A Favorite Vitamin List
Do you ever wonder why your parents forced you to eat your spinach when you were younger? Well, it is probably not because they disliked you; it is because they wanted you to get your vitamins! According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it is crucial for your body to have 13 different vitamins in order to grow and function properly. It is likely that you get almost all of these vitamins already in the food you eat.
We would tell you how important it is to take a multivitamin daily but the reality is that most Americans do not take their vitamins on a daily basis, and many may not need to. Your body can maintain a healthy balance by eating a wide variety of foods. Yet, supplements may be the answer for you if your lifestyle diet does not fulfill your dietary vitamin needs.
Did you know that the term “vitamin” came from “vitamine,” a combination word from vita and amine, meaning the “amine of life”. The word “amine” refers to a group of compounds. In 1912 organic micronutrient foods that were thought to prevent beriberi and other similar dietary-deficiency diseases were considered chemical mines. The “e” was subsequently dropped to shorten it to “vitamin”.
Historically, it was common practice in ancient Egypt to feed liver to someone suffering from night blindness. They didn’t know it was a Vitamin A deficiency back then. They just knew it worked. On long ocean voyages, a ship’s captain and crew knew that taking along fresh fruits and vegetables to eat prevented scurvy and other illness.
Later, in late 18th and early 19th centuries, scientists isolated and identified a number of vitamins. Rickets in rats was resolved by lipid in fish oil and the fat-soluble nutrient was called “antirachitic A”. Consequently, this first “vitamin” process ever is isolated, was originally called “vitamin A”, although now it is called vitamin D.
Vitamin B1 was discovered in rice bran in 1910, setting off a flurry of vitamin discovery in various foods for the next three decades. Another notable in vitamin history is Frederick Hopkins, who concluded through studies that some foods contained “accessory factors” in addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and so they were essential to the health of the human body. He shared the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of a number of vitamins.
In the mid-1930s, the first commercial yeast-extract and vitamin C supplement tablets were available for sale to consumers. Until then, vitamins were gained only through eating instead of pill-form. Dietary changes in that era were based on the different foods grown during each season, thereby regularly altering a person’s intake. For the past 60 years, vitamins have been available as multivitamin dietary supplements in most drug stores and supermarkets.
Following is a list of the 13 vitamins that are essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These vitamins are also on the list of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It would benefit you to read on to become better informed about vitamins. Then, check in with your physician an da dietician to ensure that you are on track with your vitamin goals.
Vitamin A– Do you know where your beautiful skin comes from? It is due, in part, from all those A vitamins you are digesting. Since vitamin A is an antioxidant, it helps protect your skin from environmental exposure. Vitamin A also promotes a healthy immune system, improves bone and cell growth and helps prevent vision problems. Vitamin A is primarily found in whole milk, eggs, and fortified cereal, orange or green veggies such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and orange fruit such as peaches, mangoes and oranges.
B Vitamins: It is a fact food provides us with the energy we need to get through the day. Vitamin B helps regulate the process that your body uses to turn that food into energy, making it crucial for you to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B. B vitamins come primarily from proteins such as fish, eggs, poultry, meat and dairy products. The following is a list of the different B vitamins.
Thiamine-converts carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the function of the heart, muscles and nervous system to function properly.
Niacin-helps maintain healthy skin and nerve function.
Pantothenic Acid – critical for the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Riboflavin-produces red blood cells and is important for vision.
Biotin – promotes cell growth and fatty acids.
Vitamin B-6 – breaks down proteins and helps with nerve and brain functioning.
Vitamin B-12 – makes red blood cells and regulates nerve cell functioning.
Folate – helps make red blood cells and DNA
Vitamin C – Much like vitamin A, vitamin C is good for your skin and helps protect it from environmental exposure. In addition, vitamin C is important for your bones, teeth, gums, blood vessels and connective tissue. It also helps your body to absorb iron as well as calcium, thus promoting healing. You can get plenty of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables such as red berries, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and even some juices.
Vitamin D – We take in the vast majority of our vitamin D from sun light. Although we need vitamin D on a daily basis, it is very possible to get too much of it, which can be harmful to your health. Vitamin D is crucial because it absorbs calcium which promotes growth within our bones. Other than the sun, we can get vitamin D from egg, yolks, fish oils, saltwater fish and liver.
Vitamin E – Also similar to vitamins A and C, vitamin E is an antioxidant which we know helps protect skin from environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke and radiation. Vitamin E helps with the immune system and metabolic processes. You can get plenty of vitamin E from vegetables oils, nuts, avocado and leafy greens.
Vitamin K – An interesting fact about vitamin K is that by not getting enough of it, you are likely to bleed more. In fact, newborn babies receive a shot of vitamin K shortly after they are born because of this. Vitamin K helps your body make proteins for healthy bones and tissue. Vitamin K typically comes from green vegetables and dark berries.
This overview of the different vitamins your body needs and where you can find them in your daily diet will hopefully encourage you to pay attention to just how important it is to take vitamins if your diet is not comprised of the foods listed above in the right quantity. Multivitamins can be beneficial. Yet, your physician recommendations for the types of vitamins you need are the best recommendations to follow. So, check in with your physician to see what is best for you.