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How do you know you get enough vitamins and minerals???

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

What foods give you what


These are called micronutrients. These are required in much smaller amounts in comparison to carbohydrates, proteins and fats (macronutrients). We have water-soluble vitamins (all the B vitamins and Vitamin C) which your body requires every day as they cannot be stored. There are also fat-soluble vitamins, which your body can store and they are Vitamin A, D, E and vitamin K.

Each vitamin has their own unique benefit and they are all essential for our body to function properly.

Vitamin A – In vegetables it comes in the form of Beta-carotin and the body will manufacture it into vit A. Vit A is essential for healthy eyes (no it won’t help you see in the dark), reproduction, and a healthy immune system. Any fruit an orange or red shade will contain beta-carotin, dairy products, fish, liver and some fortified cereals.

Vitamin B1 – Helps the process of turning food we eat in to energy, lack of this vitamin can cause tiredness, fatigue and loss of appetite. Foods that provide B1 can be found in oats, beef, liver nuts, eggs, legumes, yeast. Most white products such as rice, pasta, cereals or bread are fortified.

Vitamin B2 – Keeps your skin healthy and eyes. The nervous system requires this vitamin for proper function. Like most B vitamins, B2 is essential for energy release from foods we eat. This B vitamin comes from majority of dairy products, mushrooms and eggs.

Vitamin B3 – Essential for a healthy nervous system and skin, and energy release from food. Food sources that are great are meat, fish, eggs and wheat flour.

Vitamin B6 – A very important vitamin for haemoglobin production within blood, and to be able to store energy from food. Foods such as poultry, soya beans, wheatgerm, oats, bananas, milk, fortified cereals.

Vitamin B7 – To help create fatty acids within the body for every cell. This vitamin can be created from the bacteria within your own gut. So, a healthy digestive system can be really beneficial.

Folate – also known as Vitamin B9, helps with the production of red blood cells. An essential nutrient for foetal production. Found in small amounts in broccoli, and most green leafy vegetables, legumes, liver and most fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin B12 – Red cell production, for a healthy nervous system, energy release from food and for the ability to use folate. Like most B vitamins, a lack can cause energy deficiencies. Good food sources are fish and meat products, dairy, eggs and most fortified breakfast cereals. This vitamin is tough to get if you are vegan, so supplementing maybe beneficial (check with your doctor first).

Vitamin C – required for immunity. A lack of vitamin C will cause scurvy, but very rare. Vitamin C is in every fruit and vegetable. Often vitamin C supplements will come with iron in, this is because iron is absorbed with the assistance of vitamin C. So, a lack of iron maybe due to reduced fruit and vegetable intake.

Vitamin D – Your body can naturally produce this from exposure to sunshine. Your body is then able to store this. Ideally, we have enough exposure during summer months and this should keep us going through the winter months. Vitamin D is essential for calcium uptake for healthy bones and for good mental health. A supplement is recommended if living in the UK or any more northern countries (see blog on vitamin D)

Vitamin E – Good for healthy skin, blood brain function, vision and reproduction. Can be found in nuts and oils, dark green vegetables, red peppers, avocado and mango.

Vitamin K – to help with blood clotting. Reduced levels of Vitamin K can slow down healing process. Food with good levels of vitamin K are dark green leafy vegetables, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, fish, liver, meats, eggs and some cereals.

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