Ignoring The Importance Of Essential Nutrients Can Lead To Health Problems

We all are surviving because our body is functioning internally in the presence of the essential nutrients. In the absence of any of the essential nutrients in the body, it will fail to perform accurately, leading to deficiencies or health concerns.

Today I will be talking about these essential nutrients and their role in performing different activities

So, Let’s begin with Vitamin A.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that our body doesn’t produce and should be consumed in our diet to maintain sufficient balance. This fat-soluble vitamin is stored in the liver until required by the body and requires protein for transportation.

There are two types of vitamin A, Preformed Vitamin A and Provitamin A.

Preformed vitamin A is found in animal products like meat, fish, poultry, and dairy foods.

While Provitamin A is found in plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables. The most common type of pro-vitamin A is beta-carotene.

Vitamin A Is Responsible For Numerous Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to form and maintain healthy teeth and skeletal.
  • It helps to produce pigments in the retina of the eye due to which is also called retinol.
  • It helps to improve vision under the condition of low or poor lighting.
  • It helps to protect the cell from free radicals damage that is responsible for long term illness & aging.
  • It helps to maintain the functioning of all surface tissues (epithelia) like skin, the lining of the respiratory tract, gut, bladder, inner ear and eye.
  • It helps to supports the replacement of skin cells and ensure the production of mucous with conjunctiva to provide a barrier to infection.
  • It helps to maintain a healthy immune system, promote growth, development and reproduction.

Food Sources For Vitamin A Fruits and vegetables

  • Dark green leafy vegetables like amaranth, spinach etc.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Carrots.
  • Pumpkins.
  • Mangoes.
  • Papaya.

Animal sources

  • Liver.
  • Eggs.
  • Milk.

Symptoms Of Deficiency of Vitamin A

  • Cause Night blindness.
  • The eyes and skin tissues can become dry and damaged.
  • The immune system may not function well.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one of the known antioxidants essential for immunity and helps carry out various functions in the body. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that remains stored in the body until require while the excess is eliminated from the body.

Vitamin C Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It is responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system and wound healing.
  • It is essential for the growth, development and repair of body tissues.
  • It is required to produce collagen, maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth health.
  • It helps to increase the absorption of iron and protect from free radical damage.

Apart from that, it is also effective in cardiovascular health and eye health to prevent cataracts.

Food Sources For Vitamin C

  • Orange juice.
  • Broccoli.
  • Red cabbage.
  • Green pepper.
  • Red pepper.
  • Kiwi.
  • Tomato juice.

Caution: Don’t exceed the consumption of Vitamin C over 2000mg a day because it can lead to digestive problems like stomach upset or diarrhoea.

Symptoms Of Deficiency of Vitamin C

  • Scurvy, whihc is characterized by weakness, anemia, bruising, bleeding, and loose teeth.
  • Slow wound healing.
  • Dry and wrinkled skin, a sign of aging.
  • Lack of energy and tiredness.
  • Weak immunity.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to regulate the absorption of calcium & phosphorus in the body.
  • It helps to improve the functioning of the immune system of the body.
  • It helps to promote the growth and development of bones and teeth.
  • It helps to regulate mood and fight depression.

Apart from that, it can also reduce the chances of developing multiple sclerosis(a brain & spinal cord disease) and heart disease.

Food Sources For Vitamin D

  • Oily fish like salmon etc.
  • Fortified foods like breakfast cereals.
  • Liver.
  • Red meat.
  • Egg yolks.

Symptoms Of Deficiency Of Vitamin D

  • Increased risk of falling sick.
  • Excessive tiredness & fatigue.
  • Increased back or bones pain.
  • Slow wound healing.
  • Low bone mineral density.
  • Frequent hair loss.
  • Muscle pains.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. It doesn’t leave the body with urine and remains in the body for longer.

Vitamin E Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to protect cells from free radical damage due to its antioxidants property.
  • It helps to boost the immune system to fight against bacteria and viruses.
  • It helps to widen the blood vessels to avoid the clotting of blood within them.
  • It helps cells to interact with each other to carry out important functions.
  • It can also reduce the risk of developing heart problems in young adults.

Food Sources For Vitamin E

  • Fortified foods like breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarine and spreads etc.
  • Vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower oils etc.
  • Nuts like peanuts, almonds etc.
  • Seeds like sunflower seeds.
  • Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli etc.

