Vitamins - Types, Sources & Significance


The vitamins are not exactly responsible for giving you calories or energy but they do keep us healthy, which is itself a crucial role. Not only this but vitamins are nutrients our body needs to function and fight off infections. Similar to minerals, vitamins cannot be produced inside our body so we need to get them from the food we consume or in some cases supplements to keep ourselves healthy. There are 13 types of vitamin that are essential for our body working well. Knowledge is a powerful tool and a person needs to educate himself about the different vitamins and understand the purpose of each.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins have been separated into two different categories, named fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamin is stored in the fat cells and as the name suggests require fat in order to be absorbed while the water-soluble vitamin is not stored in our body; hence, they need to be replenished constantly. The human body is so designed that it takes what it needs from the food we eat and then it passes out waste as excreta.

The fat soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A: This comes from potato, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, beef and eggs
  • Vitamin D:Found in fortified milk and dairy products
  • Vitamin E: Found in fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, seeds, and nuts
  • Vitamin K: Found in dark green leafy vegetables and turnip/beet green

The water soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamin: comes from pork chops, ham, enriched grains and seeds
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin: comes from whole grains, enriched grains and dairy products
  • Vitamin B3 or Niacin: comes from mushrooms, fish, poultry, and whole grains
  • Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid: comes from chicken, broccoli, legumes and whole grains
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine: comes from fortified cereals and soy products
  • Vitamin B7 or Biotin: is found in many fruits like fruits and meats
  • Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid: comes from leafy vegetables
  • Vitamin B12: comes from fish, poultry, meat and dairy products
  • Vitamin C: comes from citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruits

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Practise This Question

Animals that feed only on other animals are called: