overdose, in case ingested gets expelled out of the body along with the liquid waste
  • A diet deficient in riboflavin can lead to inflammation at the corners of the mouth, fissures in the lips, inflammation of the tongue, and greasy dry scales around the nose
  • vitamin B 2 is abundantly present in lean meats, almonds, soybeans, eggs, mushroom, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and dairy products
  • Bread and cereals are adequately fortified with riboflavin
  • It is recommended that men must consume 1.3 mg, and women 1.1 mg of riboflavin every day

C. Vitamin B 3 ( Niacin)

  • The role of niacin ( Niacin amide) is crucial to respiration at tissue level, metabolism of glycogen , lipids, amino acids, and proteins
  • Deficiency of niacin causes Pellagra: dermatitis on the areas exposed to the sun, dementia and diarrhoea, inflamed corners of the mouth and glossitis
  • Pork, beef, wholegrain cereals, cow milk and eggs are rich food sources of vitamin B 3
  • A male must consume 16 mg of niacin per day, and the recommended amount of niacin for a female is 14 mg per day

D. Vitamin B 5 (Pantothenic acid)

  • Pantothenic acid is crucial to the formation of haemoglobin, cholesterol and hormones based on steroids, breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, and proper functioning of the neurotransmitters
  • In case it is present in lesser amounts in the body than recommended it leads to weakness, and high blood pressure
  • The deficiency of Pantothenicacid in the body can also cause abortion, neuromuscular diseases, adrenal cortical failure, gastrointestinal malfunction, and frequent neonatal death
  • Whole grain cereal and legumes, potato, tomato, chicken and beef are the rich sources of vitamin B 5
  • Recommended level of intake is 6 mg per day for males, and 4 mg per day for females

E. Vitamin B 6 (Pridoxal 5-phosphate)

  • It plays a vital role in the metabolism of amino acids, glycogen and spingoid bases in liver and red blood cells
  • One of its components ( it comprises of 3 components) is required for converting tryptophan to niacin
  • In case the required amount of VitaminB6 is not present, the body becomes vulnerable to cardiovascular risk, rheumatoid arthritis, neurological malfunctions
  • Cereals, beans, fish, poultry and some fruits and vegetables are adequately equipped with this vital nutrient
  • 2.0 mg per day is the recommended intake of vitamin B 6 for both genders: male and female

F. Vitamin B 7 (Biotin) – Vitamins

  • Biotin contains Sulphur and it is a water soluble vitamin
  • The body utilizes Biotin to metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and fats
  • It is crucial to the normal growth of the fetus
  • Dermatitis, loss of hair, conjunctivitis, psychological and neurological malfunctions can be cause by the deficiency of vitamin B 7
  • Dermatitis, loss of hair, conjunctivitis, psychological and neurological malfunctions can be caused by the deficiency of vitamin B 7
  • Get your recommended amount of Biotin – 30 mg for males, 25 mg for females, per day- from green leafy vegetables, whole grains, peanuts, corn, wheat at bran, cheese, yogurt, egg yolk, chicken and meat

G. Vitamin B 9 (Folic acid)

  • Folic acid is essential for the production of protein, the building blocks of the body
  • vitamin B 9 deficiency leads to impaired cell division, change in protein production, neural tube birth defects, some heart defects, magaloblastic anaemia, and still to be explained sub-fertility
  • Eggs, dairy products, asparagus, orange juice, dark green leafy vegetables, brown bread and beans are well fortified with folic acid
  • In order to stay healthy related to the disorders mentioned above both males and females must intake a minimum of 400 mg per day

H. All about Vitamin B 12 (Cobalamin)

  • Cobalamin is a collective term used for a cobalt containing group from among all B vitmains nomenclatured as Corrinoids
  • Its major role comes in the synthesis of fatty acids in myelin ( spinal linning)
  • Deficiency of cobalamine causes megaloblastic anaemia, demylenation of the spinal cord, brain leads to certain neurological symptoms
  • Chicken and meat contains adequate amounts of vitamin B 12
  • Recommended intake of this vitamin is 1 mg per day for both male and female

3. Vitamin A (Retinol)

  • Vitamin A is a fat soluble vital mineral
  • It helps maintain the functionality of the immune system, reproductive system, vision, and growth of the body parts
  • Retinoids and carotenoids are two type of compounds, found in nature, which convert to vitamin A inside the human body
  • Deficiency of vitamin A causes Xerophthalmia a critical disorder of the eye, retardation in growth and anorexia (lack of appetite ), infections of the intestine , and infections of the upper respiratory apparatus
  • Carrots, spinach, broccoli, egg, milk, fish and liver are rich sources of vitamin A
  • Males and females both must intake 600 mg of vitamin A daily along with the other essential vitamins

4. Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)

  • In food it occurs in a form known as vitamin D 3
  • A type of cholesterol present in the body converts to vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight
  • Cholecalciferol is required for the formation of the skeletal system and also maintaining the equilibrium of various minerals in the body
  • It is helpful in maintaining normal levels of calcium in the blood, and formation of bone from calcium and other minerals
  • A child suffering from the deficiency of vitamin D would have a deformed skeleton, and an adult with low levels of this vital mineral would have weak and fragile bones
  • Deficiency of Cholecalciferol leads to reduction of bone density or mass, secondary hyperparathyroidism, and osteoporosis lead to high risk of bone fracture
  • Fortified Milk, fish liver oil and salt water fish are naturally rich sources of vitamin D
  • A daily intake of 5 mg is recommended for both male and female

5. Vitamin E (Tocopherol) – Vitamins

  • Vitamin E is the second fat soluble vital mineral from among all types of vitamins
  • Deficiency of vitamin E can cause blockage, infection of the pancreatic duct and bronchi along with fibrosis
  • Blockage of the bile duct, abnormalities of the fat transportation in the body , neurological defects are the other inflections which are corollary of vitamin D deficit in the body
  • Vitamin E is naturally present in green leafy vegetables, fruits, corn and safflower, meat, fish, vegetable oils of soybean
  • Males are recommended to intake 10 mg of vitamin E daily, and the figure is 7 mg per day for the females

6. Vitamin K (Phylloquinone, Menaquinones)

  • It is a fat soluble vital mineral which is very crucial to the functioning of certain body proteins like the one involved in coagulating and regulation of the clotting of blood
  • It helps in the formation of proteins found in bones, kidney and plasma
  • The deficiency of vitamin K can lead to troubles related to coagulation of the blood, profuse bleeding at child birth for both, the mother and the child
  • Green leafy vegetables, soybean oil, olive oil , egg yolk, butter. chicken, cheese and fermented soybeans are rich sources of Vitamin K
  • Intake of 120 mg per day for men and 90 mg per day of vitamin K is recommended

Knowing about the vitamins is equally important as knowing, and practicing the healthy eating habits for a long and disease free life.

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