Symptoms Of Deficiency Of Vitamin E

  • Cause nerve and muscle damage that leads to loss of body movement control.
  • Cause muscle weakness.
  • Vision problems and weak immunity.

Now let’s talk about Vitamin B, which is responsible for many chemical reactions in the body.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 or Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for everyday functioning of the body. It doesn’t store in the body and is required to be consumed in the diet on daily basis.

Vitamin B1 Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to convert carbohydrates into energy.
  • It helps to support the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • It helps in the contraction of muscles and conduction of nerve signals.
  • It is essential for the metabolism of pyruvate(output during the metabolism of glucose).

Food Sources For Vitamin B1

  • Fortified products like bread, cereals, rice, pasta etc.
  • Wheat germ.
  • Pork.
  • Eggs.
  • Legumes and peas.
  • Nuts and seeds.

Symptoms Of Deficiency of Vitamin B1

  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Beriberi.
  • Brain damage(in severe deficiencies).

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that is required to be consumed on regular basis to maintain adequate levels of the reserve maintained by the body.

Vitamin B2 Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It is important for the growth of the body and the production of red blood cells.
  • It helps to release energy from proteins, facilitate the processing of amino acids and fats.
  • It is important for improving vision and other eye conditions like cataracts, eye fatigue etc.
  • It helps to unclog the facial pores, improve blood circulation and prevent acne or pimples.
  • It also helps to reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.
  • It helps to achieve healthy, shiny hair and nails.
  • It helps to improve digestion and prevent constipation.
  • It helps to increase the absorption of essential minerals like folic acid and iron and vitamins from the food.

Food Sources For Vitamin B1

  • Dairy products like milk, cheese etc.
  • Vegetables like beans, broccoli, mushrooms, dried peas, soybeans, green peas, bell peppers, dark green leafy vegetables etc.
  • Grapes.
  • Seeds and grains.
  • Fortified foods like bread, breakfast cereals etc.
  • Salmon fish.
  • Meat and poultry, like chicken, eggs, turkey, kidneys, and liver etc.

Symptoms Of Deficiency Of Vitamin B2

  • Anemia.
  • Stomatitis with symptoms like a painful red tongue with a sore throat, red chapped & sore lips etc.
  • Skin issues.
  • Swelling of mucous membranes.
  • Low metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
  • Inflammation in the corners of the mouth, tongue.
  • Bloodshot eyes with symptoms like high sensitivity to light, a burning sensation in the eyes or itchy, watery eyes etc.
  • Unhealthy nails, dry or oily hair, dandruff.
  • Indigestion, weakness and lack of sleep.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 or Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin that needs to be consumed on regular basis to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin B1 Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to promote the healthy functioning of the neural system & digestive system.
  • It helps to break down the food to produce energy.
  • It helps to improve the function of 200+ enzymes, synthesis and repairing of DNA.
  • It helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.
  • It helps to prevent heart problems and promote heart health.
  • It helps to treat infections and extreme fluid loss conditions like diarrhoea, cholera, etc.
  • It helps to reduce the blood sugar levels in the body to keep diabetes under control.
  • It helps to improve the cognitive functioning of the brain.
  • It helps to reduce the signs of aging like fine lines, dark spots, wrinkles, etc.
  • It helps to improve mobility in between the joints to cure osteoarthritis.
  • It helps in the synthesis and functioning of various hormones.
  • It helps to improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal system by improving digestion.

Food Sources For Vitamin B3 Vegetarian sources

  • Vegetables like mushrooms, green peas, beans, lentils, ginger, sweet pepper, and potatoes.
  • Nuts and seeds like peanuts, soy nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.
  • Dairy products like milk, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, whole milk, curd, etc.
  • Grain products like fortified breakfast cereals, oatmeal, pasta, and bread.
  • Whole grain flours like rice, wheat, barley, and corn.

Animal sources

  • Seafood like tuna, salmon.
  • Eggs.
  • Chicken.

