Intelligent eating with the right vitamins

Vitamins are vital nutrients that need to be ingested daily to help our body function optimally. We only need small amounts of vitamins, but even a small deficiency can affect our health. Some vitamins can be stored by the body, while others are excreted when too much is consumed.

Oranges in a pill bottle

Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. All other vitamins are water-soluble. While the body can store fat-soluble vitamins, this is not the case with the water-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are simply excreted with excess intake. All 13 known vitamins must be regularly consumed with food. While some vitamins, such as vitamin A, biotin, niacin, panthothenic acid and pyridoxine can be consumed without problems, very few attain the recommended daily intake.

The daily recommended dose (RDA)

The recommended daily dose is the amount of vitamins that a healthy person should consume on a daily basis to avoid becoming deficient. The recommended daily allowance for food or dietary supplements on the package is indicated as RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance).

* daily recommended dose    
Vitamin Name RDA*
Vitamin A Retinol 800 µg
Vitamin B1 Thiamine 1,1 mg
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin 1,4 mg
Vitamin B3 Niacin 16 mg
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid 6 mg
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxin 1,4 mg
Vitamin B9 Folic acid 200 µg
Vitamin B12 Cobalamin 2,5 µg
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid 80 mg
Vitamin D Calciferol 5 µg
Vitamin E Tocopherol 12 mg
Vitamin H Biotin 50 µg
Vitamin K Phytomenadione 75 µg

Pay attention to these vitamins

At least one study in 2008 in Germany found particular deficiencies in the following vitamins: Vitamins B1, B2, B12, folic acid, vitamins C, D, E and K. Therefore, these nutrients should be discussed in more detail here.

Vitamin B1 is important for carbohydrate metabolism, thyroid and nerve function. Good sources are legumes, wheat germ and meat.

Vitamin B2 supports the metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrates and is important for healthy skin and nails. Good sources are mushrooms, eggs, fish and meat.

Vitamin B12 forms and regenerates red blood cells and is important for nerve function. It is considered the best anti-aging vitamin. Good sources include dairy, meat, fish and eggs.

Folic acid plays an important role in growth and development processes as well as in the division and regeneration of cells. Good sources include legumes, kale, spinach, egg yolk, rye and calf's liver.

Vitamin C is considered a good radical scavenger and protects from infections. Good sources are sea buckthorn, blackcurrants, broccoli, fennel, peppers and rosehips.

Vitamin E acts as a radical scavenger, counteracts inflammation and supports cell renewal. Good sources are nuts, vegetable oils, savoy cabbage and salsify.

Vitamin D protects against cancer and promotes the absorption of calcium and magnesium. The most important source is the sunlight. Already 10 minutes of daily UV exposure is sufficient for the daily requirement. Other sources are fish and mushrooms.

Vitamin K is especially important for blood clotting and bone formation. Good sources are leafy vegetables, broccoli and kale.

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