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.
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
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.