Vitamins play a super important role in our body; they keep us healthy, strong, and disease-free, so it is really essential to get enough vitamins. Read on to learn about fat-soluble vs. water-soluble vitamins.
Where should you get yours? Your first choice should be food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are incredible sources of vitamins. In case: you fail to get the recommended amount from your diet, you can trust supplements, but not without your physician’s prescription.
Fat-soluble vs Water-soluble vitamins:
There are 13 different types of vitamins divided into two main groups: fat-soluble or oil-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The difference comes down to how these vitamins are metabolized in the body.
What are fat-soluble vitamins?
As the name indicates, fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fats. They have hydrophobic nature, so they cannot travel freely in our blood and are absorbed by fat globules. Any excess of these vitamins is stored in the liver and fatty tissues until the body needs them.
You can find these vitamins in high-fat foods like egg yolks, fatty fish, liver, almonds, sunflower seeds, and dairy products.
Eliminating fat from your diet entirely may not be a good idea since your body may end up deficient of these nutrients.
There are four types of vitamins in this category: A, D, E, and K, all with different functions and sources. Let’s explore them individually.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. It is found in two forms in food: preformed vitamin A (retinol) and provitamin A (carotenoids). Vitamin A is important for numerous health benefits like
Vitamin A is essential for the formation of rhodopsin, a pigment in the retina that helps you see in low light. Vitamin A also helps prevent dry eyes and age-related macular degeneration.
Increases energy levels
This essential nutrient helps the body produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your organs and tissues. When your body has enough oxygen, you’ll feel more alert and have more energy.
Protects against asthma
Vitamin A has been shown to protect against asthma and other respiratory infections. This is likely due to its ability to improve the function of the lining of the respiratory tract, which helps to keep out harmful bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin A is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones. It helps to form and repair bone tissue, and it also helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. Vitamin A also helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition that can lead to weak and fragile bones.
Vitamin A deficiency is quite rare but can still occur. The best foods to boost your intake include carrots, spinach, red peppers, sweet potatoes, and green vegetables.
2. Vitamin D
The sunshine vitamin, sometimes also called calciferol, is required for:
Without enough vitamin D, your body can’t absorb calcium, which leads to weak and brittle bones. That’s why it’s so important to get enough vitamin D – it helps keep your bones strong and healthy!
A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers believe that vitamin D helps to keep arteries clear by reducing inflammation and improving endothelial function. So if you’re looking to keep your heart healthy, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D!
Vitamin D helps your body produce more white blood cells, which are the cells that fight off infection. So if you want to stay healthy this winter, ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D!
Proper absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate
Did you know that vitamin D is essential for the proper absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate? Without enough vitamin D, your body can’t properly use these minerals, which are essential for strong bones and teeth.
Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, so you should monitor your intake. Sufficient sun exposure, mushrooms, or fortified foods can be great source of vitamin D.
3. Vitamin E
You have probably heard of vitamin E from skin capsules or hair masks; that’s because it is a powerful antioxidant. In the body, it supports various benefits like:
It prevents cataracts
Vitamin E is an important nutrient for eye health, and research has shown that it can help prevent cataracts. Cataracts are a common age-related eye condition that causes cloudy vision. While there is no cure for cataracts, surgery can be used to improve vision. Vitamin E may help to slow the progression of cataracts and reduce the risk of developing this condition.
Helps with heart disease
Vitamin E has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke by helping prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries. It can also help to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood circulation.
Protects against dementia
As we age, our risk for developing dementia increases. Vitamin E has been shown to protect against cognitive decline and dementia, making it an important nutrient for seniors. The body does not produce vitamin E on its own, so it’s important to include foods that are rich in this nutrient in your diet.
For couples who are trying to conceive, taking a vitamin E supplement may help. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found that men who took a daily dose of vitamin E had a higher sperm count than those who didn’t. Plus, the sperm were more motile and had a better morphology. While more research needs to be done, this is promising news for couples who are struggling to conceive.
Vitamin E-rich foods include nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.
4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is well known for its blood clotting properties, but that’s not the only benefit. It is also involved in
Maintaining healthy bones
Vitamin K is essential for the production of osteocalcin, a protein that helps to bind calcium in our bones. This means that vitamin K can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and improve bone health. Additionally, vitamin K can help to prevent fractures by reducing the amount of calcium that is lost from our bones.
