What are vitamins?
Vitamins are essential nutrients which our bodies need to function. The main role of vitamins is to help your body carry out vital tasks such as maintenance and the repair of tissues, cells or organs, converting food into energy and helping support your immune system.
All together there are 13 vitamins which are classed as micronutrients because we only need small amounts of each. The most common ways these vitamins are measured is though mg (milligram), mcg (microgram) or IU(international unit)
What do the different types of vitamins do?
Vitamin A – Also known as retinol, can help with vision, help build up your bodies natural defence against illness and infection, makes sure your organs are functioning and the list goes on.
Vitamin C – Also known as ascorbic acid, helps protect cells and keeps them heathy, supports you body to heal wounds and helps maintain bones and cartilage, blood vessels and healthy skin.
Vitamin D – Keeps bones, teeth and your muscles healthy.
Vitamin E – Helps maintain healthy skin, eyes, and strengthens your immune system.
Vitamin K – Benefits the bodies needs for blood clotting and helps heals wounds.
Vitamin B6 – also known as pyridoxine, helps the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrate in food, it also helps the body form haemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B12- Makes red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy. Furthermore, it supports the body to release energy from food.
Vitamin B (Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid) –Keeps the nervous system healthy and aids the body release energy from food.
Vitamin B (Biotin) – Very small amounts help the body make fatty acids. This vitamin is naturally produced in your bowel.
Vitamin B (Folate) – Also known as Vitamin B9, can help the body form healthy red blood cells and reduce the risk of some birth defects.
Where can I find these nutrients in my food?
The best way to get these nutrients into your body is through food rather than supplements. Not only will certain foods contain these resources but you will also be getting other dietary requirements such as fibre and protein.
Here are some of the top foods that contain each vitamin:
Vitamin A – Sweet Potato, Carrots, Spinach, Red Peppers, Mango, Papaya, Apricots.
Vitamin C – Citrus Fruit, Peppers, Strawberries, Broccoli, Sprouts, Potato.
Vitamin D – Mushrooms, Juice and Plant-Based Milk which has been fortified with vitamin D.
Vitamin E – Plant Oils such as Sunflower, Corn and Olive, Nuts and Seeds, Wheatgerm
Vitamin K – Green Leafy Vegetables such as Broccoli and Spinach, Vegetable Oils and Cereal Grains.
Vitamin B6 – Peanuts, Soya Beans, Oats, Bananas, Wheatgerm.
Vitamin B12- Nutritional Yeast, Plant-Based Milk that is fortified with B12, Cereals which have been fortified with B12
Vitamin B (Thiamine) – Peas, Bananas, Oranges, Nuts, Whole Grain Breads.
Vitamin B (Riboflavin) – Fortified cereals, Mushrooms.
Vitamin B (Niacin) – Wheatflour, Muesli, Fortified Cereals.
Vitamin B (Pantothenic Acid) – Mushrooms, Avocado.
Vitamin B (Folate) – Broccoli, Sprouts, Kale, Spinach, Peas, Chickpeas.
If you would like more advice we would suggest talking to your local doctor or nutritionist.