Symptoms Of Deficiency Of Vitamin B3

  • Pellagra with symptoms like diarrhoea, dermatitis, hyperpigmentation, thickening of the skin, inflammation of the mouth and tongue, digestive disturbances, dementia etc.
  • Amnesia with symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, poor concentration.
  • Hartnup disease with symptoms like scaly red rashes, irritation, and sensitivity towards sunlight etc.
  • Memory loss and mental confusion.
  • Fatigue.
  • Depression.
  • Headache

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin that is released from urine if in excess. So we have to consume an adequate amount of Vitamin B6 on daily basis to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin B6 Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to turn food into energy for metabolism.
  • It helps to create neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
  • It helps to create blood cells and keep cells healthy.
  • It helps to support immune system function.
  • It helps to regulate the energy used by the brain.
  • It helps to fight free radicals from the body and prevent oxidative damage.
  • It helps to rejuvenate the skin and reduce the signs of aging.
  • It helps to regulate mood swings and prevent depression, anxiety, pain and fatigue.
  • It helps to boost the production of progesterone to balance hormones.
  • It helps to improve vision, prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • It helps to improve digestion by improving the secretion of hydrochloric acid.
  • It helps to prevent PMS symptoms like mood swings, anxiety and irritability.
  • It helps to improve the quality of sleep and prevent insomnia.

Food Sources For Vitamin B6

  • Vegetable sources like potato, sweet potato, bitter gourd, carrot, spinach, green peas, avocado, etc.
  • Fruit sources like banana, papaya, orange and plum etc.
  • Legumes like chickpeas, soybeans, beans and lentils etc.
  • Nuts and seeds like pistachio, sunflower seeds etc.
  • Animal sources like beef liver, salmon, turkey, eggs and chicken etc.
  • Fortified foods like breakfast cereals, oatmeal etc.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Rice.
  • Raisins.
  • Onion.
  • Spinach.
  • Watermelon.
  • Milk.
  • Tofu.

Symptoms Of Deficiency Of Vitamin B6

  • Tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet.
  • Anemia.
  • Depression.
  • Weak Immune System.
  • Pellagra-like syndrome.
  • Glossitis (swollen tongue).
  • Dermatitis.
  • Conjunctivitis.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 or Folic acid is naturally found in food and the body which is converted into a metabolically active form called tetrahydrofolate derivative that can be easily utilized by the body. Our body doesn’t store Vitamin B9 so we need to consume it daily to prevent deficiency.

Vitamin B9 Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to form red blood cells to prevent anemia.
  • It helps to maintain the growth and replication of cells and tissues.
  • It helps to improve the cognitive functioning of the brain.
  • It helps to improve memory and concentration.
  • It helps to reduce homocysteine levels to protect heart health.
  • It helps to regulate mood swings and prevent depression, anxiety, pain and mental fatigue.
  • It helps to improve vision, prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • It helps to fight free radicals, prevents oxidative damage and reduces signs of aging.
  • It helps to improve bone strength, reduce kidney and liver damage and boost immunity.
  • It helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promote cardiovascular functions in people diagnosed with diabetes.

Food Sources For Vitamin B9

  • Vegetables like spinach, turnip greens, okra, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, potato, lentils, peas and beans etc.
  • Fruits include papaya, kiwi and orange etc.
  • Nuts and seeds like peanuts, soy seeds and sunflower seeds etc.
  • Fortified cereals like breakfast cereals, cakes, cookDark green leafy vegetables.
  • Animal products like egg yolk, baker’s yeast, milk, salmon, and meat etc.

Symptoms Of Deficiency Of Vitamin B9

  • Diarrhoea.
  • Anemia.
  • Grey hair or aging.
  • Mouth ulcers.
  • Peptic ulcer.
  • Poor growth.
  • Swollen tongue (glossitis).

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is an essential vitamin that your body doesn’t produce and is required to be consumed from external sources.

Vitamin B12 Is Necessary For The Following Functions In The Body:

  • It helps to support the normal functioning of your nerve cells.
  • It is required for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis.
  • It helps to boost your energy levels and improve your memory.
  • It helps to support your bone health and eye health.
  • It helps to prevent the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
  • It helps to regulate mood by synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin.
  • It helps to prevent brain atrophy, which is associated with memory loss or dementia.
  • It helps to reduce the levels of homocysteine that can prevent the risk of heart disease.
  • It helps to promote healthy hair, skin and nails.

Food sources of vitamin B12

  • Weakness.
  • Tiredness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pale skin.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Gas.
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Vision loss.
  • Depression.
  • Memory loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weakness.
  • Hyperpigmentation.
  • Nail discolouration.
  • Vitiligo.

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