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Importance of vitamins

Importance of vitamins

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The largest number of people had a vitamin B6 deficiencywhile adult males ages 19 to 50 had elevated rates of vitamin C deficiencytheorized to be due to not consuming enough fruits and vegetables.

Those taking a multivitamin or eating an adequate diet based on the "estimated average requirements" had a decreased risk of a deficiency, though it did not eliminate it completely. The researchers found that an estimated 45 percent of the U. population was inadequate in vitamin A46 percent inadequate in vitamin C95 percent inadequate for vitamin Dand 84 percent were inadequate in vitamin E.

Just 15 percent were inadequate in zinc. The World Health Organization WHO reports that iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient malnutrition globally. There are 13 essential vitamins that your body needs to function properly. One-third of the U. population is at risk for a vitamin deficiency, though eating a well-balanced diet and taking a multivitamin decreased that risk.

Everyday Health follows strict sourcing guidelines to ensure the accuracy of its content, outlined in our editorial policy. We use only trustworthy sources, including peer-reviewed studies, board-certified medical experts, patients with lived experience, and information from top institutions.

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See All. DailyOM Courses. About DailyOM Most Popular Courses New Releases Trending Courses See All. By Cathy Cassata. Medically Reviewed. Justin Laube, MD. Vitamins are nutrients that your body needs for normal cell function, growth, and development. They can be grouped into two main categories based on how they act in your body.

Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, are used immediately after entering the body. Essential Vitamins The following vitamins are considered essential, meaning your body can't produce them but needs them to function properly.

Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking. Resources Vitamins. Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, et al. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the — NHANES. June Bird JK, Murphy RA, Caippio ED, McBurney MI. Risk of Deficiency in Multiple Concurrent Micronutrients in Children and Adults in the United States.

July Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 30, Ankar A, Kumar A. Vitamin B12 Deficiency. October 22, Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight. March 8, World Health Organization.

: Importance of vitamins

Vitamins and Minerals: How to Get What You Need Nutrition Reviews. Ultimately, supplements work the best when your healthcare provider has found a deficiency — if you are already within range, then excess amounts of vitamins that are water-soluble dissolve in water may be washed away in urine. But not everyone manages to eat a healthful diet. Vital for new cell creationHelps 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. When we discuss ways to improve our health, we mostly talk about lifestyle changes and the need to exercise regularly. But you can get these from dried beans, seeds, nuts, and leafy green vegetables like kale. Retrieved 5 October
Listing of vitamins - Harvard Health

Many micronutrients interact. Vitamin D enables your body to pluck calcium from food sources passing through your digestive tract rather than harvesting it from your bones.

Vitamin C helps you absorb iron. And even a minor overload of the mineral manganese can worsen iron deficiency. BetterHelp is an online therapy service that matches you to licensed, accredited therapists who can help with depression, anxiety, relationships, and more.

Take the assessment and get matched with a therapist in as little as 48 hours. Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves.

Because much of your body consists of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses out of the body in your urine.

Although water-soluble vitamins have many tasks in the body, one of the most important is helping to free the energy found in the food you eat. Others help keep tissues healthy. Here are some examples of how different vitamins help you maintain health:. Contrary to popular belief, some water-soluble vitamins can stay in the body for long periods of time.

And even folic acid and vitamin C stores can last more than a couple of days. Just be aware that there is a small risk that consuming large amounts of some of these micronutrients through supplements may be quite harmful.

For example, very high doses of B6—many times the recommended amount of 1. Rather than slipping easily into the bloodstream like most water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins gain entry to the blood via lymph channels in the intestinal wall see illustration.

Many fat-soluble vitamins travel through the body only under escort by proteins that act as carriers. Fatty foods and oils are reservoirs for the four fat-soluble vitamins. Within your body, fat tissues and the liver act as the main holding pens for these vitamins and release them as needed.

To some extent, you can think of these vitamins as time-release micronutrients. Your body squirrels away the excess and doles it out gradually to meet your needs. Together this vitamin quartet helps keep your eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system in good repair.

Here are some of the other essential roles these vitamins play:. Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body for long periods, toxic levels can build up.

This is most likely to happen if you take supplements. The body needs, and stores, fairly large amounts of the major minerals. Major minerals travel through the body in various ways. Potassium, for example, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, where it circulates freely and is excreted by the kidneys, much like a water-soluble vitamin.

Calcium is more like a fat-soluble vitamin because it requires a carrier for absorption and transport. One of the key tasks of major minerals is to maintain the proper balance of water in the body. Sodium, chloride, and potassium take the lead in doing this.

