Guide to Vitamins and the Most Important Minerals in Food


All vitamins are important for good health. They come from many many different sources, so as long as you eat a balanced diet of fresh, unrefined foods, you should be getting plenty. Vitamins A, D, E and K can be stored in the body, but B and C need to be eaten daily.


Vitamin Function Sources
A (retinol) For healthy skin, eyes, teeth, gums and hair. Liver, eggs, cheese, butter, margarine, milk, green and yellow vegetables.
B1 (thiamin) Helps convert sugars and starches into energy, and helps the heart and nervous system to function. Bread, flour, pork, offal, milk, breakfast cereals, pasta, yeast extract.
B2 (riboflavin) Keeps the skin healthy and helps to release energy from food. Liver, kidneys, eggs, grain products, milk, cheese, yoghurt, potatoes.
B3 (niacin) For healthy skin, digestion, circulation and nervous system. Liver, meat, poultry, fish, bread, grain products, nuts, pulses.
B6(pyridoxine) Helps functioning of nervous system, and enables body to use protein and build red blood cells. Many foods, especially meat, fish, eggs, unrefined grains, green vegetables, root vegetables and pulses.
B9 (folic acid) Used in forming new tissue and red blood cells; prevents some types of anaemia. Liver, kidneys, meat, green vegetables, fresh fruit, yeast, wheat germ, pulses.
B12 AsB9. Meat, liver, kidneys, eggs, fish, cheese, fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extracts.
Pantothenic acid Helps digestion of fats and carbohydrates. Many foods, especially animal products, cereals and pulses.
Biotin Enables body to obtain energy from fats. Offal, egg yolk, dairy products, grains, fish, fruit and vegetables.
C(ascorbic acid) For healthy bones, gums, blood vessels and other body tissue. Citrus fruit, tomatoes, peppers, green vegetables, potatoes, blackcurrants and rosehips.
D (calciferol) Maintains calcium supply to build strong bones and teeth. Milk, egg yolks, margarine, liver, oily fish, fish-liver oils, sprouted seeds; also manufactured by skin when exposed to sunlight.
E (tocopherol) Helps body tissue, muscles and red blood cells to function properly; promotes resistance to infection. Most foods, including vegetable oils, grain products, eggs, meat, animal fats.
K (menadione) Vital for normal clotting of blood. Green vegetables, liver, potatoes and eggs.


This table shows the main minerals needed for good health and the foods you can obtain them from. Others, the so-called trace elements such as cobalt, copper, iodine and zinc, are needed in much smaller quantities and any normal, balanced diet should supply enough.

Mineral Funciton Sources
Iron Used in building red blood cells which carry oxygen round the body. Red meat, pulses, eggs, grain products, fortified breakfast cereals and nuts.
Calcium Builds muscle tissue and strong bones and teeth; helps blood to clot. Dairy products, nuts, leafy green vegetables and sardines.
Phosphorus Helps body get energy from food and build healthy bones and teeth. Milk, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, grains, pulses and nuts.
Magnesium Necessary for growth of all body cells; helps body to digest food. Milk, grain products, vegetables, meat, eggs, nuts and pulses.
Sodium and chlorine Needed for muscle and nerve functioning, and to regulate water balance. Most foods. Excessive amounts in some processed foods.
Potassium As for sodium and chlorine. Fruit, vegetables, meat, milk and grains.


Read more on Ensuring a Good Supply of Vitamins…

01. November 2013 by admin
Categories: Best Cooking Tips, Healthy Eating, Nutrients | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Guide to Vitamins and the Most Important Minerals in Food


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