Humans require a continuous caloric intake over time.The simple fact of existing (basal metabolic rate or BMR) consumes about 1,350 kilocalories or more per day, depending on the person. Our brain alone consumes 20% of the glucose and oxygen generated in the body, or in other words, about 350 kilocalories every 24 hours.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), carbohydrates should account for 50 to 75% of caloric intake (especially in the form of starches, without abusing simple sugars), proteins 10 to 15% and fats 15 to 30%. These three main groups (carbohydrates, proteins and lipids) are what are known as the “macronutrients” in the human diet, since the vast majority of our biological functionality depends on them.
Beyond the “cellular carbon” (which is usually glucose produced from sugars and complex carbohydrates), there are other nutrients that should be consumed in smaller quantities than the rest, but which are also essential for the physical and emotional well-being of human beings. These are vitamins and minerals, which are necessary in quantities equal to or less than 100 milligrams per day.. If you want to know all about the 13 essential vitamins, read on.
What are essential vitamins?
Vitamins are key organic compounds for the maintenance of individual health.. These compounds are very heterogeneous and different from each other, but they all have a specific function: to promote proper physiological functioning.
On the other hand, it should be noted that the designation “essential” refers to the fact that these biological elements cannot be synthesized by the human organism itself: what a living being produces as part of a metabolic pathway is necessary for another that does not, at least in the case of heterotrophic organisms (those that feed on living matter). Here are the particularities of these vitamin complexes.
Vitamin A can be found in preformed form in animal products, such as meat, fish, dairy products (milk, yogurts, cheeses and derivatives) or in the form of beta-carotene, present in vegetable matter such as sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, cassava and a very long list.
This vitamin is essential for the formation and maintenance of teeth and other bone tissues, soft structures, mucous membranes and skin.soft structures, mucous membranes and skin. In addition to aiding persistence and proper function, it also promotes good vision. This organic compound is essential for corneal nutrition, so without it, the eyes cannot produce enough moisture to keep them properly lubricated.
Vitamin C is not only essential for humans, as other primate mammals, guinea pigs and bats also cannot synthesize it on their own. On the other hand, it should be noted that the other vertebrates with which we share the class Mammalia do synthesize this vitamin as a product of their metabolism, specifically in the liver.
This micronutrient is found, above all, in citrus fruits, kiwis, broccoli and other vegetables, such as tomatoes or certain tubers. Vitamin C is essential for the formation of almost all the structures of our osteoarticular system, as it is necessary for the synthesis of the famous collagen. necessary for the synthesis of the famous collagen.. It also helps in the absorption of iron, tissue repair in case of injuries and stands out for its important antioxidant activity.
This vitamin is represented by 2 liposoluble compounds: vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Its main function is associated with the maintenance of the skeletal system, as it promotes the reabsorption of bone.It promotes the total reabsorption and partial reabsorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestinal tract of humans.
Unlike vitamin C and many others, this vitamin is synthesized in small quantities in our body, specifically in the skin with the action of the sun, from 7-dehydrocholesterol. However, it should also be consumed in the diet, due to its importance in the maintenance of bones. Some foods rich in vitamin D are cod liver oil, bonito and other fish, calf liver, chicken liver and dairy products.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is comprised of 8 fat-soluble compounds, also called lipophilic. In the human body its essential function is to act as an antioxidantthat is, it has the purpose of neutralizing free radicals resulting from the conversion of organic matter into energy at the cellular level. This work is vital to avoid cellular failures in the long term, since radicals can damage DNA, which promotes the appearance of deleterious mutations.
Vegetable oils, nuts, vegetables and some cereals (with the vitamin in additive form) are some of the most vitamin E-rich foods on the market. An adult person without pathologies requires an intake of 15 milligrams of vitamin E per day.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is very important for bone and tissue development in general, but above all, its importance lies in its work as a coagulant.but above all, its importance lies in its work as a coagulant. People with vitamin K deficiency tend to bruise easily, have heavy bleeding and other events related to hematological irregularities. Green leafy vegetables are the natural foods with the highest vitamin K content.
6. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Let’s go a little faster from now on, as there are 8 different vitamins within the B complex and we can’t go into each of them in detail. The main function of thiamine is the conversion and metabolism of fatty acids, so it is considered essential for energy production. it is considered essential for obtaining energy at the cellular level.. A diet rich in carbohydrates requires more vitamin B1 than a high-fat diet. It is found mainly in yeast, whole grains and legumes.
7. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Among other joint functions with the rest of the B vitamins, riboflavin helps in the production of red blood cells and intervenes in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. It is found mainly in dairy products and eggs.
8. Niacin (vitamin B3)
Niacin acts in cell metabolism, as it is part of the coenzyme NAD and NADP, essential for energy production and DNA repair.. Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, carrots, bananas, garlic and many other foods of non-animal origin are rich in vitamin B3.
9. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
This vitamin, like the rest of the B-complex vitamins, is essential for growth, is essential for growthIt promotes the correct metabolism of food. Avocado, broccoli, eggs, legumes and animal viscera contain adequate proportions of pantothenic acid.
10. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
Vitamin B6 is required by the body to produce amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids, to synthesize antibodies, and to maintain normal neurological function.. Because of its functionality, it is often sold in the form of dietary supplements, although fish meats and other specific animal and vegetable products are also rich in pyridoxine.
11. Biotin (Vitamin B7)
It is usually grouped in the same group as pantothenic acid.It is usually grouped in the same group as pantothenic acid, since the functions of both types of vitamin B and the foods from which they are obtained are very similar.
12. Folic acid (Vitamin B9)
Vitamin B9 is necessary for the maturation of proteins and hemoglobin, and thus for the synthesis of red blood cells, the cell bodies responsible for transporting oxygen throughout our body.
13. Cobalamin (vitamin B12)
Cobalamin helps produce red blood cells, DNA, RNA, energy and tissues, as well as maintaining healthy nerve cells. It is one of the most important vitamins on this list, as deficiency results in anemia. deficiency results in anemia and neurological disorders.. B12 is found in greater or lesser proportion in almost all foods of animal origin.
As we said at the beginning, vitamins are micronutrients that we must integrate into our diet in small doses (less than 100 mg per day) to be healthy. From antioxidant properties to calcium reabsorption, from vision maintenance to DNA repair, all these vitamins play some essential role on a small scale in our body.
If you have any doubts about the correct intake of all these biological compounds, we encourage you to consult a nutritionist. The lack of some of these vitamins is not lethal in the short term, but it can cause a series of irreversible symptoms if not detected in time: when it comes to health, prevention is always better than cure..