Let’s talk about vitamins. We all know we need them, but what are they?
Vitamins are a chemical compound in our bodies that regulate chemical reactions to turn food into energy and living tissue.
There are 13 vitamins; a few of these can be produced by our bodies, but the majority have to come from outside our bodies. We would like to believe that our diet alone can produce all we need. Sadly, because our soils are so depleted this is no longer a reality. Everyone needs to supplement to one degree or another depending on our lifestyle and diet.
A lack of one vitamin can impede the function of another. It can also cause a deficiency disease. An example of a deficiency disease is scurvy. Scurvy is a lack of vitamin C. Sailors used to suffer from scurvy on long voyages when they had little or no fresh fruits. When the British navy realized what was causing scurvy they began to send limes and lemons with their ships so the juice could be added to the sailors’ daily grog. Hence the derogatory term “limey” was born to refer to British sailors. Eventually the word was used of Brits in general and lost its negative connotation.
Over the next few weeks I plan on doing a series on the various vitamins. We will look at what they do for us and good sources for each vitamin both in our diet and with supplements.