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What are vitamins? Vitamins are very distinct chemical substances found along with minerals, in very small quantities in food. “They can be seen, weighed and tested.” In this lesson we are to learn the A, B, C, and D, you are likely to have the rest of Vitamins.
Without these vitamins, you could not use the food that you eat. You would become listless. A boy or girl would stop growing. A young man or woman would be old at twenty-five. An adult could die by bleeding to death or could become helplessly mad, but long before anything as dire as all these could occur, you would be a suffering, nervous, bilious, and colicky tired out human being.
Let’s start with Vitamin A, what does it do in the body, and where can we obtain it? Vitamin A is one of the vitamins needed for cells to grow. If it is lacking, teeth will not develop and the skin and lining membranes of the mouth, lungs, and kidneys suffer. There is a greater susceptibility to ear, nose, and throat difficulties – sinus trouble in other words. It is found in the sensitive photographic curtain of the eye and if it is lacking, the person has poor vision, especially in the dark.
The richest known source of Vitamin A is halibut and cod –liver oil. The next would be butter, cream, whole milk, egg yolk, yellow corn. Carrots and green leafy vegetables are a good source. Now, here is a rule: the more highly colored the vegetable, the greater the amount of Vitamin A. For instance, in half a cup of cooked greens you have five times the amount of Vitamin A. Tomatoes is a good source of Vitamin A. To be sure of sufficient Vitamin A, eat one or two highly colored green, yellow orange or red vegetables each day.
Next, we come to Vitamin B the vitamin that has grown and grown into a large family. They are B1. B2.B6.B12, Nicotinic Acid, and still others are being added. We now lump them all together in one B-Complex group.
Vitamin B is to the nerves what insulation is to an electric wire. It keeps us from getting too brief and curt with people.
When you do not have enough Vitamin B, there may be the weakness of muscles, prickly sensations in the skin, lack of appetite, nervous indigestion, or loss of heart tone. Scientist have actually helped students to improve the grades in school and scholars their memory by adding a bit more Vitamin B if the vitamin level gets too low, people actually have gone insane for no other reason. It’s B for brains then isn’t it?
The best source of Vitamin B1, the anti- nervous vitamin and Vitamin, which keeps your skin healthy, and a B Vitamin called Niacin or Nicotinic acid, which prevents pellagra, is as follows:
VITAMIN B1 (Thiamin)
Dried brewer’s yeast, wheat germ (three teaspoonfuls give you the amount needed for one day); yeast extract; whole grain cereals (one medical authority states that only 1/10 of the total amount of Vitamin B is left in white flour); green leafy vegetables. It is also found in the outer layers of the grain of rice or wheat. It is lost when these grains are refined, and this is the main reason for eating the whole grain. All the fruits and vegetables help to add to your supply of this vitamin.
A word of caution here about the destruction of Vitamin B. It can be lost in the water in which vegetables are cooked, and it is rapidly lost if soda is used in the cooking to keep things green. Have the water boiling, and use the smallest amount possible, if you are going to save your vitamins. Should any need to be drained off, use it in making gravies soup.
VITAMIN B2 (Riboflavin)
Milk and cheese; wheat; green leafy vegetables; yeast extract; eggs; beans; cabbage; rice and carrots.
NIACIN (Anti- pellagra vitamin)
Yeast extract; milk; whole wheat; unpolished rice; green vegetables; potatoes; roasted ground- nut.
We should spell citrus fruits with a capital “C” as they are one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. Without Vitamin C scurvy develops with its sore and bleeding gums and painful joints. Vitamin C can be likened to the mortar between bricks. If it is lacking, the wall is weak, and in the human body if Vitamin C is lacking, the blood vessel wall is weak, and blood oozes out between the cells into the muscles or skin.
Fresh oranges, lemons, and limes are rich sources of Vitamin C. Tomatoes, cabbage, and greens are also good sources. But this vitamin can be lost in cooking. Thirty to forty percent of Vitamin C may dissolve into the water while cooking. So again let us stress that you should cook your greens quickly and in as little water as possible.