Know your nutrients -Part 2 (water soluble vitamins)

Hi guys, this is the continuation of my previous post In this post I am gonna discuss on water soluble vitamins.

Water soluble vitamins

Water soluble vitamins include vitamin B and vitamin C. The difference between water soluble and fat soluble vitamins is that fat soluble vitamins require fat for digestion and absorption, but whereas water soluble vitamins require water for digestion and absorption.

Vitamin C

I guess because of the current situation everybody would be aware about this nutrient. The first thing that comes to mind when you hear about this vitamin is that it helps to increase immunity. It not only increases immunity but also has various other functions and they are as follows

  • Vitamin C increase the immunity by stimulating the activity of WBC and protects us from infections
  • It also helps in wound healing
  • It acts a powerful antioxidant and thus protects the body from developing various diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataract, etc.
  • It is required for the formation of collagen, a substance required for the health and repair of various tissues like skin, bone, blood vessels, ligaments and teeth.
  • Iron gets absorbed better in the presence of vitamin c. People who have anemia or low hemoglobin are advised to take iron along with vitamin c for increased absorption.
  • Vitamin C is also found to decrease blood pressure.
  • Vitamin c have been found to lower uric acid and reduce the risk gout.

I just wanna clarify that, I have heard people confusing vitamin c with calcium. They both are completely different and each have separate functions. Role of calcium is strengthening the bone and its rich sources are dairy products but the role of vitamin C is increasing the immunity and it’s rich sources include citric acid foods.

What would happen if you don’t get enough of vitamin C?

When the body starts to lack vitamin c, collagen cannot be formed. This makes various tissues to start to break down and the health of the tissues will be affected. If this continues for more than 3 months then it will lead to a condition called Scurvy. This will be characterized by skin spots caused by bleeding from blood vessels, swelling or bleeding of gums, loss of teeth and poor wound healing.

The other symptoms that occur because of vitamin c deficiency are tiredness, weakness and prone to infections.

Foods rich in vitamin C

Fruits especially citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C. Citrus fruits include lemon, sweet lime, orange, kiwi,. Other sources includes strawberries, bell pepper, pineapple, papaya, watermelon, tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and white potatoes.

Vitamin B

The B group vitamins are a group of eight water soluble vitamins essential for metabolic process. They help the body to convert food into energy, create new blood cells, maintain healthy skin cells, brain cells and other body tissues.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin) and Pantothenic acid are essential for converting food into energy. So if a person feels tired and fatigue it means he/she lacks vitamin B. Apart from the production of energy it is also involved in creating certain neurotransmitters and synthesizing certain hormones.

Vitamin B6 is useful for energy metabolism, brain function and increase immunity. Vitamin B7 helps with hair, nail and skin.

Folic acid, an important B vitamin is important for the formation of healthy red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development. Vitamin B12 is also needed to form red blood cells and DNA. It is also a key player in the development and function of brain and nerve cells.

What would happen if your body lacks vitamin B?

Main symptoms of B vitamins include tiredness, fatigue, loss of sensation, headache, muscle loss, swelling in and around the mouth and tongue

B1 deficiency can lead to beriberi which causes muscle loss and diminished feeling in the hands and feet. Symptoms of B2 deficiency are cracked lips, sore throat, swelling of mouth and tongue. B3 deficiency causes pellagra, in which symptoms may be dermatitis, dehydration and diarrhea. Deficiency of vitamin B6, Folic acid and B12 causes anaemia. Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy causes neural tube disorders in the growing fetus.

Biotin deficiency causes thinning of hair, skin rashes and brittle nails. People who are beauty conscious should try to maintain your biotin levels normal.

Foods rich in Vitamin B

Vitamin B1 – whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B2 – dairy products, eggs, almond, spinach, salmon, fortified cereals and bread.

Vitamin B3– poultry, fish, brown rice, nuts, seeds, legumes, red meat (beef, pork, liver) fortified cereals and bread

Pantothenic acid – fortified cereals, organ meats, avacadoes, nuts and seeds, egg, potatoes, mushrooms.

Pyridoxine – fortified cereals, salmon, tuna, Poultry, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, banana, papaya and orange

Biotin – egg, salmon, nuts and seeds, salmon, avocado

Folic acid – Dark Green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, fresh fruits, whole grains, egg, seafood, peanut, beans.

Vitamin B12– Non – vegetarian foods and dairy products. Animals foods are the best sources of B12. So people who are in Vegan diet must be conscious about their vitamin B12 levels because they are at the risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. The only vegetarian source of B12 is fermented products like rice.

If you haven’t seen my previous posts please do read and share your comments. Links for my previous posts are –

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