The Ultimate Guide To Every Vitamin Your Body Is Starving For

Are you often confused about the vitamins your body needs? I wouldn’t blame you. After all, there are a total of 13 vitamins our bodies need for healthy functioning. Deficiency in any one of them can cause serious issues. In today’s post, we will be talking about each and every vitamin your body needs. What are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins? What will happen if your body lacks vitamin B12? What is the easiest way to increase your intake of vitamins E and K? We will be talking about all of this and more...

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Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are mostly categorized on the basis of their solubility. Either they are water-soluble or fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, with excess amounts being flushed out through urine. There are a total of 9 water-soluble vitamins. Let’s discuss them first.

#1 Vitamin B7

From shampoos to supplements, biotin is becoming a bit of a buzzword these days. But why? Vitamin B7 or biotin plays an essential role in healthy metabolism. It carries out catabolic and anabolic reactions that convert food into energy. You need biotin for healthy nails, hair, and bones. Whole grains, egg yolks, soybeans, and nuts are some prominent sources of vitamin B7. The daily recommended intake of biotin for a healthy adult is 30 micrograms, with an additional 5 required by lactating women. To understand how much this is, you should know one whole cooked egg contains 10 micrograms of biotin. So you need to eat three whole eggs to make up for your recommended daily intake. Lack of vitamin B7 can cause hair loss and rashes in certain areas of the body including face and genitals.

#2 Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folacin or folate, is like a silent supporter. You don’t know how important it is until the body develops a deficiency. Folate is a vital nutrient needed by the body to help with the synthesis of RNA, DNA, and red blood cells. It is all the more important for pregnant women, as it prevents several birth defects. You can get folate from fortified grains, cereals, and leafy green vegetables. Another way to get all your folate is by eating more oranges and tomato juice. They are filled with the goodness of vitamin B9. The daily recommended intake for vitamin B9 is 400 micrograms, with the exception of 600 micrograms for pregnant women. One and a half cup of boiled spinach can provide 393 micrograms of folate. So a cup of spinach soup or a salad containing a bunch of spinach would be sufficient to help you meet your folate requirements. It’s a bit difficult to detect folate deficiency, as symptoms may not appear in the early stages. However, it increases the homocysteine level in the blood, which may result in heart disease.

#3 Vitamin B3

Want healthy skin? Pay attention to your vitamin B3 intake. Vitamin B3, more commonly known as niacin, is needed for healthy skin, blood cells, and energy metabolism. It plays a vital role in the normal functioning of the heart and nervous system. You can get your niacin from poultry, nuts, and legumes. Fortified whole grains are also a good source of vitamin B3. Wondering how much niacin is enough? The daily dietary intake of niacin for healthy men should be 16 milligrams per day, while healthy women should have 14 milligrams. To understand this figure, remember a 165-gram can of tuna contains 21.9 milligrams of niacin. A severe deficiency of niacin can result in a disease called pellagra. Pellagra can bring on vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and headaches. Other common symptoms of niacin deficiency include problems with the digestive system, nervous system, and skin. Are you enjoying this list so far? Well, this next point will surely surprise you. But before we continue, why not subscribe to our channel for more posts like this, and hit the bell icon to be updated on our great The Health Ranger content.

#4 Vitamin B5

Another vitamin, crucial for maintaining healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver, is Vitamin B5. Also known as pantothenic acid, it is needed to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbs, and fats. If you are wondering how to sneak vitamin B5 into your diet, focus on eating nutritious foods like chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms. Avocado and yogurt are great as well. The recommended daily intake of vitamin B5 is 5 milligrams per day, which is equivalent to one serving of breakfast cereals fortified with 100% daily value of pantothenic acid. Vitamin B5 deficiency is very rare in humans as it is present in almost every food. Although, it can be noticed in cases of malnutrition and eating disorders like Anorexia.

#5 Vitamin B2

Another important vitamin crucial for converting food into energy is Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin. It is responsible for maintaining healthy adrenal function, mucous membranes, and red blood cells. Riboflavin promotes normal vision and healthy skin. You can get your riboflavin intake by including eggs, green veggies, and fortified cereals in your diet. Another way to ensure your diet has enough vitamin B2 is by consuming more lean meats and low-fat milk. The recommended daily intake of riboflavin is 1.3 milligrams for healthy men and 1.1 milligrams for healthy women. Eating a cup of fortified oats cooked with water should help you meet your daily riboflavin requirements. Riboflavin deficiency can cause sores at the corners of your mouth, hair loss, liver disorders, and skin problems. If left unchecked, deficiency can lead to a decrease in red blood cells and cataracts, as well as with problems with your nervous and reproductive systems.

#6 Vitamin B1    

Vitamin B1, also known as Thiamin, is another essential nutrient vital for energy production from food. It helps maintain a healthy digestive system and appetite and is critical for neurological development. To make sure you have enough thiamin in your diet, eat brown rice, legumes, and nuts. Meat, especially pork, fish, and whole grains offer a significant amount of thiamin. The recommended daily intake for thiamin is 1.2 milligrams for men and 1.1 for women. You can easily acquire it from just half a cup of boiled white rice. Inadequate intake of thiamin can adversely affect your cardiovascular, muscular, nervous and gastrointestinal systems. A severe deficiency of thiamin can cause a disease known as beriberi. Beriberi causes poor reflexes, numbness in the feet and hands, and loss of muscle.

