A-Z to Healthy Living
Vitamin A is found in animal foods including liver, dairy products, egg yolk and some fatty fish. Orange and yellow coloured fruit and vegetables (e.g. mangoes, carrots) contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene which are converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and growth and beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to help protect against free radical damage.
Vitamin C plays a role in ensuring healthy connective tissue such as skin and cartilage. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and can be found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes the absorption of calcium and its deposition in bones and teeth making them stronger and healthier. Adequate vitamin D prevents rickets (weakened bones) in children and osteomalacia in adults, and when combined with enough calcium, helps prevent osteoporosis in older adults. The body can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, another guaranteed source is foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk and cereals. Recent studies link vitamin D deficiency with the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
The main role of Vitamin E in the body is as an antioxidant. Vitamin E protects many substances from oxidation but is particularly important for maintaining the stability of cell membranes by protecting them from free radical damage. Good sources of vitamin E include almonds, peanuts and soy bean oil.
Vitamins are essential micronutrients that are used in the body for a variety of processes. They are classified into two groups - fat soluble and water soluble. The fat soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K. The B group vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B12), folate, biotin and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins.