Are you a healthy eater? Your body is like a car. The fuel it runs on is the food you eat. If you eat too much of the wrong kinds of foods or not enough of the right kinds of foods, your body can break down.
You probably don’t like being stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire. In the same way, your body can leave you feeling unable to do the things you want to do, either because you’re too tired or you’re sick.
To fuel your body correctly, you need to eat foods that give you the right types and amounts of vitamins. Your parents may give you vitamin supplements in the form of pills or chewable tablets from time to time. But did you also know that vitamins occur naturally in many of the foods you eat?
Vitamins are important substances found in many different types of foods. There are many different vitamins, and they each play special roles in keeping your body healthy.
There are two main types of vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in your body fat and liver. These vitamins stick around for a while, and your body can call upon them when needed.
Water-soluble vitamins don’t get stored in your body. They stay in your bloodstream and pass through your body quickly. Water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced often, since they don’t get stored in your body fat.
Although there are many important vitamins, let’s take a look at just a few of the most important ones for your body:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps you see better and also helps fight infections. It can be found in milk, orange fruits and dark green leafy vegetables.
- The B Vitamins: There are several different B vitamins, including B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin and folic acid. These vitamins help your body make and release energy. Foods rich in B vitamins include whole grains, seafood, poultry and meats, eggs and dairy products.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C aids in healing and helps keep your muscles in shape. Good sources of Vitamin C include fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and red peppers.
- Vitamin D: Your bones are strong because of Vitamin D. It also helps your teeth stay strong. In addition to foods like milk, fish and cereal, your skin also produces Vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E protects your body’s cells and tissues, including your red blood cells. You can get plenty of Vitamin E from food like whole grains, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils and nuts.
- Vitamin K: If you’ve ever cut your finger and were glad when the bleeding stopped, thank Vitamin K. It helps your blood clot. Eating plenty of leafy green vegetables and dairy products will make sure you get enough Vitamin K.