We all know that vitamins are very important if want to stay healthy. We need vitamins in very small proportions to let our body grow and function in the right way. Since we can’t make vitamins ourselves, we will have to supply our body with vitamins by following a well balanced diet.
The diet must be well balanced because we need all different kinds of vitamins, 13 in total. Our main source of vitamins is of course our food. Different kinds of food contain different kinds of vitamins and that’s why our diet must be well balanced. Our health would suffer if we our diet would lack certain vitamins. But it is also important not to take too much of certain kinds of vitamins. Too much can even be dangerous to our health, so we have to be careful.
The 13 kinds of vitamins can be divided on two groups: water soluble and fat soluble. This difference is very important because the water soluble vitamins are hardly stored in our body, which means we should supply our body with these vitamins every day. On the other side are the fat soluble vitamins which are stored in our body. This means that we don’t have to take these vitamins everyday, but it may also mean we that the level of these vitamins in our body can get higher and higher if we would take too much of them day by day.
It is also important to realize that every kind of vitamin has it’s own specific purpose in the functioning of our body. Knowing we need all kinds of vitamins and knowing they all serve a certain purpose we can imagine that we don’t all need vitamins in the same quantities. Of course there are differences between men, women and children. A larger body generally needs more vitamins than a smaller body. But we can address more groups of people that have different needs for vitamins.
In certain periods in our lives we ask more from our body than in other periods and some people are more active than others. This results in other needs for vitamins. For example when a woman gets pregnant her body and the body of her child needs more folic acid (vitamin B9) then non pregnant people. Vitamin B9 is very important in periods of heavy cell division and cell growth. This means that the levels of folic acid will fall during the first weeks of pregnancy. So during that period extra vitamin B9 is in place.