Which vitamins do what? What foods can you eat that have those important nutrients? Here is a breakdown of common vitamins and their food sources:
Vitamin A: This is essential for healthy eyes, skin and immune system.
Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, liver, eggs, milk, cantaloupe, peppers, herring, mangoes, broccoli.
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin): This assists with converting carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy sources. B-1 is also necessary for healthy heart and nervous system.
Sources: Lean meats, whole grains, oysters, green peas, broccoli, soy foods.
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin): This is important for growth development, producing red blood cells, and also breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Sources: Meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, dairy products, green veggies - asparagus and spinach.
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin): This is necessary for the release of energy from carbohydrates. Niacin is also needed for healthy skin, creation of red blood cells and some hormones.
Sources: Meat, poultry and fish.
Vitamin B-6: This is required for proper brain and nervous system functions. It assists in breaking down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. B-6 helps to break down amino acids - the building blocks of proteins.
Sources: Potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, pork, oats, whole wheat products.
Vitamin B-9 (Folate): This is needed to make DNA and produce blood cells. Also, B-9 is essential for healthy pregnancies.
Sources: Liver, yeast, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, orange juice and legumes.
Vitamin B-12: This is helpful with processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is also necessary for nervous system health.
Sources: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, dairy products and eggs.
Vitamin C: This is well known for being essential for healthy bones, teeth and gums. Also, it helps with the production of collagen in cells, wound healing, brain function and healthy blood vessels.
Sources: Citrus fruits and juices like oranges, papaya, honeydew, guava, pomelo, and broccoli, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, snow peas, cauliflower, leafy greens such spinach, kai lan, chye sim, bok choy.
Vitamin D: This assists the body to absorb calcium to create strong bones.
Sources: Sunlight! Your body is able to manufacture Vitamin D on its own. Food sources include fortified milk, margarine, eggs and butter.
Vitamin E: This helps to protect the cells and Vitamin A in the body from damage. Also, it is necessary for healthy red blood cells.
Sources: Vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocados, wheat germ, and whole grains.
Vitamin K: Helps to regulate blood clotting.
Sources: Sunlight, fortified milk, margarine, eggs and butter.