Below is a list of vitamins with their health benefits and the food sources from which they are obtained.
You can only manufacture three vitamins D, K, and Biotin, a B vitamin, in your body. The rest must be obtained from dietary sources.
Water Soluble VitaminsWater soluble vitamins are dissolved in water and do not store in your body. The unused vitamins are excreted from your body and eliminated in urine and must be replenished daily.
Fat Soluble VitaminsFat soluble vitamins are absorbed in fat and the blood stream of the body. The unused vitamins are stored in the liver and used slowly.
Vitamin A - fat soluble
and Beta-Carotene - water soluble
BENEFITS: Healthy skin (helps prevent wrinkles), good eyesight, a powerful antioxidant that protects against cancer (beta-Carotene helps protect against skin and lung cancer) and heart disease, enhances the immune system, formation of bones and teeth, growth and repair of body tissues, and lowers cholesterol.
FOOD SOURCES: Orange & yellow fruits and vegetables to include spinach, carrots, parsley, garlic, and yams. Whole milk, eggs, fish and animal liver oils. Oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Trout, Tuna, Swordfish, Carp, Orange roughy, Kipper, Sardines and Anchovies.
Vitamin B1 Thiamine - water soluble
BENEFITS: Healthy heart & nervous system, optimizes your metabolism & brain function. Aids in circulation, blood formation, growth, muscle tone, energy and learning. May be helpful protecting against Alzheimer's disease.
FOOD SOURCES: Whole grains, wheat, brown rice, oats and yeast. Vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts. Poultry, fish and liver.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin - water soluble
BENEFITS: Healthy skin, hair, and nails. Formation of antibodies and red blood cells. Facilitates carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism. Aids against stress and fatigue. May be helpful protecting against bowel cancer.
FOOD SOURCES: Fruits & vegetables (highest in spinach), whole grains, brewer's yeast. legumes, and liver. Oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Trout, Tuna, Swordfish, Carp, Orange roughy, Kipper, Sardines and Anchovies. Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, meat and poultry.
Vitamin B3 Niacin - water soluble
BENEFITS: Healthy nervous system, skin, tongue, and digestive system. Aids in better blood circulation and energy. Lowers the bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein which carries cholesterol to tissues and the arteries) cholesterol levels and increases the good HDL (high-density lipoprotein which takes cholesterol from tissues to the liver and removes it from the body) levels in the blood.
FOOD SOURCES: Fish, poultry, organ meats, peanuts, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, dried fruits, broccoli, carrots, avocados, tomatoes and eggs.
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid - water soluble
BENEFITS: This anti-stress vitamin fortifies white blood cells. Supports the adrenal glands in producing hormones. Builds cells and assists them in metabolizing fats & carbohydrates to produce energy
FOOD SOURCES: Fish, brewer's yeast, eggs, whole grain cereals, legumes, mushrooms, sweet potatoes. green peas, cauliflower avocados, dried beans and raw nuts.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine - water soluble
BENEFITS: Promotes a healthy central nervous and immune system. Aids in normal cellular growth and healthy skin. Helps to turn food into energy.
FOOD SOURCES: Wheat, wheat germ, organ meats, chicken, eggs, fish, grains, brewer's yeast, carrots, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.
Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin - water soluble
BENEFITS: Maintains a healthy nervous system and creates nerve coverings called myelin sheaths that protect nerve endings. Supports red blood cell production. Helps in preventing anemia and the use of iron.
Protein-bound in animal foods - fish, clams, eggs, dairy products, meats, brewer's yeast.
This is not an easy vitamin for vegans and vegetarians to get
As of 2004 no plant sources of vitamin B12 had been found, though many had been tested including various seaweeds, algae and fermented foods. Where claims have been made as to B12 being present in a plant source, it has not been based on the test for MMA levels, and any subsequent tests have found no reduction in MMA, proving the presence only of inactive analogues. SOURCE: www.howweheal.com/vitaminb12.htm
Folate Folic Acid - a B vitamin - water soluble
BENEFITS: Reproduction of body cells, bone marrow and red blood cell formation and energy production. Strengthens immunity by supporting the function of white blood cells. Aids in protein & amino acid metabolism.
