Vitamins are substances present in food in small quantities that are essential for the proper functioning of the body. They act as a catalyst in the chemical reactions that occur in the human body causing the release of energy.
Characteristics of water soluble vitamins
- As the name implies, these are soluble in aqueous elements So called because they dissolve in water
- It is relatively easy to remove their excess from our body through urine.
- But, this same reason, makes it important to maintain its intake in a stable way, since they are not stored in the body.
- Some foods when washing them lose part of their water-soluble vitamins, or also when cooking them.
- Being water soluble its storage is minimal, so the daily diet must provide and cover the vitamin needs, since they can only be dispensed with for a few days.
- Its high intake has no toxic effect, unless there is a problem in the kidneys.
- The water soluble vitamins are vitamin C and vitamins comprising the g group B complex .
- Vitamin C
It is found in some fruits (orange, kivi, lemon …), spinach, milk and meat among other foods. Its lack produces the disease known as scurvy (hemorrhages, loss of teeth, gingivitis …) and its excess can cause renal colic
Vitamin B complex
They are the following: Vitamin B1 or Thiamine, Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin, Vitamin B3 or Niacin, Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine, Vitamin B8 or Biotin, Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 or Cyanocobalamin. Foods that contain B vitamins are fish, dairy products, liver, chicken meat, beer yeast, dark leafy vegetables, cereals and eggs
Since the vitamins pass into the cooking water and an important part of them is lost. To recover part of these vitamins, since some being thermolabile are destroyed by heat, you can use the cooking water of the vegetables to prepare a broth or soup. Proper food storage and proper preparation can minimize the loss of this type of vitamins. To reduce the loss of water-soluble vitamins that occur when storing food, refrigerate them if you are not going to consume them fresh and keep them away from sunlight.
The need for water-soluble vitamins must take into account the level of physical activity of the individual, since active exercise, as we have seen, numerous metabolic reactions whose vitamins are coenzymes. Thus in situations of intense physical activity there may be risks of lack. On the other hand, excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted or eliminated in the urine, so they do not usually cause toxic effects under normal conditions. Even so, its benefits are not demonstrated with intakes greater than those recommended, so higher doses should only be taken under medical supervision.