We have all heard of vitamins but what exactly are vitamins and why are they so important? Let´s have a closer look at the word “vitamin” itself:
Vita (Latin for “life”)
Amine (organic compounds and nitrogen)
Vitamins are defined as organic substances (animal or plant based) which can not be produced by our body. This is why they have to be absorbed with our food. Except for Vitamin D, our body can make it out of cholesterol. In comparison to carbohydrates, protein, and fat they don´t provide energy!
- strengthening of the immune system
- important for growth
- production of energy from carbohydrates, protein, fat
Every vitamin has it´s individual role!
All the different vitamins work together like a good running clockwork. If one gear-wheel is missing the clock doesn´t work properly and in the worst case, it doesn´t work at all.
In case of a deficiency of one or more vitamins, the metabolism will interfere.
For example, important amino acids can´t be produced if B6 is missing. They will be flushed out of our body with the urine.
there are two groups of vitamins:
A, D, E, K
In order to be digested, they require dietary fats or oils. Included are also cooking oils, fish or avocados for example. That means people who don´t eat enough dietary fats have more often a fat-soluble vitamin deficiency.
Because they need fat to be absorbed their functionality is limited. But on the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins are easier to store and they can stay in our body for several days. So they don´t need a constant supply.
B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B7, B12, C
The water-soluble vitamins have a bigger range of functions because they don´t need fat for their resorption and can move. They are absorbed easier and more quickly because most of the foods naturally hold some water. The downside is that they get out of our system very fast through urine output.
Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored for long, they have to be replaced more often.
They can be part of the metabolism of the cells.
A plate full of fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts helps to prevent deficiencies. Low levels of fat-soluble vitamins are unlikely if you are following a varied and colorful diet.
But don´t stress about getting every vitamin in every day. Our body stores the vitamins in liver and skin for a later use.