Vitamins Vs. Carbohydrates Vs. Proteins

By | October 1, 2013

Vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins are critical to function effectively in our body. For that our diet should supplement enough quantity to lead a healthy life. Below is a table that shows the importance, functions, and food sources of vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins.

Parameters Vitamins Carbohydrates Proteins
What are these? Vitamins are the organic compounds required in sufficient amount from our daily diet to live a healthy life. Carbohydrates are organic compounds with carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are the most important source of energy for our body. Proteins are the biological molecules containing polymer chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. They serve as a fuel source to our body.
Types They are of two types:

  • Water soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)
  • Fat soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, biotin, foliate, pantothenic acid and vitamin-C)
They are of two types:

  • Complex carbohydrates (available in starchy foods)
  • Simple carbohydrates (available in sugary foods)
Proteins are made of amino acids. They are of two types:

  • Essential amino acids: these can be made by our body.
  • Non-essential amino acid: These cannot be made by our body. Hence one needs to take them from the food.

There are two types of proteins:

  • Animal protein
  • Plant protein
Importance Vitamins are one of the important nutrients required for our body to grow and develop. Carbohydrates are the ideal source of energy called glucose. All the cells, tissues and organs of our body use this glucose to function properly. Proteins are the building blocks of life. They do wide variety of biological functions in our body like cells growth and tissue repair.
Functions Vitamins do multiple functions in our body. It helps in preventing night blindness, rickets, osteoporosis, cancer, heart diseases and signs of aging. It helps in formation and maintenance of healthy skin, bones, teeth, cartilage, blood cells and blood vessels. In the digestive system of our body, carbohydrates are converted into glucose. This sugar (glucose) gives energy to the cells, tissues and organs of our body to function properly. After utilizing, excess sugars are stored in liver and adipose tissue for future use. Proteins do several functions in the body. Proteins as muscle, skin, hair, hormones. And some proteins acts as enzyme catalyst, antibodies. Hemoglobin is a transport protein that carries oxygen from lungs to the tissues.
Food sources They are available in both plant and animal sources.
Plant sources: Cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, asparagus, spinach, citrus fruits, almonds, corn, soybean, green leafy vegetables, pine apple, straw berries, blue berries, watermelon, etc.
Animal sources: meat, fish, liver, beef, egg, cheese, milk, etc.
They are available in banana, strawberries, blueberries, brown rice, white rice, yogurt, tomatoes, whole grain bread, drinks, candies, starchy vegetables, milk products, cereals, legumes, etc. They are available in plant and animal proteins. Plant proteins contain essential amino acids. It includes seeds, nuts, cereals, legumes, beans, grains, pulses, soy products, etc.
The sources of animal proteins are meat, dairy products, poultry, eggs, fish, etc.