What are the most important vitamins for our body?

In 1912, Polish biochemist Kazimier Funk isolated a certain crystalline substance from rice and called it a vitamin.

Vitamins are essential nutrients that our body cannot just synthesize, so we need to take them in food. They occur in plants with the help of the sun, and only sometimes can they form in the human or animal organism.

The human diet recognizes about 40 different substances that we call essential nutrients; 13 are vitamins, 15 are minerals, while the rest are amino acids. Without vitamins, our body cannot function; each of them has a specific function, the most important of which are vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.

In order to always get enough of them into the body, it is good to know what foods are rich in them. Vitamin A is found in liver, fish and pumpkins. Peas and beans are a great source of Vitamin B responsible for beautiful hair, nails and eye health. This vitamin reduces the risk of different tumors and provides the body with energy, also known as the vitamin responsible for good mood.

Vitamin B2 is a growth vitamin and is especially important in children. It is found in milk, eggs, fish, cereals, broccoli, spinach and asparagus. If we eat enough foods rich in this vitamin, we can significantly reduce the incidence of migraines. Loss of appetite and digestive problems indicate that we lack vitamin B6. It is found in dairy products, pork, poultry, fish, hazelnuts, bananas, avocados and legumes.

We all know well that Vitamin C boosts our immunity and helps treat colds, various infections and high cholesterol. It is found in lemon, orange, strawberries, kiwi, mango, blueberries, currant, pepper and spinach. Vitamin D strengthens bones and teeth, and its best source is the sun. But sometimes it is not enough, so vitamin D must be replaced in food. It is found in almost all foods, most of them in salmon, medium, veal, eggs, mushrooms, dairy products and olive and sunflower oil.

Vitamin K cares for the health of our bones, it prevents osteoporosis. It is found in eggs, green vegetables, onions and meat.

The way we store and prepare food largely determines how much vitamins we lose in certain foods. One of the few vitamins whose value does not diminish by cooking is vitamin K. Most of the others, usually by too long heat treatment, lose their properties.

Knowledge about the importance of vitamins has significantly reduced the incidence of hypovitaminosis in the world, with the exception of the less developed countries, where the deficiency of some of the vitamins in the body is related to general hunger and malnutrition. And that is already a problem for itself and for a completely different story.

Author: I.H., Photo: Zoom Team / Shutterstock

Micronutrition Pt 1 - Vitamins and Minerals (October 2020)