Water- Soluable Vitamins

There are nine water-soluable vitamins, eight of which are B-Vitamins. They are: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B-2 (Ribolflavin), Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Folacin, Vitamin B-12, Pantothenic Acid and Biotin.

Water-soluable vitamins are vitamins that do not store in the body. They are easily destroyed during storage and preparation and therefore need to be replenished frequently. Cooking and soaking foods in water leaches out B-Vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals. Exposure to light destroys folacin, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine, Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin C. Minimizing heat and cooking time greatly helps to preserve these vitamins.

Water-soluable vitamins are found in a variety of food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and meats.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C has many and varied roles in growth, health of body cells and response to infection and stress. Deficiency symptoms include small hemorrhages in the skin and other tissues (bruising), bleeding gums and painful swollen joints. Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and greens are all good sources of Vitamin C.

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine functions in your body as a required co-enzyme involving removal of carbon dioxide. It is essential for growth, normal appetite, digestion and healthy nerves. Deficiency symptoms are poor appetite, constipation, irratibility, insomnia and abnormal fatigue. Good sources of Thiamine are pork, lean meat, poultry, organ meats, whole-grain and enriched cereals and breads, brewer's yeast, legumes and fish.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin is needed for to help break down food to provide energy. It is America's most common vitamin deficiency. Deficiency symptoms are photophobia (eyes unusually sensitive to light), cracks in the corners of mouth, sore purple tongue and red scaly areas around nose. Riboflavin is not destroyed by heat and some natural sources of this vitamin are milk, liver, kidney, lean meats, eggs, dark leafy vegetables and enriched breads and cereals.

Niacin

Niacin is needed for normal functioning of tissues of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system. It also functions with other vitamins in converting carbohydrate into energy. Deficiency symptoms include pellagra, muscular weakness, indigestion and skin eruptions. Lean meats, liver, fish, whole-wheat products, fish, eggs, roasted peanuts, white poultry meat, avocodos, dates, figs and prunes are some of the natural food sources containing Niacin. Supplements are available as Niacin and Niacinimide. They are the same except that Niacin may cause flushing and itching of the skin (which is harmless and generally disappears in 20 minutes); therefore, Niacinimide is the preferred choice.

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B-6 assists the body in using protein and helps prevent various nervous and skin disorders. It also acts as a natural diuretic and therefore helps relieve bloating during PMS. Deficiency symptoms include irritation of the skin, nervousness, irritability and anemia. The best sources of Vitamin B-6 are whole-grain cereals, wheat germ, meat, fish, vegetables, soybeans, blackstrap molasses, cantaloupe, cabbage and eggs. Dairy products are poor sources of Vitamin B-6.

Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B-12 helps produce red blood cells and other cells of the body. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause B12 deficiency anemia which have the same symptoms as other amenias. Vegetarians who also exclude eggs and dairy products in their diet, as well as people who are heavy drinkers may need Vitamin B-12 supplementation. Some good food sources of Vitamin B-12 are liver, kidney, meat, eggs, milk and dairy foods.

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid is an essential component of enzyme systems in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein. There are no conclusive clinical symptoms of deficiency. This vitamin is found in all plant and animal fodds, but the best sources are in eggs, kidney, liver, salmon and yeast.

Biotin

Biotin is needed for helping in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrate and protein. Deficiency can cause exzema of the face and body, exhaustion, depression and impairment of fat metabolism. Beef liver, egg yolks, soy flour, brewer's yeast, milk, kidney and unpolished rice are some of the best natural sources of Biotin.

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