Healthy Sources of Vitamins
Healthy Sources of Vitamins or “substances of life”, earned this name because they are essential to live, because when ingested in a balanced way and in an adequate dose they promote the correct physiological functioning of our organism.
Vitamins are extremely important nutrients, which together with other nutritional elements act as catalysts for physiological processes.
With the exception of vitamin D and K, vitamins are essential substances that can not be synthesized (processed) in sufficient quantities by the human body, so they must be obtained through the balanced intake of natural foods that contain them.
Each vitamin has specific functions.
There are at least 13 essential vitamins, which are the following:
Healthy Sources of Vitamins are grouped into two categories:
- Fat-soluble vitamins: they are stored in the fatty tissue of the body. The four liposoluble vitamins are: A, D, E and K.
- Water-soluble vitamins: that the body has to use them immediately, since any excess water-soluble vitamins leave the body through the urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for a few years. The nine water-soluble vitamins are: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 and C.
A vitamin deficiency (hypovitaminosis) occurs when you do not get enough of a certain vitamin, which can cause health problems. Failure to consume enough fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, seeds, nuts and farm eggs can increase the risk of serious health problems, including heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.
Some important functions of vitamins are:
helps the formation and maintenance of teeth, bone tissues, organs, mucous membranes and skin. The recommended sources of vitamin A for a healthy diet come from the carotene which is the precursor of this vitamin, and which is found in many vegetable products such as: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, parsley, tomatoes, mangoes, suckers, yellow corn, soybean oil and farm egg yolk.
(or thiamine) helps body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. Play a very important role during pregnancy and lactation. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart and the maintenance of healthy neurons. The recommended sources of vitamin B1 for a healthy diet are: whole grains (oats, rice, corn, wheat, whole wheat bread, barley), nuts (almond, walnut, peanuts), legumes, green vegetables, fruits, seeds, bran rice and wheat, yeast (brewer’s yeast) and farm eggs.
(or riboflavin) works in conjunction with the other B vitamins and is important for body growth and the production of red blood cells. The recommended sources of vitamin B2 for a healthy diet are: whole grains, nuts, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), seeds, spinach, avocado, asparagus, edible mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ and farm eggs.
(or niacin) is a vitamin B complex that helps maintain healthy skin and nerve cells. It also has hypocholesterolemic effects (lower blood cholesterol).
- The recommended sources of vitamin B3 for a healthy diet are: peanuts, walnuts, whole grains (cereal bran and wheat germ), legumes (peas, soybeans and beans in general) and farm eggs. The vegetable sources rich in tryptophan (which can be converted to niacin) are: avocado, oats and dates.
(or pantothenic acid) is necessary to form coenzyme A (CoA) and is very important in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Pantothenic acid is found in adequate amounts in most diets, and its deficiency in humans is very rare. The recommended sources of vitamin B5 for a healthy diet are: all foods of vegetable origin, natural and whole, and farm eggs.
(or pyridoxine) helps the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of brain function. This vitamin also plays an important role with proteins, as they participate in many chemical reactions in the body. Consuming excessive amounts of protein can reduce levels of vitamin B6. This vitamin is found in almost all foods, so it is very rare to find deficient states. The recommended sources of vitamin B6 for a healthy diet are: spinach, legumes (chickpeas, lentils), whole grains (whole wheat bread), avocado and banana.
(or biotin) is known by many names, but the best-known name of this vitamin is “biotin”. It is essential for the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates, as well as in the production of hormones and cholesterol. The recommended sources of biotin for a healthy diet are: brewer’s yeast, edible mushrooms, peanuts, whole grains (rice, oats, wheat, flour, bread, pasta, wheat germ, etc.) and their derivatives (wholemeal bread , whole grains), legumes (soybeans, beans, chickpeas), nuts and the yolk of farm eggs.
(or folic acid, or folate) acts with vitamin B12 to help in the formation of red blood cells. It is also necessary for the production of DNA, which controls tissue growth and cellular function.
Any pregnant woman should make sure to consume adequate amounts of folic acid.since low levels of this vitamin are associated with birth defects such as spina bifida. Many foods are now enriched with folic acid.
The recommended sources of folic acid for a healthy diet are: peanuts, chickpeas, beans, lentils, young beans, spinach, asparagus, avocados, oranges, cabbage, cauliflower, wheat germ, wholemeal bread.
(or cyanocobalamin) is important for the metabolism of carbohydrates, it also helps the formation of red blood cells, and the maintenance of the central nervous system. It is the only vitamin that is not found in vegetables in sufficient quantities and assimilable to humans. For vegetarians who consume eggs this does not mean a problem, but vegan people (who do not consume any product of animal origin) are suggested to take a reinforced product or supplements containing this vitamin. The recommended sources of vitamin B12 for a healthy diet are: products enriched with vitamin B12 and farm eggs.
(or ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and promotes healthy teeth (and gums). This vitamin helps the body absorb iron and also promotes wound healing. Heat and oxygen easily destroy vitamin C. Recommended sources of vitamin C for a healthy diet are: peppers, citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit, tangerine), most fruits, tomatoes, dark green leaves , cereals and sprouted legumes.
10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure three times a week are enough to produce the body’s requirements for this vitamin. It is very difficult to get vitamin D from food sources alone. This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for normal development and maintenance of healthy bones. Recommended sources of vitamin D for a healthy diet are: regular exposure for 15 minutes in the sun at the appropriate times (from dawn to 10 AM and from 4 PM until sunset), products fortified with vitamin D, and farm eggs.
(or tocopherol) is a powerful antioxidant that slows down cell aging. It also plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body to use vitamin K. The recommended sources of vitamin E for a healthy diet are: wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, sunflower oil, almonds Toast, walnuts, soy lecithin, olive oil, apples, asparagus, mango and avocado.
(or antihaemorrhagic vitamin) plays a fundamental role in the coagulation of the blood. Some studies suggest that it is important to promote bone health. Vitamin K is also produced by bacteria in the human intestine, and it is considered that these microorganisms can produce up to 80% of total vitamin K.
For this reason, vitamin K deficiency is very rare and occurs when the body can not absorb it properly from the intestinal tract, but it can also occur after prolonged treatment with antibiotics (as they affect the intestinal bacteria that produce it).
The recommended sources of vitamin K for a healthy diet are: the yolk of farm eggs, vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus) and dark green vegetables (spinach, turnip greens).
To maintain the nutritional properties of foods rich in vitamins, it is recommended.
if possible, eat them raw, sprouted, or steam them, with little water, and do not overcook these foods.
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