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Vitamin It is a compound term formed by the Latin word vita ("lifetime" ) and for the chemical concept amine (coined by the Polish biochemist C. Funk ). Vitamins are the organic substances that are present in food and that are necessary for the balance of functions vital.

Vitamins should be taken in fair doses and in a balanced way to improve physiological functioning. The human organism can synthesize only a small part of the essential vitamins; that is why it is essential to obtain them from the feeding.

It is important to keep in mind that both the deficiency and the excess of vitamins in the body they can produce serious diseases . That's why the nutrition It must be balanced and based on natural foods. The lack of vitamins is known as avitaminosis , while excess vitamins are called hypervitaminosis .

The main sources of vitamins are the raw vegetables and the Fresh fruits . It should be taken into account that cooking food in excess or preparing them well in advance generates a significant loss of vitamins in the products, so it is recommended to ingest the vegetables raw whenever possible.

There are different types of vitamins, which are identified according to a capital letter: the Vitamin A For example, it is present in carrots and broccoli, among other foods, and is very beneficial for the development of view; the Vitamin B appears in the bread while the vitamin C It is found in citrus fruits. Other types of known vitamins are the AND , the K and the P .

As mentioned in previous paragraphs, vitamin deficiency represents a very worrying situation for our body. Therefore, it is essential to consume fresh fruits and raw vegetables, the most important vitamin source, in a dose of five or more servings per day. Let's look at some of the recommendations regarding the cooking of food to prevent nutrient loss:

* avoid cooking at high temperatures;
* when it is intended to boil a food, the best practice is to submerge it in natural water and only then bring it to a boil;
* any process that you want to perform on the food (cook it, chop it, squeeze it) it is advisable to carry it out shortly before ingesting it;
* it is not beneficial to remove the cereal peel or the skin of the fruit, since they are great sources of vitamins;
* The better the quality of a fruit or vegetable, the greater its nutritional value, so it is advisable to pay special attention to its appearance before making a purchase;
* Freezing food generates a decrease in the molecular quality of certain vitamins, leaving them mostly inactive. Therefore, it is advisable to always keep them fresh.

It is interesting to note that, although much of the industrial processes have a negative impact on the vitamin content of food, some practices can increase it, as is the case with:

* the fermentation of certain foods, such as bread;
* the seeds that are germinated for use in salads.

On the other hand, there are certain industrial processes that collaborate to reduce the level of vitamin losses caused in food; let's see some examples:

* One of the benefits of vaporizing rice is that the minerals and vitamins present in its husk adhere to the heart, so the loss is not so significant when it is peeled. It is important to note that paddy rice has an average of 5 times more vitamin B1, among others, than peeled varieties.
* the sterilization process known as ultrapasteurization or uperization (UHT) aims to reduce the amount of microorganisms found in products such as fruit juices, preserving its vitamin content to the maximum, and eliminating those enzymes that are responsible for destroying nutrients.

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