Three other major minerals—calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium—are important for healthy bones. Sulfur helps stabilize protein structures, including some of those that make up hair, skin, and nails.

Having too much of one major mineral can result in a deficiency of another. These sorts of imbalances are usually caused by overloads from supplements, not food sources. Here are two examples:. A thimble could easily contain the distillation of all the trace minerals normally found in your body.

Yet their contributions are just as essential as those of major minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, which each account for more than a pound of your body weight.

The other trace minerals perform equally vital jobs, such as helping to block damage to body cells and forming parts of key enzymes or enhancing their activity. Trace minerals interact with one another, sometimes in ways that can trigger imbalances.

Too much of one can cause or contribute to a deficiency of another. Here are some examples:. Antioxidant is a catchall term for any compound that can counteract unstable molecules such as free radicals that damage DNA, cell membranes, and other parts of cells.

Your body cells naturally produce plenty of antioxidants to put on patrol. The foods you eat—and, perhaps, some of the supplements you take—are another source of antioxidant compounds.

Carotenoids such as lycopene in tomatoes and lutein in kale and flavonoids such as anthocyanins in blueberries, quercetin in apples and onions, and catechins in green tea are antioxidants.

The vitamins C and E and the mineral selenium also have antioxidant properties. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of energy metabolism and are also generated by ultraviolet rays, tobacco smoke, and air pollution.

They lack a full complement of electrons, which makes them unstable, so they steal electrons from other molecules, damaging those molecules in the process. Free radicals have a well-deserved reputation for causing cellular damage.

But they can be helpful, too. When immune system cells muster to fight intruders, the oxygen they use spins off an army of free radicals that destroys viruses, bacteria, and damaged body cells in an oxidative burst.

Vitamin C can then disarm the free radicals. Antioxidants are able to neutralize marauders such as free radicals by giving up some of their own electrons. When a vitamin C or E molecule makes this sacrifice, it may allow a crucial protein, gene, or cell membrane to escape damage.

This helps break a chain reaction that can affect many other cells. Each of the nutrients that has antioxidant properties also has numerous other aspects and should be considered individually.

The context is also important—in some settings, for example, vitamin C is an antioxidant, and in others it can be a pro-oxidant. Articles and advertisements have touted antioxidants as a way to help slow aging, fend off heart disease, improve flagging vision, and curb cancer.

And laboratory studies and many large-scale observational trials the type that query people about their eating habits and supplement use and then track their disease patterns have noted benefits from diets rich in certain antioxidants and, in some cases, from antioxidant supplements.

But results from randomized controlled trials in which people are assigned to take specific nutrients or a placebo have failed to back up many of these claims.

One study that pooled results from 68 randomized trials with over , participants found that people who were given vitamin E, beta carotene, and vitamin A had a higher risk of death than those who took a placebo.

There appeared to be no effect from vitamin C pills and a small reduction in mortality from selenium, but further research on these nutrients is needed. These findings suggest little overall benefit of the antioxidants in pill form.

On the other hand, many studies show that people who consume higher levels of these antioxidants in food have a lower risk of many diseases. The bottom line? Eating a healthy diet is the best way to get your antioxidants. Eating right to look and feel your best at every stage of your life.

Tips to help you and your family eat delicious, healthy food on a tight budget. How focusing on the experience of eating can improve your diet.

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When you ingest these, they break down quickly and your body absorbs what it needs usually very little , and the rest is flushed out through your bodily waste. Water-soluble vitamins generally have to be taken more often because they don't last long in your body. These vitamins tend to be ones that your body only needs small amounts of at a time, which is why it's not a problem to your health for them to break down so quickly.

The B-vitamin family is all water-soluble, as well as vitamin C. These are your important water-soluble vitamins :. Fat-soluble vitamins , on the other hand, stay in your body for longer. Your body absorbs them with other fats you're eating and the vitamins get stored in your body.

Some fat-soluble vitamins will last in your body for months, allowing your body to use them slowly as needed. This is why these vitamins don't need to be consumed quite as often or in large amounts -- your body is hanging onto what it needs and not constantly flushing it back out.

There are four key fat-soluble vitamins that your body needs:. Vitamins help keep your body healthy and maintain normal bodily functions like keeping your bones strong and fighting off infections.

These are the essential vitamins you need in your daily routine. Why you need it : Vitamin A is known to support eye health , encourage production of white blood cells and regulate cell growth. Vitamin A also contributes to your immune health , which can help protect you from some diseases like certain cancers.

Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency may include poor eyesight, skin irritation, infections or infertility. Good food sources: Leafy greens, tomatoes, liver, fish oil, milk, eggs, mango, orange and yellow vegetables.

Why you need it : Vitamin C is most commonly used to fight off colds and infections. It's also an antioxidant, which means it can help fight against free radicals, which can make you sick. Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include dry skin, tiredness, weak immune system, joint pain and bloody gums.

And while it's uncommon, scurvy is also a symptom of vitamin C deficiency. Good food sources: Citrus, cruciferous vegetables, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, white potatoes. Why you need it : Vitamin D contributes to building and maintaining your bones. This vitamin also reduces inflammation and infections.

Deficiency symptoms: Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include bone pain, tiredness, muscle cramps, and mood changes. Why you need it : Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant properties that can help protect your body from free radicals.

These can cause damage to your cells and lead to premature aging. Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include weak immune system, poor vision and muscle weakness. Good food sources: Sunflower oil, almonds, peanuts, spinach, asparagus, mango, avocado.

Why you need it : Vitamin K is important in helping your blood clot. It also contributes to building and strengthening your bones. Deficiency symptoms: Vitamin K deficiency symptoms include an inability to clot blood, bleeding and osteoporosis.

Good food sources: Leafy greens, soybean oil, canola oil, fermented soy beans, cheese and eggs. Why you need it : Thiamine is commonly used to treat nerve inflammation , and while it has other uses -- like heart disease prevention and treating digestive issues -- these have less research around them.

Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency include weight loss, muscle weakness and memory loss. Why you need it : Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, helps the body maintain energy by breaking down protein, fats and carbohydrates.

This vitamin also contributes to new cell growth. Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency include hair loss, sore throat, itchy eyes, anemia and cracked lips.

Good food sources: Yogurt, cheese, eggs, chicken breast, salmon, almonds, spinach. Why you need it : Vitamin B3, or niacin, has antioxidant properties to help protect you from free radicals.

It is also known to repair DNA and convert nutrients into energy your body can use. Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin B3 deficiency include depression, headache, fatigue, memory loss, and hallucinations. Why you need it : Vitamin B5 is an essential nutrient that helps your body metabolize fats , carbohydrates and proteins.

It's what your body uses to make coenzyme A, which is what it uses to break down the fatty acids. Deficiency symptoms: Symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency include headache, nausea, restlessness, and muscle cramps.

Good sources: Beef, mushrooms, avocado, yogurt, potatoes, eggs, brown rice, oats, broccoli. Why you need it : Vitamin B7 metabolizes carbohydrates , fat and protein in your body.

Should you take daily vitamins? If so, which ones? What to know about benefits, marketing Preventing Malnutrition in Older Adults. Not getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs can have serious consequences for your health. Vitamania: Our obsessive quest for nutritional perfection. The Biochemical Journal. Use this resource to help track your food habits and share them with your doctor. Codex Alimentarius Enzyte Hadacol Herbal tea Nutraceutical Multivitamin Nutrition.
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Find out more about vitamin B6. Learn more about vitamin B7. Why is folate, another form of B9, important? Why do we need vitamin B12? Learn more about vitamin C. Learn more about getting enough vitamin D.

What are the symptoms of vitamin E deficiency? Why do we need vitamin K? Many people in the United States take multivitamins and other supplements, though these may not be necessary or helpful, according to research.

A balanced, varied diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables should be the primary source of vitamins. The Department of Health and Human Services provide up-to-date guidelines detailing the best ways to get enough nutrients from the diet. Fortified foods and supplements may be appropriate in some cases, however, such as during pregnancy, for people with restricted diets, and for people with specific health issues.

Anyone taking supplements should be careful not to exceed the maximum dose, as research shows that taking too much of any vitamin can lead to health problems. Also, some medications can interact with vitamin supplements. Overall, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before trying any supplement.

Various supplements are available for purchase online. When is the best time to take supplements? Vitamins are essential nutrients that mainly come from foods. Each performs various roles in the body, and deficiencies of different vitamins can harm health in different ways. Aim to get vitamins from a balanced, varied diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables.

If a person is pregnant or has a health issue or a restricted diet, a doctor or nutritionist may recommend supplements. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins. This article looks at some dietary sources of each and the role they play in the body. Vitamin B complex refers to the eight B vitamins.

