There are many different kinds of vitamins that can help your body. These vitamins, along with the essential minerals, which can also be called micronutrients, are things that your body needs, in small amounts, which promote good biochemical reactions within your body and within your cells. They make you grow right, help you digest your food, make you more mentally alert and more mentally sound, help you to be resistant to infectious diseases, and help your body to use carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Also, vitamins and minerals are catalysts in your body, which speed up or initiate chemical reactions. The difference between the vitamins and the proteins you get from food is that you don’t burn up the vitamins, so you can’t use them for energy.
Because your body does not make most vitamins and minerals directly, you have to get them from food sources or from vitamin supplements. If you aren’t getting enough of a certain vitamin or mineral for a long period of time you can get a specific disease or condition. This will usually be fixed when the vitamin or mineral is re supplied to your body.
Basically, there are 13 vitamins. Four of them are fat-soluble and nine of them are going to be water soluble. The ones that are fat-soluble can be stored in your body fat and also stored in certain organs such as your liver. The water-soluble vitamins do not get stored in your body in large amounts.
The vitamins that are fat soluble, which means that you can store them in your body for a long time, include A, D, E and K. These dissolve in lipids and require bile in order to be absorbed. They are also stored in tissues, and if you have too many of them they can be toxic to you.
The water-soluble vitamins are going to be C and eight of the B vitamins. These are thiamine, which is B1, Riboflavin, which is B2, niacin, pyridoxine, which is B6, pantothenic acid, which is B5, vitamin B12, biotin and folic acid. These dissolve in water, so if you are cooking or washing, the vitamins might actually be washed out of the food. They are easily absorbed and excreted, and are not stored very much or often in your tissues. These vitamins are seldom going to reach toxic levels.
- Iron — meat, poultry, fish, and beans.
- Vitamin A — carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale.
- Vitamin B12 — meat, poultry, fish.
- Vitamin E — nuts, seeds, vegetable oils.
All of these vitamins are found in food, but if you aren’t able to get the food that you need in order to get the vitamins, you are going to have to turn to nutritional supplements to make sure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that your body is going to need.