Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients [also known as micronutrients] which the body requires for healthy growth, maintenance, development and functioning. They are needed by the body to carry out specific reactions, performing hundreds of roles, some of which includes supporting bone health, healing wounds, bolstering the immune system, converting food into energy, cellular repair and much much more.

Vitamins are organic compounds [organic meaning from living matter] which we obtain from plants and animals. The body is not able to manufacture vitamins, that is why they must be taken in from an external source. Vitamins come in two forms, fat soluble and water soluble. Fat soluble means it dissolves in fat, and water soluble means it dissolves in water.

Water soluble vitamins are found in the watery parts of the food we eat and are absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion. Many of the water soluble vitamins circulate easily within the body; the excess is expelled out through the urine via the kidneys which constantly regulates the amount we have.

An important task of water-soluble vitamins is helping to free the energy found in the food we eat, others help keep tissues healthy. Water soluble vitamins need regular replenishing because they are highly soluble.

Fat soluble vitamins are ingested through the fat portions of the food that we eat. Once digested, they are transported through the lymphatic system, then through the blood and then on to the liver. Fatty tissue and the liver are the main storage places for these which are released as they are needed. They can be consumed now and again, weeks or months apart rather than daily and there can still be enough as the excess is stored in body fat.

Vitamins can be destroyed by cooking, storage and even simply being exposed to the air, which can make them inactivate or destroy them.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are a group of water soluble vitamins that co-exist in the same foods. They act as co enzymes or co factors with other enzymes that help convert carbohydrates into glucose [food into fuel] which in turn produces energy. B vitamins are essential for the production of healthy skin, hair and eyes and to help the nervous system function properly. B vitamins are also needed by the body for the breakdown of fats and proteins, to assist in the normal functioning of the nervous system and are needed by the body to form ATP [adenosine triphosphate]. ATP is what every single cell in the body uses for energy.

B complex vitamins include:

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

B1 - Thiamine

B2 - Riboflavin

B3 - Niacin

B5 - Pantothenic acid

B6 - Pyridoxine

B7 - Biotin

B9 - Folic Acid

B12 - Cyanocobalamin