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Healthy Living Series Week 2, Essential Vitamins

Essential Vitamins

Vitamins are divided into two basic types; water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and need to be replenished every day. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored and are used as the body requires them.

Vitamin B1-Thiamine

  • Water soluble
  • Helps break down carbohydrates in the body, aids in digestion, and nervous system functioning.
  • Found in whole grains, brown rice, beans, peanuts, pork and milk.

Vitamin B2-Riboflavin

  • Water soluble
  • Needed for healthy growth of skin, nails and hair, breaking down of protein, fat and carbohydrates and normal function of important enzymes.
  • Found in milk, and other dairy foods, yeast, green leafy vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish.

Vitamin A

  • Fat soluble
  • Important for good eyesight, normal growth, healthy cells structure and to increase appetite.
  • Found in liver, cod liver oil, egg yolks, milk products and yellow fruits.

Vitamin B3-Niacin

  • Water soluble
  • Necessary for proper blood circulation and healthy functioning of the nervous system.
  • Found in whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry.

Vitamin C

  • Water soluble
  • Boosts the immune system by protecting it from viruses and bacteria, healing wounds, increasing cell life, and reducing cholesterol and plaque build-up.
  • Found in citrus fruit, berries, potatoes, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E

  • Fat soluble
  • Essential for normal brain function, cell structure, and the formation of red blood cells.
  • Powerful antioxidant that helps to fight against pollutants and toxins
  • Found in whole grains, nuts, sprouts, soy beans, vegetable oils, eggs and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B12

  • Water soluble
  • Important for the normal development of red blood cells, nerve formation, aids the body in absorbing carbohydrates.
  • Found in dairy products, eggs, beef, pork and fish.

Vitamin D

  • Fat soluble
  • Essential for strong bones and teeth, proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the digestive tract.
  • Found in sunlight, milk and milk products, eggs, tuna, herring sardines, and cod liver oil.

Vitamin B6

  • Water soluble
  • Helps to prevent skin diseases, helps the body to maintain blood sugar  levels and absorb protein and carbohydrates,  essential in making of hemoglobin
  • Found in pork, fish, organ meats, eggs, and dairy products.

Folic Acid

  • Water soluble
  • Important for the production of red blood cells.
  • Found in eggs, pumpkin, carrots, apricots, beans, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin K

  • Fat soluble
  • Important for clotting of the blood. Plays a role in the production of a clotting factor called prothrombin.
  • Found in dairy products and green leafy vegetables.

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