Boosts the immune system
When your immune system is functioning properly, your body is better able to fight off infection and disease. Vitamin K is essential for the production of white blood cells, which are key players in immunity. Adequate levels of vitamin K can help keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Vitamin K is essential for the proper clotting of blood and maintenance of healthy circulation. When our circulation is poor, we are more susceptible to heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Vitamin K can help improve circulation by keeping our blood vessels open and preventing clots from forming.
Fewer pain joints
Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in the joints. Vitamin K can help reduce these symptoms by improving the health of the joints. In one study, participants who took a vitamin K supplement had less pain and stiffness in their joints than those who did not take the supplement.
Reduces menstrual pain
Vitamin K is an important nutrient for women’s health. It helps reduce menstrual pain and cramping, as well as PMS symptoms.
What are water-soluble vitamins?
Water-soluble vitamins are soluble in …, Yes; you are guessing it right, water. They can travel freely in our bloodstream, which means they can absorb quickly, but unlike fat-soluble vitamins, there is no mechanism to store them, and the excess amount gets excreted by the kidney.
There is a very low chance of toxicity of these vitamins, but you should be taking them daily to avoid deficiencies, and you can do this quite well by eating a balanced diet. These types of vitamins include vitamin C or ascorbic acid and B-complex. Get ready to dive deep into each vitamin and get to know them closely.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is present in yummy fruits like kiwi, oranges, lime, mangoes, and some; vegetables. It is an excellent immune booster and works as an antioxidant in our body plus; It is really; essential for adequate iron absorption and blood cells formation.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Thiamine is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and, its deficiency can result in confusion, memory loss, weight loss, and heart issues. But don’t worry, you can get enough thiamine from whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin found in many foods. While your body only needs a small amount of vitamin B2 to function properly, it is still an important nutrient for overall health. You can find it in many food sources like almonds, whole grains, spinach, and other leafy greens. Riboflavin aids digestion by helping break down proteins during the process of chewing. It also helps with red blood cell production. One of the most common symptoms of low B2 levels is soreness and cracking at the corners of one’s mouth (cheilosis).
B2 deficiency can lead to hair loss, depression, mouth sores, stomach upset, nosebleeds or even nerve damage.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Niacin is required for a healthy digestive system, energy metabolism, and skin health. You can get it from meat, fish, whole grains, mushrooms, and leafy greens.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
It is necessary for making healthy red blood cells, hormones, and energy metabolism. The best sources include mushrooms, dairy, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 helps in the proper brain development and keeps the nervous and immune system healthy. Salmon, tuna, poultry, and some dark green vegetables are good sources.
Vitamin B7 (biotin)
Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s part of the vitamin B complex. This vitamin is important for a number of bodily functions, including the metabolism of fats and amino acids, and the production of energy. You can obtain your B7 from whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid)
Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Folate is important for the development of the neural tube. Women who consume adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy can help prevent major birth defects in their babies.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Most people know that vitamin B12 is important for energy levels and red blood cell production. But did you know that this essential nutrient also plays a role in brain health, heart health, and cancer prevention? It can also improve brain function by playing an important role in DNA synthesis and gene expression.
Additionally, vitamin B12 can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by aiding lipid metabolism, reducing homocysteine levels, preventing arterial wall inflammation, and maintaining normal endothelial cells.
If you are a vegetarian, you can get it from supplements or fortified foods as it is not present in plant foods, and its deficiency is common.
Difference between fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins:
The main difference occurs in the solubility and storage of these vitamins. If you are taking fat-soluble vitamin supplements, make sure to take them with meals or a cup of milk for better absorption and watch out for toxicity as your body can store the extra fat-soluble vitamin.
In the case of water-soluble, take them with water and add sources of such vitamins to your diet daily since the body can’t produce them on its own. So you have to obtain them through diet.
Other related articles:
- How To Stay Healthy In Winter?
- Vegan Brain Booster Foods
- Vitamins and Minerals to Boost Metabolism
- 10 Foods That Boost The Immune System
- How To Stay Healthy When Traveling
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.