16 Vital Vitamins And Minerals Your Body Needs

You need a wide range of nutrients to be healthy, so add these foods to your shopping list to ensure all essential vitamins and minerals are consumed.

In total, Americans now consume 31 percent more calories today than they did 40 years ago. Although we are consuming a greater amount of calories, Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils.

Vitamin A (retinol or beta-carotene)

Essential for vision, bone growth, and tissue repair.

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Sources: Oily fish, butter, milk, whole grains, cheese and egg yolks

B Vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin)

Essential for energy production, growth, the formation of red blood cells, muscles, heart, and mental ability.

Sources: Meat, whole grains, fish, eggs, brown rice, nuts, beans, peas, lentils, and milk.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Essential for absorption of iron, healthy skin, teeth, and bones. Also, strengthens the immune system and helps fight infection.

Sources: Citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, green vegetables, and melons.

Vitamin D (calciferol)

Essential for bone and tooth formation, absorbing calcium/phosphorus, and fighting symptoms of depression.

Sources: Mostly sunlight. Also in liver, oily fish, dairy, and eggs.

Vitamin E (tocopherols)

Essential for healthy skin, circulation, and maintaining cell health.

Sources: Oily fish, seeds, nuts, eggs, avocados, spinach and vegetable oils.

Folate (folic acid)

Essential for cell division, and especially needed before conception and during pregnancy to avoid spina bifida.

Sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, peas, lentils, bananas, and yeast extract.


Essential for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, muscle function, and immune system.

Sources: Green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds, dried figs, almonds,
dairy and canned sardines (with bones).


Essential for regulating and maintaining fluid balance in the body.

Sources: Nuts, beans, whole grains, peas, lentils, tofu and black tea.


Essential for healthy blood and muscle function.

Sources: Meat, sardines, egg yolks, leafy vegetables, dried apricots, and tofu.


Essential for healthy muscles, bones, teeth, growth, and nerves.

Sources: Nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains, peas, lentils, tofu, dried figs, apricots and
green vegetables.


Essential in energy production.

Sources: Nuts, beans, lentils, whole grains, brown rice, tofu and black tea.


Essential for water balance, nerve transmission, and regulating blood pressure.

Sources: Most foods, especially lean meat, poultry, fish, dairy, nuts, and eggs.


Essential for water balance, regulating blood pressure, and nerve transmission.

Sources: Bananas, milk, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds and vegetables


Essential for free radical protection and may protect against cancer.

Sources: Meat, citrus fruits, avocados, lentils, cheese, milk, Brazil nuts, fish, and seaweed.


Essential for muscle, nerve function, and regulating fluids.

Sources: Most foods but mainly from processed foods.


Essential for a healthy immune system, normal growth, wound healing, and reproduction.

Sources: Lean meat, peanuts, whole grains, cheese, seeds, beans, peas, and lentils.

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Written by Chief Health

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