#7 Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, supports protein metabolism and synthesis of red blood cells. It helps lower homocysteine levels and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system. You also need B6 for proper psychological functioning. You can get vitamin B6 by eating more fish, poultry, and organic meats. Starchy veggies like potatoes and fruits (except citrus ones) are also a great source of vitamin B6. The recommended daily intake for B6 is 1.3 to 1.7 milligrams for an adult. However, breastfeeding moms need 2 milligrams of B6 daily. You can meet your daily intake by eating chickpeas. 200 grams of chickpeas give away 1.1 milligrams of vitamin B6. Although uncommon, a severe deficiency of vitamin B6 can lead to seizures and sensitive hearing in infants. Other symptoms indicating a lack of vitamin B6 include a weakened immune system, scaly skin on the lips, itchy rashes, and a swollen tongue. People with an alcohol addiction have a greater chance of developing a B6 deficiency. This may be indicated through neurological symptoms and ulcers inside the mouth.

#8 Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a vital nutrient which aids the formation of new blood cells, DNA, and RNA. It also helps break down both fatty and amino acids. You need B12 for healthy neurological and psychological functioning. The easiest way to get vitamin B12 is by including foods like meat, poultry, and fish in your diet. A delicious breakfast consisting of a glass of milk, along with a cheese omelet, would be a perfect start to the day. Milk, eggs, and cheese- all are rich in this vitamin. The recommended daily intake for B12 is 2.4 micrograms for both men and women. A 100-gram serving of lamb liver provides a whopping 3,571% of the Daily Value. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling, memory loss, disorientation, and dementia. This can also damage the nervous system. If infants lack B12, their survival can be threatened.

#9 Vitamin C

We all keep hearing how important it is to consume citrus fruits like orange and lemon. When we catch a common cold or flu, the first natural remedy that comes to mind is lemon and honey. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and it is very important to keep your immunity strong along with ensuring you have healthy skin. It is a strong antioxidant that fights off free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is responsible for premature aging, reduction in collagen, and decreased brain functioning. Loading up on vitamin C is pretty easy. Make sure you drink plenty of lemonade. Fruit salads consisting of kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit are a good way to increase your intake of vitamin C. And do not forget the broccoli! The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 for women. This is almost equivalent to a glass of orange juice. Lack of vitamin C may cause dull lifeless skin, joint pain, and poor wound healing. Severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to a disease called scurvy, which can be fatal if not properly treated. Before we move ahead, here’s a video you might like.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins remain in the body for long periods of time, as they are stored in the adipose fat tissue and liver when not being used. There are four types of fat-soluble vitamins. Let’s discuss them one by one.

#1 Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary to maintain healthy eyesight, immune system, and reproductive health. Without an adequate amount, you can develop issues like night blindness, dry skin, fertility issues, and stunted growth. A healthy adult needs 700-900 micrograms of Vitamin A per day. There are two types of Vitamin A- provitamin A and preformed vitamin A. The preformed type is retinol, which is found in dairy products, eggs, meat, and fish. Provitamin A, known as beta carotene, is found in brightly colored foods. So eat more cantaloupes, carrots, and pink grapefruit to get your daily dose of vitamin A. Winter squash, sweet potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables are great too!

#2 Vitamin D

Vitamin D or calciferol is crucial for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It also controls the blood levels of phosphorus and calcium. You can get vitamin D from fortified milk, cereals, and soy beverages. Fish liver oil and fatty fish are great sources as well. Vitamin D is also made by the body when exposed to the sun. The recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 15 micrograms per day. This can be easily acquired by cooking 85 grams of rainbow trout fish. Infants and elderly folks are likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency if their diets aren’t healthy and well-balanced. Lack of vitamin D causes muscle weakness in both children and adults.

#3 Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an important nutrient that acts as a strong antioxidant. It boosts the immune system, widens blood vessels, and is vital for healthy skin, nails, and hair. Vitamin E is naturally found in vegetable oils like wheat germ and sunflower. Nuts, especially almonds and hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and green veggies like broccoli are among the rich sources of vitamin E. You need 15 milligrams of vitamin E daily to maintain a healthy body. 1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil gives 20 milligrams of vitamin E. Lack of vitamin E can cause nervous system issues, a weakened immune system, and muscle damage.

#4 Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a major role in the optimal functioning of several proteins that are involved in blood coagulation. It activates proteins and calcium essential for blood clotting. You can get your daily dose of vitamin K from foods like cabbage, sprouts, and broccoli. Collards and kale are also great sources of vitamin K. The recommended daily intake for vitamin K is 120 micrograms for men and 90 for women. 110 micrograms of vitamin K can be obtained just from eating half a cup of boiled broccoli. Although vitamin K deficiency is not common among healthy adults, individuals taking anticoagulant drugs may lack vitamin K. It can result in impaired blood clotting, easy bruising, and bleeding.

Did any of these vitamins surprise you? Do you track your vitamin intake? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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