Learn more about each of these vitamins, the benefits of B-complex supplements, and who should use…. The best vitamins for skin include vitamins C, D, and E. People can get many of these vitamins from their diet or by taking supplements. Learn more…. Vitamins and nutrients are essential for good health.

Some people supplement vitamins, but is there an ideal time of day to take them? In this article,. What are macronutrients? Read on to learn more about these essential nutrients, such as what they do, good sources, and how much people should consume.

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Was this helpful? Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Further resources For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub. Unneeded water-soluble vitamins are excreted from the body in your urine.

The only exception is vitamin B12, which can be stored in your liver for years, per StatPearls. The following vitamins are considered essential, meaning your body can't produce them but needs them to function properly.

Here are some of their key functions, per MedlinePlus :. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, fortified dairy foods, legumes beans, lentils, and peas , and whole grains is the best way to get adequate vitamins, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC.

In some cases, though, you may need to take supplements if your diet isn't providing enough vitamins or if you have a medical condition that affects the way your body absorbs nutrients. Talk with your doctor about what's best for you.

Keep in mind that taking too much of certain vitamins, without medical supervision, can cause serious health problems. The recommended dietary allowance RDA , set by the Institute of Medicine, is a guideline for how much of each vitamin most people should get daily.

Despite being a well-nourished population, nearly one-third of the U. population 31 percent, to be exact over age 9 is at risk of having at least one vitamin deficiency or has anemia , according to research that pulled data from the — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey NHANES analyzing vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, folate, and anemia status.

In this study, females, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, non-Hispanic Black people, those with low socioeconomic status, and people who have overweight or obesity were the groups at highest risk for a vitamin deficiency, the researchers found. The largest number of people had a vitamin B6 deficiency , while adult males ages 19 to 50 had elevated rates of vitamin C deficiency , theorized to be due to not consuming enough fruits and vegetables.

Those taking a multivitamin or eating an adequate diet based on the "estimated average requirements" had a decreased risk of a deficiency, though it did not eliminate it completely.

The researchers found that an estimated 45 percent of the U. population was inadequate in vitamin A , 46 percent inadequate in vitamin C , 95 percent inadequate for vitamin D , and 84 percent were inadequate in vitamin E.

Just 15 percent were inadequate in zinc. The World Health Organization WHO reports that iron deficiency is the most common micronutrient malnutrition globally. There are 13 essential vitamins that your body needs to function properly. One-third of the U. population is at risk for a vitamin deficiency, though eating a well-balanced diet and taking a multivitamin decreased that risk.

Everyday Health follows strict sourcing guidelines to ensure the accuracy of its content, outlined in our editorial policy. We use only trustworthy sources, including peer-reviewed studies, board-certified medical experts, patients with lived experience, and information from top institutions.

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We Importabce products we Herbal extract recipes are useful for our Iportance. Importance of vitamins you buy through links od this page, we may earn Importance of vitamins small commission. Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind. Vitamins are organic compounds that people need in small quantities. Each has a different role in maintaining health and bodily function. Each organism has different vitamin requirements.

Importance of vitamins -

It also helps your body regulate blood sugar, control hunger, and maintain a healthy weight. Getting enough fiber in your diet can help prevent diabetes and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

On average, an American adult should consume 28 grams g of dietary fiber each day based on a 2,calorie diet. Your body needs vitamin D so that it can absorb calcium to promote bone growth, maintain strong bones, and prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps your muscles move and your immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses.

The average American adult needs International Units IU of vitamin D each day. It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D through diet alone because there are not a lot of food choices rich in vitamin D. In fact, some primary food sources of vitamin D come from foods that have added vitamin D, called fortified foods.

Quick tip: Most milks in the United States are fortified with vitamin D. Start or end your day with a serving of low-fat, fat-free, or unsweetened milk.

Iron is a mineral that your body needs to support proper growth and development. Your body uses iron to produce hemoglobin, myoglobin, and some hormones. The average daily recommended amount of iron for an adult American ages is 13 mg.

Quick tip: Enjoy a baked potato with black beans or mushrooms for a tasty lunch and healthy dose or iron. Not getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs can have serious consequences for your health.

An overall lack of nutrients can lead to malnutrition. Some deficiencies can even be life-threatening. Additionally, getting too much of certain vitamins or minerals in your system can also be dangerous.

For example, high levels of vitamin A during pregnancy can cause problems with fetal development. For this reason, it is very important to talk your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

This is especially important if you are pregnant or have existing health conditions. A lack of one or more vitamins or minerals can be hard to diagnose. Some nutrient deficiencies do not have symptoms, while others have symptoms that vary.

