Vitamins are natural substances that are essential for life. Although we only need relatively small amounts, our body cannot produce or store enough to meet our needs. We have to rely on our diet instead. What is more, vitamins cannot be absorbed by the digestive system without food.
Like workers, nutrients need "specialised tools" to do their job properly. Our body is a complex organism of millions of cells and every cell is a living thing that grows and reproduces itself. But to keep our cells functioning and to make specific chemical reactions in our body possible, we need the help of these "specialised tools" also known as vitamins.
Every "job" needs a different "tool". That is why a healthy diet should always contain a variety of foods - fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water. This will also ensure the needed supply of:
A healthy digestive system ensures the transport of our "tools" to the right place or cell. Some will form part of the structural material, the framework of the cell. Others will become catalysts, "little sparkplugs" assisting in energy transfer and metabolism of nutrients. And some will become regulators controlling indirectly specific functions in tissues.
In other words, we need vitamins to:
What's more about vitamins, the absence of one can jeopardise the whole process of healthy cell maintenance and reproduction. It'll cause a chain reaction: one damaged cell leads to another and another....
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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
Thomas A. Edison