Vitamins are essential for the upkeep of many bodily functions such as vision, immune system, reproductive health, and skincare. Vitamins are absorbed by the body from food sources and supplements and help provide it with a wide variety of nutritional benefits. They can be classified into water-soluble and fat-soluble.
While water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the bloodstream. Regardless of the solubility, in case of deficiency of vital vitamins, the body may experience inadequate fat absorption, acute diarrhoea, reduced immunity, night blindness, and liver disorders.
1. Lifecycle: Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, and are absorbed into tissues for immediate use. They are not stored in the body, and hence, your diet is critical in providing the body with a regular dose of these vitamins. Excess of water-soluble vitamins leads to them being excreted in the urine. Examples include vitamin C and B-complex.
On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins are dissolved in the bloodstream in the form of fats. These vitamins travel through the small intestines, and the bloodstream plays the role of catalyst in distributing it throughout the body. Examples include vitamin A, D, E and K.
2. Health benefits: Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B1 helps maintain nervous system function. Other B-complex variants of water-soluble vitamins, like B2 and B3, help promote good vision, healthy skin, and aids in digestion. As per a research study by ‘Current Sports Medicine Reports’, vitamin C, which is critical to iron absorption and collagen synthesis, boosts wound healing, aids bone formation, and improves overall immune function.
Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and D play an important role in bone and tooth formation, and vision. Moreover, the immune and digestive system also benefit from consuming vitamin A and D. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, is a great nutrient to fight infections, and maintain the health of red blood cells. As per a study by ‘The Clinical Biochemist Reviews’, vitamin K helps prevent blood clotting and strengthens the bones.
3. Sources: Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, are found in fruits like oranges and kiwis. B-complex vitamins could be derived from chicken, eggs, milk, cheese, soy milk, almond milk, and fortified cereals. When it comes to fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A and K, food sources such as carrots, pumpkin, eggs, spinach, and broccoli, could be consumed.
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So, be mindful of your vitamin intake, and take charge of your overall health and wellbeing!