There is a lot of debate on what the best vitamins are. Each has its own purpose which contributes to a person’s general health and well-being.  Most people cannot consume all of the foods necessary to receive all of the vitamins needed for the body to work properly on a daily basis. The lack of quality food and the increased focus on convenience has led to the creation and growth of a multi-billion dollar supplement industry. Multi-vitamin supplements come in many forms, including capsules, tablets and liquids.

Below is a list of the 13 vitamins needed for the body to work properly:

Vitamin A

  • Created by the body through beta carotene
  • Keeps eyes healthy
  • Aids in cell growth
  • Helping boost the immune system

Sources: Milk, eggs, butter, yellow fruits & vegetables, dark green fruits & vegetables and liver

Vitamin B

  • Helps to keep all of the body functions performing properly

B1 (Thiamin)

  • Keeps all of the cells and nerves functioning correctly
  • Required to convert food into energy
  • Helps memory and general mental health

Sources: Brewer’s yeast, whole grains, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, organ meats and egg yolk

B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Releases the energy from food

Sources: Brewer’s yeast, whole grains, legumes, nuts, organ meats and blackstrap molasses

B3 (Niacin)

  • Involved in over fifty processes
  • Aids in detoxifying chemical in the body
  • Releases energy from food
  • Helps make hormones

Sources: Lean meats, poultry & fish, brewer’s yeast, peanuts, milk, rice bran and potatoes

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

  • Helps convert fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy
  • Helps form Vitamin D
  • Helps create hormones
  • Helps form red blood cells

Sources: organ meats, egg yolks, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, salmon and brewer’s yeast

B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Helps create proteins

Sources: Meats, whole grains, organ meats brewer’s yeast, blackstrap molasses and wheat germ

B7 (Biotin)

  • Helps convert fat, carbohydrates and proteins into useable energy

Sources: Egg yolks, liver, unpolished rice, brewer’s yeast, sardines, legumes and whole grains

B9 (Folic Acid)

  • Needed for cell growth
  • Forms chemical which control appetite, mood and sleep
  • Keeps arteries open

Sources: Dark-green leafy vegetables, organ meats, root vegetables, oysters, salmon and milk

B12 (Cobalamin)

  • Helps convert fat, carbohydrates and proteins into useable energy
  • Protects nerve cells
  • Aids in blood cell health
  • Helps prevent heart disease

Sources: Organ meats, fish, pork, eggs, cheese, milk, lamb, bananas, kelp and peanuts

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Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)

  • Needed for over 300 bodily functions
  • Protects the body against illnesses
  • Helps form collagen
  • Powerful antioxidant

Sources: Citrus, cabbage family, chilli peppers, berries, melons, asparagus and rose hips

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

  • Obtained through sunlight
  • Controls calcium absorption
  • Aids in nervous system communication
  • Protects the body from illnesses

Sources: Salmon, sardines, herring, milk, egg yolk, organ meats, sprouted seeds and sunflower seeds

Vitamin E (Tocopherole)

  • Helps prevent heart disease
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Fat soluble
  • Boosts immune function

Sources: Cold-pressed oils, eggs, wheat germ, organ meats, molasses, sweet potatoes and nuts

Vitamin K (Phyllochinone)

  • Helps clot blot to repair bodily injuries

Sources: Green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, safflower oil, blackstrap molasses and cauliflower

Minerals

  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

 

 

Reference:

National Library of Medicine., National Institutes of Health. (2011). Vitamins. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitamins.html. Accessed October 24, 2010