Fruits are a source of many essential vitamins and nutrients, besides being relished for their delightful taste. They contain many important vitamins required for carrying out the biochemical processes that are crucial for human growth and development. So, let's find out what vitamins can be found abundantly in fruits, and their importance for human health.
Vitamins Found in Fruits
Oranges, watermelons, blackberries, peaches, kiwis, and apples are some fruits rich in vitamin A. This vitamin plays a crucial role in cell reproduction and hormone production. It can stimulate the immune system, and improve vision and hair growth. It can also promote the proper growth and development of bones and teeth. A deficiency of this important vitamin can cause night blindness, skin dryness, and weak bones and teeth.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is found in bananas, pears, lemons, raspberries, oranges, mangoes, grapefruits, and pineapples. Thiamine is an important vitamin required for carbohydrate metabolism (the conversion of carbohydrate into energy). It is also required for ensuring the normal functioning of the heart, nervous system, and the muscles. A deficiency of vitamin B1 causes a disease known as beriberi, which can produce symptoms like tiredness, numbness of hands and feet, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and vomiting. This disease can sometimes affect the cardiovascular and the nervous system.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin plays a significant role in the production of red blood cells, and the growth and development of the body. It plays an important role in reproduction as well. It can be found in kiwis, though fruits are not an important source of vitamin B2. Riboflavin is also required for carbohydrate metabolism.
Vitamin B3 is found in bananas, peaches, watermelons, kiwis, and cantaloupes, and is essential for the health of the digestive and the nervous systems. It is also important for maintaining the health of the skin. Vitamin B3 prevents the disease 'pellagra', which causes gastrointestinal disorders, dermatitis, mental confusion, insomnia, and even dementia. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is required for releasing energy from food, and for the proper functioning of over 50 enzymes.
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is essential for metabolism. This vitamin is found in oranges and bananas. It is also required for the production of cholesterol, which facilitates the synthesis of vitamin D and steroid hormones. It ensures the proper utilization of other vitamins by the human body, and promotes the health of the digestive system.
Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. It facilitates the production of antibodies, and thereby plays an important role in immune functions. It is also required for the production of red blood cells, and for the smooth functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B6 is mainly found in bananas and watermelons. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause nausea, irritability, insomnia, dermatitis, asthma, and allergies.
Vitamin B9 is also known as folic acid or folate. Folic acid is required for cell growth and the proper development of the embryo. So, its sufficient intake is very important during pregnancy. Folate is important for the production of red blood cells, DNA, and the constituent parts of the nervous system. Strawberries, blackberries, kiwis, oranges, and bananas are some important sources of vitamin B9.
This vitamin is abundantly found in apples, bananas, pears, oranges, lemons, plums, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, mangoes, and watermelons. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that can protect the body cells from free radicals. It is important for the formation of collagen, cartilage, blood vessels, and muscles. It also facilitates the absorption of iron, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. A deficiency of vitamin C can cause scurvy, which can cause spongy bleeding gums, loss of weight, irritability, and wounds that do not heal easily.
Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that protects the body tissues and cells from the possible damage caused by free radicals. It facilitates the formation of red blood cells, promotes blood circulation, and protects the cell membrane. Vitamin E is essential for the proper utilization of vitamin K as well.
The deficiency of these vitamins can cause various diseases. Vitamins can reduce the risk of fatal diseases by defending the body against harmful free radicals. Apart from vitamins, fruits contain many essential minerals and fibers. So, their inclusion in the diet can help you lead a long and healthy life.