The A, B, C, D, E of Vitamins
It is a known fact that vitamins, minerals and proteins are all important for the overall health of our body. Of the three, vitamins alone enjoy the luxury of labels, i.e., they are the only ones to be labelled as A, B, C, D, E, etc. This can get quite confusing for us when we plan our diets.
Not every diet contains all of these vitamins, which can lead to a few deficiencies. For example, a strictly vegetarian diet misses out on vitamin B12 and a meat heavy diet can miss out on vitamin A and C.
So here’s simplifying all the vitamins and listing out all the foods that they are rich in –
Vitamin A – The first of the vitamins, this one helps strengthen the eyesight; maintain healthy teeth and bones and is extremely good for the skin. Food sources: Dark leafy vegetables, egg yolk, milk and dairy products, carrots, liver, beef and fish.
Vitamin B6 – It helps form red blood cells, maintains brain function and also supports the protein content in the body. If you eat more protein, you need more vitamin B6 for your body to break it down. Food sources: Banana, legumes, nuts, poultry, whole grains, avocado.
Vitamin B12 – This one is a must for good metabolism! It also helps in the formation of red blood cells and maintains the central nervous system. Food sources: Meat, eggs, soy, poultry, shellfish.
Vitamin C – This is also an antioxidant, promotes healthy teeth and gums, and helps the body absorb iron. Food sources: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower.
Vitamin D – Helps the body absorb calcium and, hence, it is very good for bone health and strength. Main source: Sunlight.
Vitamin E – This one’s also an antioxidant; it helps form red blood cells and supports vitamin K. Food sources: Dark green vegetables, papaya, mango, avocado, nuts, sunflower oil.
Vitamin K – Not an official vitamin (i.e., not listed among the essential vitamins) but is absolutely required for our blood to coagulate (solidify). It has also been noted to promote bone health. Food sources: Cereals, cauliflower, cabbage, dark leafy vegetables, fish, eggs.
So now that you know about the food sources make sure you get a proper balance of vitamins from your diet.