As you may know, macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein) are necessary for us to carry out our daily tasks because they give us energy, lower our risk of disease, and are necessary for the health of our muscles, brain, and cells. But in this blog post, we will talk about vitamins which are part of micronutrients. We will talk about how vitamins can affect our overall health and how they are just as crucial to our body’s needs as macronutrients.
A little background about vitamins:
Vitamins support healthy bone development, wound healing, and immune system function. They also help in the healing of cellular damage and the conversion of food into energy. Our bodies only need small amounts of vitamins, but if we don't obtain enough, it could result in disease. For instance, rickets, vitamin A deficiency-related blindness, and scurvy (vitamin D deficiency). Also, obtaining these vitamins can have a significant impact on our bodies, such as strong bones, the prevention of birth defects, and healthy teeth.
Water-soluble vitamins - vitamin C and vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12)
Water soluble vitamins enter our bodies considerably more easily because our bodies are primarily made of water. Essentially, water soluble vitamins are contained in the watery portion of the food that you eat. When the meal is digested in your stomach, it simply enters the bloodstream after being broken down.
Some important functions of water-soluble vitamins.
Releases energy from the food we consume.
Build proteins and cells, assists in the metabolism of amino acids, and promotes cell division.
Promote collagen production, strengthens blood vessel walls and serves as the framework for teeth and bones.
Fat soluble vitamins - vitamin A, D, E, and K.
The bloodstream cannot absorb fat-soluble vitamins as easily as it can water-soluble vitamins. The lymph channels found in the intestinal walls are required for fat-soluble vitamins to enter the bloodstream. We would need bile, which is made in the liver, to assist break down of the fat-soluble vitamin once it entered the intestinal wall. Next, the small intestine walls would absorb the nutrients. Before entering the bloodstream, they would travel to lymph vessels.
Some important functions of fat-soluble vitamins:
Bone formation – it would be impossible without Vitamin A, D, K.
Protect vision – Vitamin K keeps our cells healthy and protect our vision.
Protect the body – Vitamin E plays a role as an antioxidant.
How can we take advantage of all the benefits of vitamins at once? A balanced diet is the approach. The greatest way to ensure that we are getting all the vitamins we require is to eat a healthy and balanced diet as we are able.
Some of the foods that are good sources of vitamins:
· Citrus fruits and juices.
· Green vegetables/leafy vegetables
· Vegetable oils
· Fortified foods
· Meat (beef, chicken, liver)
· Milk products
· Fish and their oils
· Whole grain products.
To learn more:
please check out: https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm
Gropper, Smith, J., & Carr, T. (2017). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Cengage Learning EMEA. https://search.lib.umanitoba.ca/permalink/01UMB_INST/k6qbb2/cdi_proquest_ebookcentral_EBC6351265
About the Author
My name is Maha, Healthy U volunteer for the current academic year. I'm in my final year of a human nutrition science program (B.Sc.). My areas of interest include sexual and mental health. When I am not in school or working, I like to exercise and spend time with friends and family. I usually attempt to discover new cafés or restaurants since I enjoy trying out different cuisines