What Are Vitamins And Why Do We Need Them?


When stressed about the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, we are always told about how vital vitamins are. But, while it’s all well and good knowing how crucial vitamins are, not many of us know why this is the case. That was until now, of course.

This article covers the basics of vitamins, including what they are and why we need them. Before you know it, you’ll understand even more about your body and how it functions.

What Are Vitamins?

Vitamins are special compounds that your body needs to support its normal function. There are 13 vitamins that are considered to be essential, these are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • B vitamins (eight in total)

The majority of the above vitamins can be found in the foods you eat, which is why it’s so important to maintain a balanced diet. The only exception is vitamin D, which is generated by your skin when exposed to sunlight.

Why Do We Need Vitamins?

As touched on previously, vitamins are needed to support your body’s normal function. Each vitamin plays a different role in the body, whether it be to maintain strong teeth or support the immune system.

Due to the fact that there are so many vitamins, all with different roles, a lot of people choose to take multivitamins to safeguard their intake. Multivitamins are supplements that contain more than one type of vitamin, helping your body to get exactly what it needs.

What Are The Different Types Of Vitamin?

As mentioned before, there are 13 essential vitamins to be aware of. But, what you may not know, is that these vitamins fall into two categories:

  • Water-soluble vitamins
  • Fat-soluble vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body; you remove them from your body through urine. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the eight B vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are stored in your liver and fatty tissues. You don’t have to consume them everyday for this reason, but they are still important to absorb. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D, E and K.

How Do We Obtain Vitamins?

The majority of us can get the nutrients that we need through a balanced diet. This includes eating from the five main food groups every day and staying hydrated!

According to the NHS Eatwell Guide, these are the main things that you can to do maintain a balanced diet:

  • Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day
  • Incorporate dairy into your diet
  • Base main meals on high fibre foods
  • Eat foods high in protein
  • Choose unsaturated fats (in small amounts)
  • Drink lots of water

By following the above steps, your diet should support your nutritional needs. However, supplementations are also an option if you require extra assistance. Whether choosing multivitamins or specific vitamins, there’s something out there for everyone!

For more information on your specific nutritional needs, never hesitate to visit a health expert or nutritionist.

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