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Health Education Blog

What Are Essential Vitamins and Why Do You Need Them?

Posted by Staff on October 08, 2018

vitaminsAnybody who has tried to stay healthy has had to deal with the vast array of vitamins and minerals available on the market today. Ensuring that you eat healthily requires understanding the most important essential vitamins and where you can get them. Without this knowledge, your diet will be inefficient and potentially expensive. 

To help you better understand which vitamins are essential for your health, this list of the 13 essential vitamins for your health will help you find out everything you need to know, including the types of essential vitamins available and how they improve your health and well being. 

You'll also get tips on how to integrate these vitamins into your daily life. Most are easy to obtain by eating high-quality and nutrient-dense foods. However, some are only available in particular types of foods, meaning you need to diversify your diet to stay healthy.

The Nature of Essential Vitamins 

While many types of vitamins and minerals are healthy for our body, the 13 essential vitamins are ones that we cannot live without eating daily. They are defined as “...essential substances that our bodies need to develop and function normally.” For example, vitamin K helps your blood clot properly and, without it, you would be likely to bleed excessively whenever you got cut. 

Other vitamins, such as vitamin E, help to maintain and grow muscle mass and keeps you healthy and strong. Without these essential vitamins, you may suffer from a variety of health problems, including confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, and undernourishment. 

Just as importantly, these essential vitamins can help you when you are undergoing critical medical procedures, such as physical therapy and rehab. Our walk-in clinic specialists understand how vital the essential vitamins are for those who are experiencing major or even minor surgical procedures and work hard to ensure that you get these vitamins in a safe and healthy manner. 

Types of Essential Vitamins

Harvard Health defines the 13 essential vitamins – including their health benefits and where you get them – in the following way:

  1. Vitamin A – Boosts your cell development, cell health, and prevents lung cancer. Best obtained from salmon, cold-water fish, and egg yolks. 

  2. Vitamin D – Aids in calcium absorption to improve your overall bone strength. Easy to get from butter, egg yolks, fatty fish, and from sun exposure. 

  3. Vitamin E – Increases your muscle mass and blood cell strengths and eliminates fatty acid leeching. Eat eggs, margarine, mayonnaise, nuts, and seeds to get it. 

  4. Vitamin K – Improves your blood clotting and prevents severe bleeding. Leafy greens like spinach and broccoli and meats like liver are your best sources.
     
  5. Vitamin C – Enhances your blood vessel walls and boosts your iron absorption. Eating citrus fruits like orange and melons should provide you with all you need. 

  6. Vitamin B1 – Your metabolism is enhanced and improved by eating regular doses of vitamin B1. It also strengthens your digestion and is easy to obtain from pork, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains. 

  7. Vitamin B2  or Riboflavin – Riboflavin boosts your adrenal glands, enhances your vision, and keeps your skin healthy. Eat fortified cereals, lean meat, poultry, and soy products for the most vigorous possible doses. 

  8. Vitamin B3 – Otherwise known as Niacin, vitamin B3 helps to metabolize energy for your body and can also lower your cholesterol. Poultry, eggs, legumes, and seafood are your best sources. 

  9. Vitamin B5 – Balancing your blood sugar level requires the use of vitamin B5. The best thing about this essential vitamin is that you can get it in just about any food. 

  10. Vitamin B6 – Increase your metabolism and promote healthier nerves and red blood cells with this vitamin. Obtain it by eating fish, grains, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and soybeans. 

  11. Biotin – Obtained by eating egg yokes, soybeans, and whole grains, this vitamin helps you keep a healthy metabolism that can also provide benefits for weight loss. 

  12. Folate or Vitamin B9 – Necessary to make DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and amino acids. It prevents congenital disabilities in pregnant women. Asparagus, orange juice, and avocados are excellent sources. 

  13. Vitamin B12 – Increase your red blood cell, RNA, and DNA health by eating animal products to obtain high levels of vitamin B12. 

foods for getting vitamins

Getting Essential Vitamins in Your Diet 

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of the importance of the 13 essential vitamins. And you should also know what foods are best for obtaining them. However, you may have a hard time balancing your diet in a way that integrates each into a regular meal schedule. 

Please don't hesitate to contact the Orchard Hospital Medical Specialty Center - Your everyday health care clinic - to learn more about your essential vitamins and how they can benefit your health. 

Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior healthcare. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.

Topics: Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle

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