Vitamins are essential nutrients for our body’s growth and health. Each of these 5 essential vitamins plays a different role in our overall health. Most of us get these nutrients from our daily diets, but some people may require supplementation due to conditions that require additional intake from their diet. In this article, we’ll explore five vital vitamins your body needs the most.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” aids in calcium absorption and supports mood regulation and the immune system. It,s deficiency is linked to health issues like osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases. Supplements may be necessary for those who avoid sun exposure, use sunscreen or have malabsorption disorders. Foods with vitamin D include salmon, tuna, mackerel, egg yolks, beef liver, mushrooms, cereals ,fortified dairy and nut milks.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vital antioxidant that boosts the immune system, promotes healthy skin, aids in wound healing, and is essential for collagen synthesis. Smokers need 35 more mg of vitamin C daily than non-smokers due to the need to repair cell damage. Which is caused by free radicals in tobacco smoke. Foods with vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, red and green peppers, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, tomato juice and baked potatoes.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, is crucial for vision, immune function, and organ function. It supports healthy skin and mucous membranes, acting as a barrier against bacteria and viruses. Foods with vitamin A include beef liver, salmon, broccoli, carrots, squash, green leafy vegetables, cantaloupe, apricots, mangoes, dairy products and fortified cereals.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin. It is essential for nerve cell development and function, DNA production and red blood cell formation. It prevents megaloblastic anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal foods and can be added to supplements. Foods with vitamine B12 include fish, shellfish, liver, red meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, fortified nutritional yeast, fortified breakfast cereals and enriched soy or rice milk.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting and bone health, preventing excessive bleeding and ensuring calcium deposits in bones and teeth. It is essential for overall skeletal health and may be required more after bariatric surgery or malabsorption disorders. Food with vitamin K include spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli, soybeans, blueberries, figs, meat, cheese, eggs and vegetable oils.

References:

The New England Journal of Medicine

Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health

National Institutes of Health

University of Florida

Johns Hopkins Medicine

National Health Service

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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