WE HAVE REACHED THE END OF OUR VITAMIN A DAY CAMPAIGN, AND THIS BLOG IS A SUMMARY OF VARIOUS AND ESSENTIAL VITAMINS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH OF GROWING CHILDREN IN GUATEMALA. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS EFFORT, PLEASE CLICK BELOW TO DONATE!
What are Vitamins ?
Vitamins are substances that our bodies need in order to have normal growth, development, and cell function. Our body is able to produce some of these vitamins but we mostly acquire them from food. Different vitamins play different roles in our bodies and they are needed in different amounts.
What are the Essential Vitamins?
There are 13 essential vitamins that are bodies need to function normally
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Folate (folic acid and B9)
Vitamin A is a fat soluble essential vitamin that we must obtain from our diets. It contributes to the development of healthy teeth and bones, soft tissues and mucus membranes, and skin. Vitamin A is also crucial to our eyesight and night vision. It helps us see color and supports our immune systems when fighting off infections. Deficiencies in this vitamin can cause night-blindness and keratomalacia, an eye disorder that results in a dry cornea. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, broccoli, kale, cheeses, apricot, and eggs.
There is more than one vitamin B and they are all water soluble essential vitamins that we must obtain from our diets. This list includes: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and B12. They are all collectively involved in the production of red blood cells and aid the various metabolic activities that occur in our bodies . Deficiencies in these vitamins can cause anemia, peripheral neuropathy, paresthesia, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Vitamin B can be found in eggs, kale, grains, meats, fish, chicken, milk, avocado, and leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C is a water soluble essential vitamin that we mostly obtain from our diets. It is an antioxidant that contributes to the development of healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin C helps our body absorb iron which allows for healthy tissue and normal wound healing. Vitamin C is also crucial to helping our immune systems in fighting off infections and can prolong bodily illnesses. Deficiencies in this vitamin can cause megaloblastic anemia, an anemia that occurs when the bone marrow produce abnormally large and oddly shaped immature red blood cells. Vitamin C can be found in a multitude of fruits and vegetables and in liver.
Vitamin D is fat water soluble essential vitamin that we mostly obtain from sunlight but we can also obtain it from our diets. It is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is made in our skin upon exposure to sunlight. Getting about 10 minutes of sunlight 3 times a week is enough to produce our essential quantities of vitamin D but for individuals who don’t live in sunny locations it is crucial they receive their doses of vitamin D from their diets. Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium which allows for the growth of healthy bones and teeth. Deficiencies in this vitamin can cause the softening of the bones. Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, eggs, liver, and mushrooms.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble essential vitamin that we obtain from our diets. It is an antioxidant that helps our bodies form red blood cells and use vitamin K. Deficiencies in this vitamin are uncommon but can cause hemolytic anemia, a condition in which blood cells are destroyed and removed from the body too early. Vitamin E can be found in kiwi fruit, almonds, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oils, wheat germ, and whole-grains.
Vitamin K is a fat soluble essential vitamin that we obtain from our diets. Vitamin K is one of the most essential vitamins because without it our blood would not coagulate. If we were to experience an injury such as a cut, our blood would not be able to clot and we would not be able to stop bleeding. Deficiencies in this vitamin can cause diathesis, a condition that increases one’s susceptibility to bleeding. Vitamin K can be found in leafy green vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit and parsley .
Folate is a water soluble essential vitamin composed of folic acid and vitamin B9. This vitamin works with vitamin B12 to help form red blood cells. It helps in the production of DNA and is the most crucial vitamin for pregnant women. Deficiencies in this vitamin can cause various birth defects. Folate can be found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, liver, baker’s yeast, some fortified grain products, sunflower seeds, and some fruits.
What is the Campaign about?
$500 CAD can supply the Impact Ministries’ school with 25,000 multivitamins. This will provide a vitamin a day for each child at the school for a little less than a month. Our goal is to send one package of this size, every quarter in 2019, which will supply half of what is needed for the entire school year. We need your help to be able to fight against the devastating effects of malnutrition!
The mission of HLH is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.