Vitamins are essential organic substances that help the body perform necessary biochemical process within cells and tissues. Although required in minute amounts vitamins are essential for growth and reproduction; formation of antibodies; coagulation of blood; resistance to infection; formation of intercellular substances; and integrity of bones, teeth, skin, blood and nervous tissues. They also function as coenzymes in many chemical reactions concerned with food metabolism.
A -Vitamin A or Retinol, Essential Functions- Maintains good vision, normal growth and development, Sources- Bright orange and dark green vegetables and fruits, liver, fish liver, oils, milk and dairy products, egg yolk.
B - Vitamin B1 or Thiamine, Essential Functions- Carbohydrate metabolism and regulating the heart and nervous system., Sources- Wholegrain products yeast and yeast spreads milk.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin, Essential Functions- Assisting in metabolic function and growth, Sources- Milk, meat, eggs, grains and cereal products, yeast.
Vitamin B3 or niacin,. Essential Functions- Regulating the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and skin, as well as the manufacture of fatty acids, Sources- Meat and poultry, bread, cereal, yeast.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, Essential Functions- Carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, formation of certain hormones, and tissue regeneration, Sources - Meat, vegetables, rice and bran.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, Essential Functions- Fat and Protein metabolism, energy production, maintaining the health of the brain and nervous system, and helps in the formation of red blood cells, Sources- Meat, fish liver, poultry, bread and cereals, legumes, eggs, avocados, bananas.
Vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin, Essential Functions- The production of red blood cells and health of the nervous systems, Sources- All animal sources such as meat, fish , milk, cheese, eggs and fermented foods such as miso
3. C - Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, Essential Functions- Keeping bones, teeth and blood vessels healthy, aids in the absorption of iron growth and repair of tissues and as a ‘free radical scavenger’ helping the body to detoxify and resist diseases, Sources- All fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruit, parsley, capsicum, blackcurrant.
4. D - Vitamin D or Calciferol, Essential Functions- Assisting the assimilation of calcium and phosphorus to ensure strong teeth and bones, Sources- Fish liver oils, milk and dairy products, egg yolk and formed by the body when exposed to sunlight.
5. E - Vitamin E or Tocophenol, Essential Functions- An antioxidant, protects essential fatty acids and promotes the health of red blood cells, muscles and tissues, and acts as a ‘free radical scavenger’ to help the body detoxify and resist diseases.