There are 13 essential micronutrients that we call vitamins, which the body needs to function properly. Not getting enough vitamins can actually cause disease, while eating the right amount can prevent disease, such as cancer. These powerful antioxidants that boost immunity can be found in fruit and vegetables. If you are deficient in a certain vitamin then it may be necessary to take a supplement. A vast amount of people are vitamin D and B-12 deficient and need a supplement to maintain healthy levels.
The 13 vitamins needed are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyroxidine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12). So what do these vitamins do individually? Lets take a look.
- vit A - growth and cell development. Promotes heathy skin, hair, nails, gums, bones, and teeth. Found in green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce. Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
- vit D - calcium absorption. Promotes strong bones and teeth. Exposure to the sun helps the body to make vitamin D. Some foods are also fortified with the vitamin.
- vit E - maintains muscles and red blood cell health. antioxidant. Found in nuts, seeds, avocado, vegetable oils and wheat germ
- vit K - blood clotting. Found in spinach, broccoli, green leafy vegetables.
- vit C - promotes wound healing and iron absorption. Antioxidant. Found in citrus fruits, melons, berries, peppers, broccoli, and potatoes.
- vit B1 (Thiamine) - healthy and normal metabolism, appetite and digestion. Found in legumes, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals, grains.
- vit B2 (Riboflavin) - energy, adrenal function, vision, and healthy skin. Found in avocados, mushrooms, almonds, leafy green vegetables, and soybeans.
- vit B3 (Niacin) - energy and normal growth. Found in mushrooms, green peas, legumes, and certain grains.
- vit B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - normal metabolism and blood sugar. Almost all foods contain Vitamin B5.
- vit B6 (Pyridoxine) - metabolism and nerve function. Found in grains, cereals, bananas, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans.
- vit B7 (Biotin) - metabolism. Found in soybeans, whole grains, nuts, yeast
- vit B9 (Folate, Folic Acid) - prevent birth defects, make DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and synthesize certain amino acids. Found in yeast, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, orange juice, avocados and legumes.
- vit B12 (Cobalamin) - make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, and myelin for nerve fibres. Found in plant milks fortified with B12. *most vegans take a B12 supplement.