Substances that our bodies need to develop and function normally. These include vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, choline, and B vitamins.
Vitamins are essential for the normal functioning of the body, growth and overall development. There are 13 important vitamins, Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. These vitamins are categorised as fat-soluble (Vitamins A, D, E, and K)and water-soluble (B group Vitamins and Vitamin C). Fat-soluble Vitamins are stored in the body while water-soluble Vitamins need to be consumed regularly through diet.
Vitamins are crucial in building energy from macronutrients, uplifting your mood, and decreasing stress and anxiety. It enhances memory and maintains muscle strength. They also help support immune function, repair damaged cells, and also help produce enzymes and hormones. Regular consumption of vitamins helps you maintain overall well-being and optimal health.
Excessive vitamin levels can have unwanted effects on your body such as, constipation, diarrhoea, upset stomach, and nausea. Whereas insufficient amounts can lead to problems like brittle hair and nails, mouth ulcers, poor vision at night, hair loss, scaly patches and dandruff on the scalp, bumps on the skin, and restless leg syndrome.
People suffering from kidney disease or liver disorders need to consult with their healthcare provider before taking vitamin supplements. People who are specifically allergic to certain vitamins should avoid them.
Vitamins can be obtained from a wide variety of foods such as fruits and vegetables. Leafy green, cruciferous vegetables, and citrus fruits and berries are excellent sources of vitamins, especially vitamins A & C. Fortified grains like whole grains and cereals are enriched with B vitamins. Milk and dairy products are great sources of Vitamin D and Calcium. Other sources include lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, and other fortified products like fruit juices.
A deficiency of Vitamin C can cause scurvy identified by symptoms like fatigue and bleeding gums. Insufficient consumption of Vitamin D can weaken the bones and increase the risk of fractures. Vitamin A deficiency results in poor vision especially at night time. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes anaemia and neurological symptoms.
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