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Vitamins are any of certain special substances required for the normal growth and nourishment of the body, found especially in milk, butter, raw fruits and vegetables, brewers' yeast, wheat, and cod liver oil. Lack of vitamins in diets causes such disease as rickets and scurvy, as well as general poor health. There are many different types of vitamins, each responsible for various constituents of nutrients. They are divided in two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are found mainly in fatty foods such as animal fats (including butter and lard), vegetable oils, dairy foods, liver and oily fish.

Your body needs these vitamins every day to work properly. However, you do not need to eat foods containing them every day as your body does not need these vitamins immediately and stores them in your liver and fatty tissues for future use. These are all fat-soluble vitamins:

vitamin A

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Vitamin A increases the resistance of the body to infections, and prevents night blindness. Vitamin A is most plentiful in foods like Apricots, Beef Liver, Carrots, Egg Yolk, Fish Liver Oil, Sweet Potato, Turnip, and Leafy Green Vegetables.

Vitamin D is necessary for the growth and health of bones and teeth. It must also be present for us to properly use up calcium and phosphorous. Fish Liver Oil is the richest source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is most commonly found in Butter, Eggs, Fish Liver Oil, Herring, Liver, Mackerel, Milk, Salmon, Sardine, and Tuna Fish.

Vitamin E protects the body's store of vitamin A and C, so you will need less of these two vitamins if you consume enough Vitamin E. The chief sources of vitamin E are Cereal Oils, Vegetables, and Whole Grain Cereals. Vitamin E is also commonly found in Corn Oil, Cotton Seed Oil, Peanut Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Spinach, Wheat Germ, and Wheat Germ Oil.

Vitamin K is necessary for the synthesizing of several proteins that mediate both coagulation and anticoagulation. Vitamin K deficiency is manifested in excessive bleeding; menstrual, gum, nose, and digestive tract. Vitamin K is most commonly found in spinach, brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, kale and mustard greens.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so you need to have them more frequently. If you have more than you need, your body gets rid of the extra vitamins when you urinate. Because the body does not store water-soluble vitamins, these vitamins are not harmful.

Water-soluble vitamins are found in fruits, vegetables and grains. But unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they can be destroyed by heat or by being exposed to the air. They can also be lost in the water used for cooking. Thus, the best way to keep as much of the nutrients in, is to steam or grill rather tha boil. These are all water-soluble vitamins:

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B12

Vitamin C


Folic Acid


Pantothenic Acid



B Vitamins (biotin, choline, inositol, niacin, pantothenic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamin) are all water soluble. They are mostly found in foods such as Chicken, Egg Yolk, Fresh Raw Fruits, Legumes, Milk, Organ Meats (heart, liver, kidney), Peanuts, Soybeans, Wheat Germ, Whole Grains, and Vegetables. When taken as supplements, they should be taken all together as they may do serious harm if taken separately in large doses.

Vitamin C is the most perishable of all. They are also sensitive to air and heat, and loose most of their value if left unrefrigerated for several days. All fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated at all times until they are ready to be eaten. They should also be cut, sliced, chopped, etc., when they are about to be eaten, and not before, as each cut surface exposed, releases vitamin C. Vitamin C is most common in foods such as Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Citrus Fruits, Collard Green, Fresh Peas, Green Pepper, Raw Cabbage, Tomato, Strawberry, and Watercress. The richest source of vitamin C is Rose Hips (the fruit of the rose tree left after the flowers fade). Rose Hips can be pureed and stored for use in the winter.

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