Vitamins and minerals are present in the food we eat, but they do not replace our daily diet. Vitamins do not produce functional energy when it is broken down. They help the enzymes that discharge energy from fats, proteins and carbohydrates; however they do not supply energy by themselves.
Most of the vitamins and minerals are sensitive to heat. Though food articles are rich in vitamins if we over cook them, many of the vitamins get destroyed. The B-Vitamins are essential for nerves, elimination, digestion and energy. They are very much heat sensitive than other vitamins. They are soluble in water; hence the body will not be able to preserve them. This makes it necessary to consume them daily.
There are different types of vitamins, their functions too are different.
B1 (thiamin) maintains energy metabolism and functions of nerves. They are contained in food stuffs like green peas, watermelon, lean ham, chops, spinach, tomato juice, sunflower seeds, lean pork and soy milk. If you take care to include all the mentioned food in your daily diet in the correct proportion you will not suffer from the deficiency of vitamin B1.
B2 (riboflavin) is necessary to uphold energy metabolism, regular vision and health of the skin. Spinach, mushrooms, milk, liver, clams, broccoli, eggs and oysters are rich in vitamin B2.
B3 (niacin) sustains energy metabolism, health of skin, nervous and digestive system. It is abundant in potatoes, lean ground beef, tuna canned in water, shrimp, spinach, tomato juice, liver and chicken breast. Biotin which is wide spread in all foods maintains metabolism of energy, fat production, synthesis of glycogen and amino acid metabolism.
Vitamin B-5 or Pantothenic Acid augments energy metabolism. The day to day foods we use are rich sources of the vitamin.
B6 (pyridoxine) enhances metabolism rate of fatty acids and amino acids. It aids in the production of red blood cells. The vitamin is prevalent in fruits like watermelon and bananas, broccoli, tomato juice, acorn squash, spinach, white rice, potatoes, chicken breast etc.
Folate is helpful in synthesis of DNA and formation of new cells. Tomato juice, broccoli, asparagus, black-eyed peas, navy, garbanzo beans, green beans, spinach, okra, lentils, and pinto contain folate richly.
Vitamin B12 is useful in synthesis of new cells, in the break down of fatty and amino acids and maintenance of nerve cell. It is largely found in poultry, shellfish, eggs, meats, milk and fish.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) improves amino acid metabolism, immunity, acts as antioxidant, aids synthesis of collagen and improves iron absorption. This vitamin can be found in broccoli, snow peas, kiwi fruit, orange, strawberries, spinach, red bell peppers, tomato juice, and mango and grapefruit juice.