Most important vitamins for life
Vitamins are the essential nutrients for proper functioning of the human body. Many vitamins can be consumed through the various food materials. A balanced diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts and dairy products will provide all kinds of necessary vitamins to an individual.
This vitamin includes many compounds including beta carotene and retinol. These compounds are helpful for sustaining vision, function of immune system, body fusion of proteins, production, growth & development of red blood cells.
Important food sources for vitamin A – The vitamin A can be consumed through food items including yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, green vegetables, milk, egg yolks and dairy products.
Recommended daily intake of vitamin A (in micrograms)
- Infants (0 to 6 mths.) – 400 mcg
- Infants (7 mths. to 1 year) – 500 mcg
- Toddlers (1 to 3 years) – 300 mcg
- Children (4 to 8 years) – 400 mcg
- Children (9 to 13 years) – 600 mcg
- Adolescent & adults (males) – 900 mcg
- Adolescent & adults (females) – 700 mcg
Vitamin D is comprised of two compounds – vitamin D2 and D3. This vitamin can be obtained from various food sources or it can also be produced by the skin when the body is exposed to Ultraviolet rays of sun. This vitamin is necessary for absorption of calcium and aids in immune system function. It helps to normalize cellular functions, blood pressure and insulin levels in the body.
Food sources for vitamin D – One can take this vitamin through milk; egg yolks, fish (especially salmon, sardines and mackerel) and all other foods prepared using nutrients.
- Up to age 50 – 5 mcg
- 51 to 70 years – 10 mcg
- More than 71 years – 15 mcg
Elder people need more of vitamin D to promote the health of bones and absorption of calcium.
The vitamin E is comprised of eight antioxidants. Their principal function is to protect the body against the bad effect of open radicals. These free radicals can cause harm to the cells and contribute to many diseases and aging. This vitamin helps in preventing bold clots and regulating the functions of the cell.
Food sources – Vitamin E is present in vegetable oils like corn oil, olive oil and soybean oil. It can also be obtained through nuts, seeds and legumes like almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and peanuts, and also from dark green leafy vegetables.
Recommended daily intake (in milligrams)
- Infants (0 to 6 mths.) – 4 mg
- Infants (7 mths to 1 year) – 5 mg
- Toddlers ( 1 to 3 years) – 6 mg
- Children (4 to 8 years) – 7 mg
- Children (9 to 13 years) – 11 mg
- Adolescent & adults – 15 mg
Each vitamin is important for our body for one or the other function. However, these three vitamins A, D and E are most important to support major functions in the body, i.e. function of immune system, production of RBCs and protecting the body from many diseases.