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Vitamin Functions in Body Natural Food Sources
Vitamin A
Beta Carotene
Good Antioxidant. Helps with vision and skin health. Boosts immune function and bone metabolism. Carrots, yellow and orange fruits, fish, eggs
Vitamin B
Important for nerve function and the cardiovascular system. Helps with energy production. Whole grains, pork, eggs, brown rice, potatoes
Vitamin B2
Important for nerve function and the cardiovascular system. Helps with energy production. Grains, leafy green vegetables, fish, dairy, legumes
Vitamin B3
Helps release energy from carbs and promotes healthy skin. Grains, nuts, broccoli, carrots, dairy, peanuts, tomatoes, dairy, eggs, meat
Vitamin B5
Pantothenic Acid
Helps metabolize fats, carbs and proteins. Needed for synthesis or various enzymes. meats, whole grains, fish, legumes
Vitamin B6
Helps to release sugars needed for energy. Helps in metabolism and in the generation of red blood cells. Also beneficial to the nervous system. whole grains, fish, poultry, bananas
Vitamin B7
Needed for cell growth. Helps with energy production. Helps maintain blood sugar levels. legumes, nuts
Vitamin B9
Folic Acid
Important in DNA production and repair. Necessary in red blood cell production. Critical during growth spurts especially for fetus and infants. beans, cereals, leafy vegetables, dairy, pork, rice, oranges
Vitamin B12 Important for brain and nerve function as well as DNA regulation. Also participates in metabolism and red blood cell formation. ham, certain seafood, dairy, liver
Vitamin C
Ascorbic Acid
Important antioxidant. Helps heal wounds and supports the immune system. It is a natural antihistamine. citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, greens
Vitamin D Boosts immune function. Benefits bone formation and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. exposure to sun’s rays, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil
Vitamin E
Another important antioxidant that helps protect the bodies cells from free radicals. whole grains, wheat germ, nuts, spinach
Vitamin K Essential for blood clotting. green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower
CHOLINE Helps make and release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids in many nerve and brain activities. Plays a role in metabolizing and transporting fats. Many foods, especially milk, eggs, liver, and peanuts
FOLIC ACID(folate, folacin Vital for new cell creation. Helps prevent brain and spine birth defects when taken early in pregnancy; should be taken regularly by all women of child-bearing age since women may not know they are pregnant in the first weeks of pregnancy. Can lower levels of homocysteine and may reduce heart disease risk. May reduce the risk of colon cancer. Offsets breast cancer risk among women who consume alcohol. Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, okra, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, legumes like black-eyed peas and chickpeas, orange juice, tomato juice
CALCIUM Builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps with muscle contractions and relaxation, blood clotting, and nerve impulse transmission. Plays a role in hormone secretion and enzyme activation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, sardines, salmon, fortified juices, leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale (but not spinach or Swiss chard, which have binders that lessen absorption)
CHLORIDE Balances fluids in the body. A component of stomach acid, essential to digestion. Salt (sodium chloride), soy sauce, processed foods
CHROMIUM Enhances the activity of insulin, helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is needed to free energy from glucose. Meat, poultry, fish, some cereals, nuts, cheese
COPPER Plays an important role in iron metabolism. Helps make red blood cells. Liver, shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes
FLUORIDE Encourages strong bone formation. Keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening. Water that is fluoridated, toothpaste with fluoride, marine fish, teas
IODINE Part of thyroid hormone, which helps set body temperature and influences nerve and muscle function, reproduction, and growth. Prevents goiter. Iodized salt, processed foods, seafood
IRON Helps hemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells ferry oxygen throughout the body. Needed for chemical reactions in the body and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread and grain products
MAGNESIUM Needed for many chemical reactions in the body Works with calcium in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure. Helps build bones and teeth. Green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, legumes, cashews, sunflower seeds and other seeds, halibut, whole-wheat bread, milk
MANGANESE Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea
MOLYBDENUM Part of several enzymes, one of which helps ward off a form of severe neurological damage in infants that can lead to early death. Legumes, nuts, grain products, milk
PHOSPHORUS Helps build and protect bones and teeth. Part of DNA and RNA. Helps convert food into energy. Part of phospholipids, which carry lipids in blood and help shuttle nutrients into and out of cells. Wide variety of foods, including milk and dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, liver, green peas, broccoli, potatoes, almonds
POTASSIUM Balances fluids in the body. Helps maintain a steady heartbeat and send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure. Getting enough potassium from your diet may benefit bones. Meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes
SELENIUM Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity. Organ meats, seafood, walnuts, sometimes plants (depends on soil content), grain products
SODIUM Balances fluids in the body. Helps send nerve impulses Needed for muscle contractions. Impacts blood pressure; even modest reductions in salt consumption can lower blood pressure. Salt, soy sauce, processed foods, vegetables
SULFUR Helps form bridges that shape and stabilize some protein structures. Needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Protein-rich foods, such as meats, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes
ZINC Helps form many enzymes and proteins and create new cells. Frees vitamin A from storage in the liver. Needed for immune system, taste, smell, and wound healing. When taken with certain antioxidants, zinc may delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Red meat, poultry, oysters and some other seafood, fortified cereals, beans, nuts