13 Essential Vitamins
There are 13 vitamins essential for bodily functions:
Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate).
They all can be obtained from food, and vitamin D and vitamin K can be synthesized by the body
good quality vitamins or multivitamin supplement.
Vitamin A is found in milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, and cod and halibut fish oils. Because most of these sources are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, vegetable sources of a vitamin A precursor called beta-carotene may be a better choice. Beta-carotene comes from carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, broccoli, and spinach. The more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta-carotene content.
Vitamin D is found in cheese, butter, margarine, cream, fish, oysters, and fortified milk and cereals. The body can also synthesize vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunshine.
Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, corn, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, and other green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, and products made from vegetable oils, such as margarine.
Vitamin K is found in cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, soybeans, and cereals. Bacteria in the intestines normally also produce vitamin K.
Thiamine (vitamin B1) is found in fortified breads, cereals, pasta, whole grains, lean meats, fish, dried beans, peas, and soybeans. Dairy products, fruits, and vegetables contain some thiamine as well.
Niacin (vitamin B3) is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts, and eggs. Legumes and enriched breads and cereals also supply some niacin.
Folate is found in green, leafy vegetables and many foods are now fortified with it as well.
Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, and milk and milk products.
Pantothenic acid and biotin are found in eggs, fish, dairy products, whole-grain cereals, legumes, yeast, broccoli and other vegetables in the cabbage family, white and sweet potatoes, lean beef, and other foods.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is found in citrus fruits and their juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Most other fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C; fish and milk contain small amounts.
Many people think that if some vitamins are good, a lot is better.
This is not always the case, and high doses of certain vitamins are actually toxic. Read about the specific vitamins and check with your health care provider if you are unsure about how much to take and how much may be too much.
The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods and take a "Standardized" (quality) multivitamin supplement.
Specific recommendations for each vitamin depend on:
age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy).