“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a very well-known saying that many of us agree with. This is because we know that fruits and vegetables are beneficial to our health since they are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Getting enough vitamins and minerals are essential to our health and mood for a variety of reasons because of the fact that they give our body the fuel and the resources to function properly. It is recommended to eat about 5 servings of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis to give our body enough vitamins to maintain a healthy and happy body.
There are thirteen different essential vitamins that can be divided into two main groups, fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in our bodies and are only dissolved in lipids, as the name suggests. There are four main fat-soluble vitamins which includes vitamin A, D, E and, K that help us function properly.
Vitamin A is primarily responsible for maintaining a healthy vision and growing tissues. A deficiency in vitamin A can have a variety of unwanted effects ranging from rashes to ocular problems such as night blindness. Luckily for us, vitamin A is relatively easy to get as one can get their dose from eating green leafy vegetables, some fruits and dairy products.
Vitamin D is primarily responsible for helping our bodies absorb the necessary calcium for healthy bones and teeth. A deficiency can cause brittle bones but ten minutes in the sun daily will remedy this as our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when exposed to UV rays.
Vitamin E is responsible for protecting our immune system and red blood cells and prevents muscle weakness. We can get the necessary dose of vitamin E in almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, sunflower seeds, and butternut squash just to name a few sources. Vitamin K plays a major role in blood clotting which help us prevent excessive bleeding and can be consumed through a wide range of green leafy vegetables.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are only soluble in water and are not within our bodies. There are two main water-soluble vitamins which include vitamin B and C. Vitamin B is a nutrient that helps keep our body’s nerve and blood cells healthy as well as aiding in the development of DNA. Vitamin B also prevents a type of anemia that can result in excessive tiredness and weakness and can be consumed through animal products such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy.
Last but not least, we have vitamin C which is responsible for tissue growth and repair as well as making the protein used in skin, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. We can get our dose of vitamin C through citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes and broccoli.
Overall, it is not too difficult to meet all our vitamin needs through our daily diet as long as we stray away from processed foods which actually refine the some of the things our body needs out of our food. It is important to keep a diet that finds a good balance between all our nutritional needs. One point to keep in mind is that it is significantly better to ingest your vitamins naturally through the foods you consume over concentrated supplements as the human body was not meant to digest such highly concentrated doses of vitamins that come in the form of a pill.
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