What are vitamins for in our bodies?

Vitamins are known to be a group organic compounds that are very much essential for normal growth and nutrition. They are required in very small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body. Most vitamins come from food, but there are also vitamin supplements in the form of pills or liquids. There are currently 13 recognised vitamins and these can fall into these two categories:

Fat-soluble vitamins

Vitamins A, D, E, and K assist in the normal function, growth, and maintenance of tissues. You can find these in the following foods:

beef liver

cheese, milk, and other dairy products

sweet potato

kale, spinach, and other green, leafy vegetables


Water-soluble vitamins

Vitamin C and all B vitamins are water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins don’t stay in the body for long and can’t be stored. Because of this, people need a more regular supply of water-soluble vitamins than fat-soluble ones. You can find these in the following foods:

citrus fruits




whole-grain and fortified bread and cereals

leafy green vegetables

meat, and fish

Vitamin supplements

Some people choose to take multivitamins and other supplements. Fortified foods and supplements can be appropriate in some cases, such as during pregnancy, for people with restricted diets, or to address specific health conditions.

Anyone taking supplements should be careful not to exceed the maximum dose; taking too much of any vitamin can lead to health problems. It’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before trying any supplement.

A balanced diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables is the best (and most affordable) way to get enough of the vitamins you need.

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