The food we take into our bodies supplies us with many important substances such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water and mineral substances. But these alone are not enough. In order to maintain life we need other substances known as vitamins. Vitamin C can be found in Citrus fruits and fresh vegetables. When there is a lack of vitamins in our body, diseases will occur. So what actually happens when there is a lack of this vitamin in the body? The blood vessels become fragile and bleed easily. Black-and-blue marks appear on the skin and near the eyes. The gums bleed easily. Our hormones and enzymes do not function well and our resistance to infection by bacteria is lowered.
Long before man knew about vitamins, it had been observed that when people couldn’t get certain types of foods, diseases would develop. Sailors, for instance, who went on long trips and couldn’t get fresh vegetables, would develop a disease called scurvy. In the seventeenth century British sailors were given lemons and limes to prevent this disease.
Fruits contain energy and a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are chemicals that we need to stay healthy. Some are stored in the body, others need to be eaten every day.