Why do I need vitamins and where do I get them?

VITAMIN

SOURCES

BENEFITS

Vitamin A

Dark green and deep yellow vegetables, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, peaches, carrots, papaya, mangoes

Benefits vision and reproductive system, assists bone, skin and hair growth and wound healing

Vitamin D

Fortified milk, egg yolks, sunlight, salt-water fish

Beneficial to teeth and bones

Vitamin E

Whole grain cereal, vegetable oil, cheese, milk, broccoli

Slows the development of cataracts, acts as an antioxidant

Vitamin K

Green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, eggs, dairy products (also produced by bacteria in the intestine)

Assists in blood clotting

Vitamin C

Oranges, orange juice, other citrus fruits and juices, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, green leafy vegetables

Assists in wound healing, resistance to infection, absorption of iron, acts as antioxidant

Thiamin

(Vitamin B1)

Whole grain cereals, seafood, legumes, raisins, soybeans, nuts, seeds

Assists in growth, digestion, metabolism, nervous system and cardiac function

Riboflavin

(Vitamin B2)

Chicken, beef, ham, green and leafy vegetables, whole grain cereal

Beneficial to respiration, vision, skin, hair, nails, and metabolism

Niacin

(Vitamin B3)

Chicken, turkey, ham, yeast, tuna, whole grain cereal, nuts

Necessary for metabolism of food.

Folic Acid

(Folate)

Orange juice, liver, chicken, legumes, green and leafy vegetables, bran

Assist in synthesis of nucleic acids, amino acids, and red blood cell formation; taken in early pregnancy to reduce neural tube defect risk.

Vitamin B6

Kidney, salmon, tuna, chicken, whole grain cereal, green and leafy vegetables, potatoes, bananas

Assists in metabolism and red blood cell formation

Biotin

Beef, chicken, pork, egg yolk, fish, rolled oats, brown rice, nuts, seeds

Assists in metabolism and synthesis of fats

Vitamin B12

Beef, poultry, shellfish, cheese, eggs, milk

Beneficial for growth, digestion and metabolism; necessary for red blood cell formation

Pantothenic Acid

Whole grain cereals, peas, soybeans, lobster, eggs, seeds, vegetables

Beneficial for metabolism and hormone production

(Source: The Johns Hopkins Family Health Book, The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book)

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