Vitamins and minerals are important if you want a healthy-functioning body. But what does each vitamin and mineral do? And which foods are vitamin powerhouses?
It is sometimes suggested to take a multivitamin, but in reality, you should be fuelling your body with fresh, whole foods and getting your nutrients via that outlet instead of a supplement.
Vitamins and Minerals Your Body NEEDS
Here are 10 essential vitamins and minerals that you should be aiming to get every day:
1. Vitamin A
Good For: Healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin and fighting free radical damage.
Found In: Orange-hued fruit and veggies like sweet potato, mango, cantaloupe, and carrots.
2. B Vitamins
Good For: Helping convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day. Also required for healthy immune function and iron absorption.
Found In: Mushrooms, spirulina, sunflower seeds, beans, spinach, mushrooms, chia seeds, potatoes, avocado, sweet potato, bananas, chard, onion, oats, cabbage, broccoli, and oranges.
3. Vitamin C
Good For: Protecting cells and keeping them healthy. Involved in production of collagen, helps with wound healing and increases the amount of iron we absorb from plant sources.
Found In: Red peppers, citrus fruit, tomatoes, pineapple, guava, kiwi, strawberries, brussels sprouts, chia seeds and cantaloupe.
4. Vitamin D
Good For: Strong and healthy bones and teeth, and protects against cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Found In: Mushrooms, the sun, full spectrum broad spectrum or blue light therapy, supplements.
5. Vitamin E
Good For: A strong immune system, healthy skin and eyes. Helpful in preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cataracts.
Found In: sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, avocado, turnip greens, asparagus, beet greens, mustard greens.
6. Vitamin K
Good For: Blood clotting, improving bone density, fighting arterial calcification, improving brain function and preventing cancer.
Found In: Kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, parsley, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus and cabbage.
Good For: Strong, healthy bones. Also required for proper function of the heart, muscles and nerves.
Found In: Chia seeds, sesame seeds, kohlrabi, almonds, collards, spinach, turnip greens, brazil nuts, kale, broccoli and bok choy.
Good For: Proper immune function, and activating enzymatic reactions needed for the synthesis of collagen and some neurotransmitters. Also essential for respiration and energy metabolism.
Found In: Morel mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, dill weed, parsley, almonds, raisins, jerusalem artichokes, medjool dates, chickpeas, sea vegetables and spinach.
Good For: Healthy immune function, balancing hormones, cell division, helps prevent cancer, a powerful anti-ager and required for proper function of red and white blood cells.
Found In: Sesame seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, shiitake mushrooms, lentils and green peas.
Good For: Required for 300 different enzymatic reactions in the body. Responsible for proper bowel function, heart muscle contraction, relaxation of blood vessels, regulation of blood sugar levels, proper bone and teeth formation and reduces cancer risk.
Found In: Cacao, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, tempeh, beet greens and black beans.