If you have read our previous blog on nutrition, you will note we covered the three big elements of a healthy diet. What we did not cover are the other elements of a healthy diet, chiefly vitamins. There are 13 vitamins necessary for the body to function. There are two categories of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body, and it is important to eat them every day. The most important of the water-soluble vitamins are the B-complex vitamins and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is probably best known because of the common cold. Studies show that Vitamin C can help fight a cold in its severity and length while also bolstering the body’s immune system to fight infectious diseases. Vitamin C also goes by another name – citric acid – so named because the vitamin is found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons.
B complex vitamins are called such because there are so many different types in the family. The body needs all of these daily. This is one of the reasons why B complex vitamins are often sold as stand alone vitamins. The B complex vitamins are:
- B1 – Thiamin. Converts food to energy.
- B2 – Riboflavin – Necessary for red blood cells and cell growth.
- B3 – Niacin – Another necessary to convert food to energy.
- B5 – Panothenic Acid – Metabolism, how efficiently the body burns calories, support.
- B6 – Pyridoxine – Supports healthy brain function.
- B7 – Biotin – Promotes healthy skin, hair and nails.
- B9 – Folic Acid – Helps develop central nervous systems in fetuses and repairs DNA.
- B12 – Cobalamin – The body does not produce this vitamin. It keeps blood cells healthy.
Our next blog will focus on fat-soluble vitamins.