All vitamins are essential nutrients for your body and we cannot do without them. Many an important process in our body would come to a standstill in their absence and it would tell on your health. This does not mean that you should rush to a chemist to buy vitamin tablets and gulp them down. You can get sufficient quantities of vitamins from a well balanced diet which includes a large variety of foods.
The vitamins that matter most to your health are vitamin A, C and E.
Vitamin A is needed for your eyes and is necessary for good vision. Deficiency will cause night blindness. It is also needed for your skin, soft tissues and teeth. It is an antioxidant and negates the effect of free radicals.
It is found in all red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like papaya, carrots, apricots and in all leafy green vegetables. Animal products rich in vitamin A are liver, cream and fish oil.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and much of it is destroyed by cooking. It is needed for collagen formation which is a protein needed to make muscles and ligaments. For healthy teeth and bones vitamin C is needed and it stops mild bleeding from the gums which occurs while brushing teeth. It is an antioxidant and prevents free radicals from causing damage to the body.
Richest source is gooseberry or amla and cooking does not destroy vitamin C present in it. Citrus fruits are rich sources as are potatoes and raspberries.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant. During metabolic processes like digestion many free radicals are formed. These free radicals gather and roam free in our body and at times attach themselves to some cells at random altering them and causing damage to that cell. This becomes the starting point of many diseases like cancer. Such free radicals are neutralised by vitamin E.
Vitamin E is needed for the formation of red blood cells which transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Oxygen combines with the haemoglobin of the blood to form oxy haemoglobin and revitalises the brain and all organs with oxygen in this form. Deficiency of vitamin E will cause muscle weakness and the person will be unable to walk properly.
Vitamin E is found in olives, wheat germ and vegetable oils.
Vitamins are needed for growth and proper development of the body. Besides these vitamins there are vitamin D and K and a group of eight vitamins forming the vitamin B group. The body is able to produce vitamin D and K with the help of sunlight so do expose your body to early morning sun for some time. The other vitamins are available through food. In case of a deficiency a doctor will prescribe vitamins in a tablet form.