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13 Vitamins That Your Body Needs

Updated: Jun 15


colorful Infographic showing all the Vitamins

Our body needs certain nutrients to function properly. There are 13 vitamins that you need to make sure are included in your daily meals. However, you don’t always eat food rich in all nutrients and neither in the recommended amounts. For that reason, it is recommended to take vitamin supplements daily. Here, we are going to explain the vitamins that you need and why.


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Essential vitamins

Vitamin A

  • It helps to support your eyes' health.

  • Found in orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes), leafy green vegetables (broccoli, turnip greens, spinach). It is also found in organ meats like liver and giblets. Eggs, milk, cantaloupe, and tomatoes are other sources.

  • The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for adult men is 900 mcg RAE (retinol activity equivalents) daily or 3,000 IU (international units) daily. For women, the RDA is 700 mcg RAE daily or 2,333 IU daily.

Vitamin B

There are different types of vitamin B called the B-complex vitamins.


B1 (Thiamine)

  • Essential for basic cell functions and the breakdown of nutrients for energy.

  • Found in pork and fish as well as in enriched cereals, rice, and bread. It is also present in beans and sunflower seeds.

  • The RDA for adult men is 1.2 mg daily and 1.1 mg daily for adult women.

B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Important for cell growth, breakdown of fats, and production of energy.

  • Found in milk, cheese, eggs, salmon, almonds, liver, kidney, asparagus, and broccoli.

  • The RDA for men is 1.3 mg daily and 1.1 mg daily for adult women.

B3 (Niacin)

  • Helps create and repair DNA, production of energy, and helps in the production of cholesterol and fats.

  • Found in brown rice, red meats, fish, bananas, legumes, fortified cereals, and bread.

  • The RDA is 16 mg for men daily and 14 mg for women daily.

B5 (Pantothenic acid)

  • Necessary to create coenzyme A (CoA), which helps to break down fatty acids.

  • Found in organ meats, chicken breast, milk, eggs, potatoes, fortified cereals, brown rice, and oats.

  • The RDA for adult men and women is 5 mg daily.

B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Supports the immune system, brain function, and breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

  • Found in salmon, tuna, poultry, liver, fortified cereals, potatoes, bananas, oranges, and dark leafy vegetables.

  • The RDA per age. For adult men from 14 - 50 years is 1.5mg, older than 50 is 1.7 mg. For women ages 14 - 18 years is 1.2 mg, 19 – 50 years is 1.3 mg and for older than 50 is 1.5 mg.

B7 (Biotin)

  • Helps enzymes to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins and assists to regulate signals sent by cells.

  • Found in liver, eggs, pork, salmon, and avocados.

  • The IA (Adequate Intake) is 30 mcg daily for both, men and women.

B9 (Folic acid)

  • Needed for the production of red blood cells, and to form DNA and RNA.

  • Found in whole grains, liver, eggs, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables.

  • The RDA for adult men and women is 400 mcg.

B12 (Cobalamin)

  • Necessary to form DNA, RNA, and the development and function of brain cells and nerve cells.

  • Found in eggs, poultry, fish, red meat, milk, cheese, and fortified cereals.

  • The RDA is 2.4 mcg daily for men and women ages 14 and older.

Vitamin C

  • It helps the production of collagen and helps the immune system to fight infections. It is also an antioxidant and helps with wound healing.

  • Found in fruits and vegetables like guava, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, and red and green sweet peppers.

  • The RDA is 90 mcg for men and 75 mcg for women.

Vitamin D

  • This vitamin is a hormone that our body produces but it is also consumed through the food we ingest. It helps with inflammation, and infections, and reduces cancer cell growth.

  • Found in sardines, salmon, cod, tuna, egg yolk, fortified cereals, fortified orange juice, and milk.

  • The RDA is 600 IU for men and women older than 19 years old. And if older than 70 years old it is 800 IU daily.

Vitamin E

  • Needed to protect cells from free radical damage.

  • Found in pumpkin, almonds, peanuts, avocado, asparagus, and mango.

  • The RDA for men and women 14 years or older is 15 mcg daily.

Vitamin K

  • Helps in the production of proteins necessary for blood clotting, healthy bones, and tissues.

  • Found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. Also, in soybean and canola oil.

  • The RDA for men and women older than 19 years is 120 mcg daily.


You should consume a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients needed for all the vital functions. But, that is not always possible. However, you can supplement your diet with the vitamins that your diet is lacking. So, remember to eat healthily, and stay tuned for the next topic in this blog.

 

References:

1. Vitamins and Minerals. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals/ Accessed on January 21, 2022.

2. Vitamins. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/vitamins.html Accessed on June 15, 2022.

3. Vitamins and Minerals. Harvard T.H. Chan. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamins/ Accessed on January 21, 2022.

4. Vitamins and Mineral for Older Adults. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals-older-adults/ Accessed on January 21, 2022.

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