Vitamins play a very important role in our general health and well being. We need our regular dose of vitamins to stay away from their deficiency which can lead to serious health problems. There are many essential vitamins needed by our body and which can be consumed through our everyday food. This is one of the main reasons why we need to have a balanced diet that is rich in minerals and vitamins which can be absorbed by our body. Here are some of the essential vitamins and why these are so important for us.

Vitamin A – This is a group of nutritional unsaturated organic compounds that include provitamin A carotenoids, retinal and retinol. There are several functions of vitamin A:

  • Building our immunity
  • Improves vision
  • Important for gene transcription
  • Helps in cellular and skin growth
  • Is essential for reproduction and embryonic development
  • Helps in Bone metabolism
  • Is good for antioxidant activities

If there is a deficiency of vitamin A in our body it can lead to serious health issues which need prolonged treatment. There are several fruits and vegetables which are rich in Vitamin A and among them carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe melons and other orange foods are most important sources.

Vitamin B – There are several vitamins under this category and can be classified as –

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, or pyridoxamine, or pyridoxine hydrochloride)
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin)
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
  • Vitamin B12 (various cobalamins; commonly cyanocobalamin in vitamin supplements)

Vitamin B is extremely good for our immunity, our iron absorption in our body, and for the production of energy. If there is a deficiency of this vitamin in our body, it could lead to anemia, weight loss, poor immunity, poor metabolism, neurological disorders, depression, high blood pressures and several other conditions. The best sources of this vitamin are whole unprocessed foods which include bananas, chili peppers, molasses, yeast, lentils and beans.

Vitamin C – This vitamin is best known for its antioxidant properties that help in neutralizing radicals and in their disposal from our body. It is essential for strengthening our blood and helps in iron absorption, gives our skin great elasticity and is best known as an antioxidant. It is found in abundance in oranges and other fruits like green peppers, Brussels sprouts, grapefruits and guavas.

Other Vitamins which are needed by our body includes the following –

  • Vitamin D – This is vital for our strong and healthy bones. The best source of vitamin D is sun as it helps in the production of vitamin D in the body. Besides natural sunlight, vitamin D is richly loaded in mushrooms, fishes and eggs.
  • Vitamin E – This vitamin helps in protecting our body from free radicals. It is naturally found in almonds, nuts, tomatoes and sunflower seeds.

To get the benefits of all essential vitamins, it is essential to have a balanced diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, for a healthy and happy life.