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Vitamins and minerals are most important part of out dietary need. These are essentials that our body needs to function properly. Vitamins and minerals are also considered as coenzymes because these help our body’s enzymes in performing daily activities and chemical reactions to support life. Our body needs vitamins and minerals in very less amount and so these are called micronutrients.
In this section, we will discuss, the benefits of vitamins and minerals and the deficiencies caused by a lack of them.
All the vitamins are organic materials i.e. these are either made up of some plants or animals. We need to eat these materials plants or animals or animals fed on these plants to fulfill the need of vitamins and minerals need of our body.
Water Soluble Vitamins (vitamin C and All vitamin B) must be taken daily because our body cannot store them due to solubility in water. Water soluble vitamin pass through our digestive system and then extract out mostly through urine, so we require these vitamins everyday.
Vitamin A prevents us from eye problem in particular. This also imparts to a healthy immune system, growth and development of cells and keeps the skin healthy. Vitamin A also plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division, and cell differentiation.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin A
An over consumption of vitamin A can cause headaches, liver damages, skin color change and deficiency by birth.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Thiamin is necessary for the heart, muscles, and nervous system functioning. This also helps the body to convert carbohydrates into energy.
Recommended intake of vitamin B1
Riboflavin changes carbohydrates into energy and produces Red Blood Cells (RBCs). It is also essential for vision and eye’s functioning.
Recommended intake of Vitamin B2:
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin is important for nerve function. It also helps in digestion and helps the body to change food into energy.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin B3:
Vitamin B6 is necessary for brain and nerve function. It assists the body in breaking of proteins and make Red Blood Cells (RBCs). Pyridoxine is the requirement for over 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism.
Vitamin B is usually safe at high doses but Vitamin B6 is exception. Higher doses of B6 cause nerve toxicity, which further leads to difficulty in walking, clumsiness, numbness, and / or burning, shooting or tingling pains.
Deficiency of Vitamin B6 causes dermatitis (skin inflammation), glossitis (a sore tongue), depression, confusion, convulsions, and anemia.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine):
Vitamin B9 helps the body to keep heart healthy, making Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and protein break down. It also helps in making of DNA and RNA, the building of tissues and prevents the change of DNA, which may lead to cancer.
A deficiency of Vitamin B9 can cause the following health problems:
Some of the sources of Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) are dried beans, legumes, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, oranges, poultry, fortified bread, noodles and cereals.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin B9:
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 contains element Cobalt and hence called cobalamin. This vitamin helps in building of DNA in all cells, prepare Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and significant in nerve cell functioning and maintenance.
A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause irreversible nerve damage. It may also cause numbness, tingling sensations in hands and feet, anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, memory loss, mental confusion, depression, dementia, blurred vision, and soreness of the mouth or tongue.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin B12:
Vitamin C is required for collagen the binding tissue that helps in keeping cells together. A deficiency in Vitamin C makes the bones week. It is required for teeth, gums and blood vessel. This vitamin helps the body in absorption of calcium and iron; aids in wound healing and contribute to the brain functioning.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin C:
Vitamin D helps the body in maintaining the level of Calcium and Phosphorus. It makes our bones strong and works in association with other vitamins, minerals and hormones to promote mineralization. It also helps in maintaining healthy immune system, and cell growth and cell division.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin D:
Vitamin E is an anti oxidant. It protects the cells from threat to radicals. Free Radicals are natural by products of oxygen metabolism, which add to chronic disease like cancer and heart problems.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin E
Vitamin K is essential for the development of strong bones. Vitamin K also helps in coagulation of blood. A deficiency in Vitamin K leads to gum bleeding, hematomas, hemorrhaging, easy bruising etc.
Recommended Intake of Vitamin K: