Vitamins are organic food substances that are found only in living things, i.e. plants and animals. They are essential for our bodies to function properly, for growth, energy and for our general well-being. With very few exceptions the human body cannot manufacture or synthesize vitamins. They must be supplied in our diet or in man-made dietary supplements. Some people believe that vitamins can replace food, but that is incorrect. In fact, vitamins cannot be absorbed without also taking food. That is why it is best to take them in meal. Synthetic vitamin supplements can be of varying quality, so it is a good idea to get your supplements from a reliable source.
Vitamin A helps cell reproduction. It also stimulates immunity and is needed for formation of some hormones. Vitamin A helps vision and promotes bone growth, tooth development, and helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. It has been shown to be an effective preventive against measles.
Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness, dry skin, poor bone growth, and weak tooth enamel.
Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and retinol are all versions of Vitamin A.
Fruit Sources : Most fruits contain vitamin A, but the following fruits have a significant amount: Tomatoes Cantaloupes Watermelon Peaches Kiwi Oranges Blackberries.
Vegetable Sources : Sweet potato, Kale, Carrots, Spinach, Avocado, Broccoli Peas, Asparagus, Squash - summer, Green Pepper.
Nut Sources : Pistachios,Chestnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Pecans, Pine, Nuts/Pignolias, Sunflower Seeds, Almonds, Filberts/Hazelnuts.
Vitamin B1 is important in the production of energy. It helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. Not getting enough thiamine can leave one fatigued and weak. Note: Most fruits and vegetables are not a significant source of Vitamin B1
Fruit Sources : Watermelon
Vegetable Sources : Peas Avocado
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin B1.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is important for body growth, reproduction and red cell production. It also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates. Note: Most fruits and vegetables are not a significant source of riboflavin.
Fruit Sources : Kiwi
Vegetable Sources : Avocado
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin B2.
Vitamin B3 assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy.
Fruit Sources : Peaches, Tomatoes, Kiwi, Bananas, Cantaloupe, Watermelon
Vegetable Sources : Avocado, Peas, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Squash - winter, Corn, Artichoke, Asparagus, Squash - summer, Lima Beans, Sweet potato, Kale, Broccoli, Carrots, Green Pepper,
Nut Sources : Peanuts, Pine Nuts/Pignolias, Chestnuts, Almonds,
Vitamin B5 is essential for the metabolism of food as well as in the formation of hormones and (good) cholesterol
Fruit Sources : Oranges, Bananas
Vegetable Sources : Avocado, Sweet potato, Potatoes, Corn, Lima Beans, Squash - winter, Artichoke, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots.
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin B5.
Vitamin B6 plays a role in the creation of antibodies in the immune system. It helps maintain normal nerve function and acts in the formation of red blood cells. It is also required for the chemical reactions of proteins. The higher the protein intake, the more need there is for vitamin B6. Too little B6 in the diet can cause dizziness, nausea, confusion, irritability and convulsions
Fruit Sources : Bananas, Watermelon
Vegetable Sources : Avocado, Peas,Potatoes Carrots.
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin B6.
Folate and folic acid are both forms of B9. Folate occurs naturally in fresh foods, whereas folic acid is the synthetic form found in supplements. Your body needs folate to produce red blood cells, as well as components of the nervous system. It helps in the formation and creation of DNA and maintaining normal brain function, and is a critical part of spinal fluid. It has also been proven to reduce the risk for an NTD-affected (neural tube defect) pregnancy by 50 to 70 percent. Folic acid is vital for proper cell growth and development of the embryo. That is why it is important for a woman to have enough folate/folic acid in her body both before and during pregnancy
Fruit Sources : Kiwi, Blackberries, Tomatoes, Orange,Strawberry, Bananas, Cantaloupe
Vegetable Sources : Lima Beans, Asparagus, Avocado, Peas, Artichoke, Spinach, Squash - winter, Broccoli, Squash - summer Corn, Sweet potato, Kale, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Green Pepper.
Nut Sources : Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Chestnuts, Walnuts, Pine Nuts/Pignolias, Filberts/Hazelnuts, Pistachios, Almonds, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Pecans, Macadamias, Pumpkin Seeds.
Vitamin B12 is important like the other B vitamins, for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system.Vitamin B12 is the one vitamin that is available only from fish, poultry, meat or dairy sources in food.
Fruit Sources : None
Vegetable Sources : None
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin B12
Vitamin C is one of the most important of all vitamins. It plays a significant role as an antioxidant, thereby protecting body tissue from the damage of oxidation. Antioxidants act to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of the body's metabolism. Free radicals can cause cell damage that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin C has also been found by scientists to be an effective antiviral agent.
Fruit Sources : Kiwi, Strawberry, Orange, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Tomatoes, Lime, Peach, Bananas, Apples, Lemon, Grapes
Vegetable Sources : Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumber, Green Pepper, Kale, Lima Beans, Mushrooms, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Spinach, Squash - summer, Squash - winter, Sweet potato.
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin C.
Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin" since it is manufactured by the body after being exposed to sunshine. Ten to fifteen minutes of good sunshine three times weekly is adequate to produce the body's requirement of vitamin D. This means that we don't need to obtain vitamin D from our diet unless we get very little sunlight - usually not a problem for children. Vitamin D is vital to the human body as it promotes absorption of calcium and magnesium, which are essential for the normal development of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
Fruit Sources : None
Vegetable Sources : Mushrooms
Nut Sources : No nuts contain a significant amount of vitamin D.
Vitamin E plays a significant role like vitamin C, as an antioxidant, thereby protecting body tissue from the damage of oxidation. It is important in the formation of red blood cells and the use of vitamin K. Many women also use it to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and mothers use it to help heal minor wounds without scarring, as it is valued for its ability to soothe and heal broken or stressed skin tissue.
Fruit Sources : Blackberries .Bananas. Apples. Kiwi.
Vegetable Sources : None
Nut Sources : Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Pine, Nuts/Pignolias, Peanuts, Brazil Nuts.
Vitamin K is fat soluble and plays a critical role in blood clotting. It regulates blood calcium levels and activates at least 3 proteins involved in bone health.
Fruit Sources : None
Vegetable Sources : Vitamin K is found in significant quantities in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and kale.
Nut Sources : Pine, Nuts/Pignolias, Cashews, Chestnuts, Filberts/Hazelnuts .