To avoid vitamin deficiency, it is necessary to know which food contains which vitamin. Learn their features to have a healthy and balanced diet.
There are basically 2 types of vitamins: Water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Before you decide how much and which vitamin to take, it is crucial to understand the structure of vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins can not be stored in the body, therefore they should be replenished regularly. The vitamin C and vitamin B family are in this group. The tolerable threshold of intake levels for each vitamin is based on each individual’s specific needs. It should be kept in mind that taking excessive amounts of all vitamins may have negative side effects.
Vitamin C is important for metabolizing fat into energy and also for the production of collagen, which is an essential component of connective tissues.
These foods are rich in vitamin C: Pepper, strawberry, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potato, blackcurrant, citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, grapefruit.
The family of B vitamins is of key importance, especially for bodybuilding. They are known for their role in muscle repair and making red blood cells. It is a big family of vitamins with similar functions, but each has benefits that are unique to them. In this article, we cover only the two most major members of the vitamin B family.
Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid)
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B that is present in some foods. Folic acid, on the other hand, is the synthetic and stronger version of folate. The human body cannot produce folate, so it is required in the diet.
These foods are rich in vitamin B9: Spinach, kale, broccoli, avocado, citrus fruits, eggs, and calf liver.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep nerve cells and blood cells healthy as well as making DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Also, the body needs B12 to be able to process folate. Therefore, it is also important for making red blood cells and preventing anemia.
These foods are rich in vitamin B12: Animal products like meat, fish (especially oily fish like tuna and salmon), dairy products, and eggs.
Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. They can be stored in body tissues, including the liver. That is why we need lesser amounts of these. In case of deficiencies, the body uses the stored vitamins.
Also known as retinol, vitamin A is beneficial for the skin and eyes. It also boosts the immune system.
These foods are rich in vitamin A: Oily fish, eggs, dairy products, and liver.
You can also get vitamin A through beta-carotene since the body converts it into vitamin A. Beta-carotene is present in yellow, red, and green (leafy) vegetables, such as spinach, carrot, sweet potato, red pepper; and also yellow fruits, such as mango, papaya, and apricots.
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These minerals are essential for keeping bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Imbalances in calcium and phosphate caused by vitamin D deficiency may cause deformities in bones.
These foods are rich in vitamin D: Oily fish, red meat, egg yolk, and liver.
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin when exposed to sunlight. However, most of the time, exposure to sunlight by itself is not enough to take sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It protects cells from damage and repairs the damaged ones. It also helps to maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthen the body’s natural defense against illnesses and infection.
These foods are rich in vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and plant oils like sunflower, soya, corn, and olive.
Our body needs vitamin K for blood clotting which helps to heal wounds.
These foods are rich in vitamin K: Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach and vegetable oils.
The Bottom Line
If you’re planning to take vitamin supplements, make sure to consult a doctor. We recommend taking especially vitamin D and B12 supplements because many people have deficiencies of these.