Vitamins are organic compounds that play role in releasing energy from the food that we eat, develop red blood cells, help in blood clotting and help in maintaining healthy skin, eye, hair and every organ. They prevent various diseases and make our immune system strong. Deficiency of certain vitamin leads to certain diseases.
There are 13 types of vitamins. They are categorized in two parts:
- Water soluble
- Fat soluble (We need to consume enough fat in order to make these vitamins work)
Out of 13 vitamins, 9 are water-soluble and rest 4 are fat soluble.
Four fat soluble vitamins
1.Vitamin A (Retinoids):
- Difficulty seeing in dim light R
- Rough/dry skin.
- Coeliac disease.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Cystic fibrosis.
Sources: Milk, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, squash, cantaloupe, bell pepper, Chinese cabbage, eggs, peaches.
2. Vitamin D (Calciferol, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D)
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain (mostly in the back and knees)
- Blood sugar issues
- Low immunity
- Weight gain
- Low Bone density and fractures
- Low calcium levels in the blood
- Mood swings
- Impaired Wound Healing
Sources:Milk, sunlight, fortified foods, mushrooms, salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, eggs
3.Vitamin E (tocopherol):
- Nervous system related problems in hands, legs, arms and feet.
- Pain, tingling, loss of sensation, gastrointestinal diseases.
- Dry hair or loss of hair.
- Muscular weakness
- Slow tissue healing.
- Leg cramps.
Green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, blueberries, most nuts, most seeds, tomatoes, avocado
- Easy bruising
- Oozing from nose or gums
- Excessive bleeding from wounds, punctures, and injection or surgical sites
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Bleeding from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
- Blood in the urine and/or stool
- Increased prothrombin time
- Tendency to bleed or hemorrhage and anemia.
Sources: Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, parsley, watercress, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, green peas, carrots.
Nine water-soluble vitamins
1. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Deficiency of B1:
- Increased heart rate
- Weakness in extremities
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Burning feet
Sunflower seeds, whole wheat, mushrooms, asparagus, lettuce, beans, lentils, spinach, peas, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, tuna, soybeans.
2.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Deficiency of B2:
- Glossitis of tongue
- Loss of appetite
- Fissures and sores at corner of mouth and lips
Almonds, whole wheat, soybeans, mushrooms, spinach, yogurt, mackerel, eggs,
3.Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Brown rice, corn, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, mushrooms, asparagus, sweet potato, potato, lentil, barley, carrots, almonds, celery, turnips, peaches, chicken, tuna, salmon.
4.Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
In extreme cases there may be tingling of feet.
Sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, eggs, squash, strawberries, Broccoli, lentils, split peas, avocado, whole wheat, mushrooms.
5.Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Nervous system disorders
Whole wheat, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, potato , banana, trout, spinach , tuna, salmon, beans, bell peppers, chicken.
6.Vitamin B9 (Folic acid or folate)
Folic acid is the synthetic form used in commercially available supplements. Folate is the natural form found in foods. Deficiency of folate results in neural tube defects and some cancers.
- Weight loss
- Cracking and redness of tongue and mouth
- In pregnancy there is a risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery.
Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, black eyed peas, spinach, great northern beans, whole grains, baked beans, green peas, asparagus, , avocado, peanuts, lettuce, tomato juice, banana, papaya.
7.Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
There are not many vegetarian sources present for this vitamin, B12 must be combined with intrinsic factor before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. It should be consumed regularly, although we can store a year’s worth of B12. It is a product of bacterial fermentation, therefore it’s not present in higher order plant foods.
- Pernicious anemia
- Neurological problems
Sources: Eggs, fortified cereals, trout, salmon, tuna.
8.Vitamin H (Biotin)
- Biotin deficiency is a rare nutritional disorder which can become serious, even fatal, if allowed to progress untreated.
- Consumption of raw egg whites over a long period of time can cause biotin deficiency. Egg whites contain the protein avidin, which binds to biotin and prevents its absorption.
- Red rashes on the skin especially on the face.
- Dry or scaly skin.
- Dry eyes.
- Brittle hair.
- Hair loss.
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping.
- Loss of appetite.
Sources: Green leafy vegetables, most nuts, whole grain breads, avocado, raspberries, cauliflower, carrots, papaya, banana, salmon, eggs
9.Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
- Long-term deficiency results in scurvy.
- Dental cavities
- Tissue swelling
- Dry hair and skin
- Bleeding gums
- Gum infections
- Dry eyes
- Hair loss
- Joint paint
- Pitting edema
- Delayed wound healing
- Bone fragility
Lemon, guava, kiwi, orange, bell pepper, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, papaya, broccoli, sweet potato, pineapple, cauliflower, kale, parsley.