FOOD SOURCES: Green leafy vegetables, spinach, asparagus, kale, chard, broccoli. legumes, lentils, mushrooms, split peas, root vegetables, bean sprouts, corn, barley, bran, brown rice, wheat germ, whole grains, whole wheat, brewer's yeast, salmon, tuna, chicken, lamb, beef, milk, cheese, dates and oranges.
Biotin - a B vitamin - water soluble
BENEFITS: Aids in the metabolism of food and promotes healthy skin, hair, nerve tissue and bone marrow.
FOOD SOURCES: Brown rice, brewer's yeast, egg yolks, meat, milk, yogurt, poultry, seafood, whole grains, sourdough rye bread and fermented soy products .
Choline not a true vitamin usually associated with B vitamins - water soluble
BENEFITS: An essential nutrient to facilitate nerve transmission for brain function, memory and movement of muscles. Regulation of the nervous system & gallbladder, hormone production and helps the liver eliminate toxins.
FOOD SOURCES: Leafy greens, peanuts, egg yolks, meat, milk, legumes, fermented soybeans, yeast, wheat germ, whole grain cereal
Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid - water soluble
BENEFITS: This anti-stress vitamin protects the cells from toxic wastes and is the most powerful & effective of all the antioxidants, destroying 100 percent of the free radicals at the cellular level before they enter your cells. Taken with Vitamin E (which intercepts the free radicals chain reaction after it has gotten into your cell) provides you with maximum free radical protection. Supports the immune system and promotes wound healing, helps to prevent cancer and viral disease. Reduces infections, allergies, asthma and the common cold. Supports collagen and cartilage growth. Protects blood vessels and reduces the risk of cataracts. Because this very important powerful vitamin is water soluble and not readily stored, consistent daily intake and replenishment is essential.
FOOD SOURCES: Citrus fruits, Red & green bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, rose hips, green vegetables, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower strawberries, spinach, cabbage, cantaloupe and other fruits. Vitamin C supplements in the powder or crystal form are best assimilated into the body
Bioflavonoids not a true vitamin associated with vitamin C - water soluble
BENEFITS: A potent antioxidant that helps to slow down the aging process by preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals. protects your cardiovascular system. Helps maintain capillaries and prevents weaken blood vessel walls that contribute to varicose veins.
FOOD SOURCES: Fruits and vegetables to include, apricots, blackberries, black currants, broccoli, cantaloupes, cherries, grapefruits, grapes, oranges, lemons, and green leafy vegetables green collard and kale.
Vitamin D - fat soluble
BENEFITS: Development of bones and protects against muscle weakness. Regulates absorption & metabolism of calcium & phosphorus, and helps to prevent tooth decay. Maintains the nervous system and enhances immunity.
FOOD SOURCES: Fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks, fortified milk, butter, dandelion greens, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and liver.
Vitamin E - fat soluble
BENEFITS: A potent antioxidant essential in protecting cell membranes, intercepts the free radicals chain reaction after it has gotten into your cell, stopping cellular damage at the spot. Taken with Vitamin C provides you with maximum free radical protection. Protects the tissues of your blood vessels, promotes healthy nerves, muscles, skin and hair. Helps circulation and prevents blood clots.
FOOD SOURCES: Whole grains, wheat germ, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils, legumes, water cress, soybeans, sweet potatoes, milk, oatmeal.
Vitamin K - fat soluble
BENEFITS: Essential for blood clotting & preventing internal bleeding. Important for the development of bone structure, repair, and in prevention of osteoporosis.
FOOD SOURCES: Green vegetables, cauliflower, egg yolks, liver, oatmeal, rye, safflower oil, fermented soybeans, wheat and yogurt.