A nutritious diet is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle . When it ’ s part of a health regimen that includes routine exercise , a healthy diet that ’ s rich in fruits and vegetables can help people reduce their risk for various illnesses , including chronic diseases like heart disease , cancer and diabetes .
Many adults have known about the value of fruits and vegetables since they were youngsters and their parents repeatedly told them how important it was to eat healthy foods . Despite those early lessons , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that less than 10 percent of adults and adolescents eat enough fruits and vegetables . That ’ s unfortunate , as fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins that benefit the body in myriad ways .
The U . S . National Library of Medicine notes that vitamin deficiency occurs when people do not get enough of certain vitamins . Recognizing the many functions vitamins serve may compel adults and adolescents to include more fruits and vegetables in their diets .
• Vitamin A : The USNLM notes that vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth , bones , soft tissue , mucous membranes , and skin . According to the World Health Organization , vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections .
• Vitamin B6 : Vitamin B6 helps form red blood cells and maintain brain function . Though the National Institutes of Health notes that isolated vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon , a deficiency has been associated with various conditions , including a weakened immune system and dermatitis cheilitis , a condition marked by scaling on the lips and cracks at the corners of the mouth .
• Vitamin C : Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums , helps the body absorb iron and maintains healthy tissue . In addition , vitamin C plays an integral role in helping wounds heal . Vitamin C deficiency impairs bone function , and Merck notes that in children that impairment can cause bone lesions and contribute to poor bone growth .
• Vitamin D : The USNLM notes that 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times per week is enough to produce the body ’ s vitamin D requirement for people at most latitudes . It ’ s hard to rely on food to supply ample vitamin D , which helps the body absorb calcium that is necessary for the development and maintenance of
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healthy teeth and bones .
• Vitamin E : Vitamin E helps the body form red blood cells and utilize vitamin K . Green , leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E . The Office of Dietary Supplements notes that a vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage , potentially leading to muscle weakness and vision problems .
• Vitamin K : Vitamin K helps to make certain proteins that are needed for blood clotting and the building of bones . The T . H . Chan School of Public Health at Harvard notes that the main type of vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables like collard greens , kale and spinach . Vitamin K deficiency is rare , but it can lead to bleeding , hemorrhaging or osteoporosis .
Vitamins are crucial to human beings ’ overall health . Eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables is a great and delicious way to avoid vitamin deficiency .