Vitamins not only make you beautiful, but they also ensure that your body functions properly. There was supposed to have been a time, when humans were said to have only consumed their vitamins through food. Not so today, because the shelves are full of all sorts of vitamin preparations and food supplements, even gummy bears, which are supposed to provide our bodies with all the important contents. Why should I still eat ?!
We were joking aside. Vitamins are vital. Nevertheless, we quickly lose track of things when ascribing their function to certain vitamins. It is not that difficult to find your way around the vitamin jungle and arrange your diet to absorb all vitamins in sufficient quantities. The reward for the effort is quickly visible: We stay fit and look fresh and lively.
A balanced diet provides our body with all the elements that our body urgently needs to function properly. We only need the supplements described above if we suffer from a diagnosed deficiency. On the other hand, an overdose can negatively affect the body.
So that you know exactly how you can get the essential vitamins and their abandonment.
Vitamins: The Big Difference: Water Or Fat?
First of all, you should know that a distinction is made between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. All vitamins can be assigned to one of these two groups. The body can store fat-soluble vitamins for a certain period so that you can eat a vitamin cushion. On the other hand, you should supply your body with water-soluble vitamins every day, as these are quickly excreted. The water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and the entire range of B vitamins. The group of fat-soluble vitamins includes vitamins A, D, E, and K. You will surely notice: The world of vitamins is colorful, and a large part of our alphabet has to be used for naming.
Vitamin A – The Radical Catcher
Anyone who knows their way around the beauty world has probably heard of retinol before. Applying it to the skin, the magic elixir softens wrinkles and ensures a radiant complexion. This is nothing other than vitamin A. It is actively involved in functions such as vision, growth, reproduction, the immune system, and protection against free radicals and the skin structure in our body. This vitamin is mostly found in animal foods such as eggs, liver, and cheese. But the important vitamin is also found in plants, namely in carrots, lamb’s lettuce, paprika, kale, and mangoes.
How Much Vitamin A?
Our body cannot produce vitamin A itself. That is why we have to consume it in sufficiently high doses through a balanced diet. By the way, the body absorbs the vitamin A it needs best in connection with fat.
The body can also absorb the valuable provitamin A (also beta-carotene) without fat. Our body can also produce provitamin A from the substance beta-carotene, which is found in many fruit and vegetables.
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends women need around 0.8 mg of retinol equivalent, pregnant women 1.1 mg, and nursing mothers 1.5 mg. For example, you can achieve this with 140 g of spinach per day or a medium-sized carrot (80g).
The B Vitamins – Versatile Helpers
If we follow the ABC further, we will immediately discover vitamin B. There are quite a few of them, eight in total, and all of them have different tasks: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.
Just as diverse as the names of the B vitamins are their effects:
(thiamine) provides energy and strengthens nerve and heart muscle tissue. It is found primarily in whole grains, pork, and legumes. The EDGE recommends oat flakes (30 g per day), one pork chop (125 g) with 140 g peas, or two large potatoes.
(riboflavin) stimulates the metabolism, promotes a baby’s growth, and supports the development of nerves. The best way to absorb this is through dairy products and fish.
(niacin) supports nutrient utilization and cell division. Among other things, this protects our skin from external influences and helps to reduce redness and irritation. The extra kick of vitamin B3 is available with meat, fish, whole grain products, and coffee. With 200 g of chicken breast or a portion of chanterelles (14 g) and a fillet of beef (200 g), you will achieve the recommended daily intake.
(pantothenic acid) is involved in breaking down fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids. It ensures, for example, that moisture can be stored in the skin and our complexion looks nice and fresh. It is found, for example, in eggs, offal, legumes, meat, and nuts. A dish of mushrooms (140 g), beef fillet (200 g), and a chicken egg cover your daily requirements.
(biotin), also called vitamin H, supports the formation of important fatty acids and the breakdown of amino acids and provides energy. You can find good sources for this fit-maker in eggs, nuts, milk, and pulses, as well as offal. 140 g mushrooms with 14 g spinach and an egg provide you with the necessary daily ration.
(pyridoxine) strengthens the immune system, supports protein and fat metabolism, and promotes messenger substances for the nervous system. In addition, it influences hormonal balance. Vitamin B6 is mainly found in meat, fish, whole grains, bananas, and legumes. For example, you can get your daily dose over a dish with chicken breast (125 g), lamb’s lettuce (50 g), walnuts (40 g), and one banana.
better known as folic acid, is especially important for pregnant women and non-pregnant women. The vitamin is involved, among other things, in cell division and development, in the formation of DNA, and protein and fat metabolism.
(cobalamin) helps with blood and cell formation and supports the absorption of folic acid. In addition, vitamin B 12 is involved in the breakdown of fatty acids. The vitamin is mainly contained in animal products, so vegans, in particular, should take the vital substance through dietary supplements to prevent a deficiency. You will reach your daily requirement with 150 g of tuna or a beef fillet (200 g).
A Balanced Diet Is Key!
In the meantime, you have surely noticed that the suggested foods all have one thing in common: they provide a lot of vitamin B and other important vital substances described here. Therefore, it is even more important to know a balanced diet.
Vitamin C – The Fit Maker
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is by far the best-known vitamin. Together with vitamin E, it acts as a radical catcher for the body and strengthens our immune system. Our skin also benefits from this important vitamin: It and the connective tissue are strengthened if you consume a sufficiently high dose of the vitamin. Our skin is tightened and looks young and fresh.
Unlike most animals, humans have lost the ability to produce vitamin C themselves in evolution and must ingest it through food. In this sense, it is important to eat as much fruit and vegetables as possible: The vitamin C content is particularly high in sea buckthorn, currants, peppers, parsley, broccoli, kiwi, and cabbage. One kiwi per day covers your daily requirement.
Vitamin D – The Sun Vitamin
Vitamin D (calciferol) is a very special vitamin: unlike other vitamins, it is not mainly absorbed through food. It is formed when our skin is exposed to the sun. It is especially important for building and maintaining our bones. In addition, it improves the absorption of calcium.
Especially in winter, when the days are getting shorter, and we don’t dare to go outside that often, you should make sure that you get enough vitamin D. A diet that includes fish – especially salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna – as a fixed component and sufficient exercise outdoors can ensure a sufficiently high supply. 150 g halibut, salmon, or mackerel provide you with enough vitamin D.
Vitamin E – The Anti-Aging Vitamin
Vitamin E (tocopherols) does a lot for our health and beauty by protecting us from the influence of free radicals. These free radicals play a key role in the aging of our skin and the development of diseases. The antioxidant can best perform its function for our body when other important vitamins such as vitamins A and C, which have a similar effect, are ingested in parallel. Vitamin E is mainly found in vegetable oils and cheese, nuts, eggs, and spinach.
Vitamin K – Strong As A Bone
Even if the letter K does not stand for bones, one could certainly think so with the positive effects of vitamin K (phylloquinone): It plays an essential role in building bones and keeping them healthy. The K stands for coagulation, which means something like coagulation and already indicates another effect of the vitamin: This vitamin supports blood coagulation.
Like vitamins A, D, and E, it is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin K is found in many vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, kale, beans, and lettuce. But meat, especially beef, and pork liver, are also good sources of vitamin K.