10. Vitamins at Work

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Vitamins are important to our bodies. They keep our bodies healthy. They help our bodies to grow. There are at least 25 different vitamins we know of. Each one has its own special use. The best way to get vitamins is to eat foods rich in them. It’s a good idea, then, to know about foods and the vitamins they contain. Let’s take a look at some special vitamins. We can start with vitamin A.

Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight. It helps us to see better at night. It even keeps our eyes free from disease. Vitamin A also keeps the skin healthy and stops infection. This vitamin is found in animal foods. However, deep yellow and dark green vegetables and fruits give our bodies something called “carotene.” Our bodies can turn carotene into vitamin A.

Produce can easily supply all the vitamin A you need. Such items as collards, turnip greens, kale, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes can more than take care of daily needs. Yellow peaches, apricots, cantaloupe and papayas also help.

Liver is another good source of vitamin A. A two-ounce serving of cooked beef liver gives us more than 30,000 units of the vitamin. That’s six times more vitamin A than you would need during the day.

There are plenty of other sources of vitamin A. Whole milk is a source. Skim milk, on the other hand, doesn’t have any vitamin A, unless it is fortified. This means that vitamin A has been added to it.

Three of the best known vitamins come from the vitamin B complex. They are riboflavin, thiamin and niacin. These vitamins release the energy in food. They keep the nervous system working. They keep the digestive system working calmly. And they even help to keep the skin healthy.

Riboflavin is easy to find. It is found in meats, milk, and whole grain or enriched breads. Organ meats also have riboflavin.

Thiamin is found in few foods. Lean pork is one. Dry beans and peas and some of the organ meats give us some thiamin.

Niacin can be found in whole grain and enriched cereals. Meat and meat products and peas and beans also contain niacin. Without niacin, riboflavin and thiamin could not do their work properly.

Vitamins are important to a healthy body. It would pay us to learn more about these amazing building blocks.

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