Posted: 29/09/2009


What are vitamins and why do we need them?

Vitamins are organic, essential nutrients required by the body for health.

Listed below are most of the vitamins we need and probably get from the foods we eat every day without even realising it.

Vitamin A-

  • Good for eyesight, growth, appetite and taste.
  • Signs of deficiency include night blindness.
  • Good sources are liver, carrots, green leafy veg, egg yolks, milk and yellow fruits.

Vitamin B1

  • Good for nervous system, digestion, muscles and your heart.
  • Signs of deficiency includes tingling in fingers and toes, difficulty in maintaining balance, loss of appetite and exhaustion.
  • Good sources are liver, yeast, rice, wholemeal products, peanuts, pork and milk.

Vitamin B2


  • Good for skin, eyesight, hair, nails and growth.
  • Signs of deficiency include itchy or irritated eyes and skin.
  • Good sources are milk, liver, yeast, cheese, fish and green leafy veg.

Vitamin B6

  • Good for preventing skin conditions and nerve problems and helps the body to absorb protein and carbohydrates.
  • Signs of deficiency include skin inflammation.
  • Good sources are fish, bananas, dried beans, chicken, pork, milk and wholegrain products.

Vitamin B12

Oily Fish

  • Good for making red blood cells.
  • Signs of deficiency includes tiredness, dizziness and breathing difficulties.
  • Good sources include fish, liver, beef, pork, milk and cheese.

Vitamin C


  • Good for your immune defence system, protection from viruses, reducing cholesterol and it is also a natural laxative.
  • Signs of deficiency include tiredness, bleeding gums, slow healing wounds.
  • Good sources are citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, berries, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes and green leafy veg.

Vitamin D

  • Good for strong teeth and bones.
  • Signs of deficiency include osteomalacia (weakening of the bones).
  • Good sources are sunlight on the skin, cod liver oil, sardines, herring, salmon, tuna and milk.

Vitamin E


  • A power antioxidant.
  • Signs of deficiency include weak muscles and fertility problems.
  • Good sources are nuts, soya beans, vegetable oil, broccoli, sprouts, spinach, wholemeal products and eggs.

Folic Acid

  • Good for production of red blood cells (essential in the first 3 months of pregnancy to prevent birth defects).
  • Signs of deficiency include tiredness from anaemia and a red tongue.
  • Good sources are carrots, yeast, liver, egg yolks, melon, apricots, pumpkin, avocado, beans, rye, whole wheat products and leafy green veg.

by Kirsty Kemp
Fitness Professional, Reynolds @ Rainham



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