General symptoms include:. Your doctor may perform blood tests to check the levels of certain vitamins or minerals. If you are unable to get all the nutrients you need from food alone, your doctor can help you decided if dietary supplements are needed.

National Institutes of Health NIH : Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Last Updated: June 6, This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone.

Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject. Calcium keeps your bones and teeth healthy and strong. Visit The Symptom Checker. Read More. How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet. Diabetes and Nutrition. Antioxidants: What You Need to Know.

Nutrition Tips for Kids. Preventing Malnutrition in Older Adults. Nutrition: How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label. Chronic Kidney Disease CKD Chronic Kidney Disease and Nutrition. Home Prevention and Wellness Food and Nutrition Nutrients and Nutritional Info Vitamins and Minerals: How to Get What You Need.

The current Guidelines include 4 main themes: Follow a healthy dietary pattern at each life stage infancy through adulthood. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages based on preference, culture, and budget.

Balance the food groups and maintain healthy calorie limits. Limit intake of sodium, saturated fat, added sugars, and alcohol. Path to improved health The purpose of The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is to improve your overall health.

Selecting a variety of foods and beverages from each food group is necessary to create a balanced diet. Following recommended portion sizes helps to maintain calorie intake. In particular, Americans do not get enough of the following nutrients: Calcium Potassium Fiber Vitamin D Iron Below are examples of foods and beverages that are high in certain micronutrients.

Calcium Your body needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth in childhood and adolescence. Adolescents ages 4 to 18 years Adults older than 50 years Adults who have gone through menopause People who are Black or Asian People who are lactose intolerant People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet Quick Tip: Almonds contain calcium and are the perfect snack.

Potassium A diet rich in potassium helps your body maintain a healthy blood pressure. Dietary Fiber Fiber is a necessary nutrient to keep your digestion system working correctly. Vitamin D Your body needs vitamin D so that it can absorb calcium to promote bone growth, maintain strong bones, and prevent osteoporosis.

Iron Iron is a mineral that your body needs to support proper growth and development. Many foods, including whole grains, organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans, and fish.

Some is made by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it's not clear how much of this the body absorbs. ASCORBIC ACID vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk for some cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breast.

Long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts. Helps make collagen, a connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. Helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells.

Bolsters the immune system. M: 90 mg, W: 75 mg Smokers: Add 35 mg. Fruits and fruit juices especially citrus , potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts. Evidence that vitamin C helps reduce colds has not been convincing. 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, salmon, and peanuts. No rmally the body makes small amounts of choline.

But experts don't know whether this amount is enough at certain ages. Helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen bones. Helps form teeth and bones. Supplements can reduce the number of non-spinal fractures. Fortified milk or margarine, fortified cereals, fatty fish.

While the body uses sunlight to make vitamin D, it cannot make enough if you live in northern climates or don't spend much time in the sun. Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage.

Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. M: 15 mg, W: 15 mg 15 mg equals about 22 IU from natural sources of vitamin E and 33 IU from synthetic vitamin E. Wide variety of foods, including vegetable oils, salad dressings and margarines made with vegetable oils, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts.

Vitamin E does not prevent wrinkles or slow other aging processes. FOLIC ACID vitamin B 9 , folate, folacin. Vital for new cell creationHelps 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 risk for 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.

Occasionally, folic acid masks a B 12 deficiency, which can lead to severe neurological complications. That's not a reason to avoid folic acid; just be sure to get enough B Activates proteins and calcium essential to blood clotting.

May help prevent hip fractures. Cabbage, liver, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, sprouts, kale, collards, and other green vegetables. Intestinal bacteria make a form of vitamin K that accounts for half your requirements.

If you take an anticoagulant, keep your vitamin K intake consistent. DID YOU KNOW? 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.

Diets very high in calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Balances fluids in the body. A component of stomach acid, essential to digestion.

Salt sodium chloride , soy sauce, processed foods. New recommendations DRIs for chloride are under development by the Institute of Medicine. Enhances the activity of insulin, helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is needed to free energy from glucose. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, potatoes, some cereals, nuts, cheese.

Unrefined foods such as brewer's yeast, nuts, and cheeses are the best sources of chromium, but brewer's yeast can sometimes cause bloating and nausea, so you may choose to get chromium from other food sources.

Plays an important role in iron metabolism and immune system. Helps make red blood cells. Liver, shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes, cocoa, black pepper. More than half of the copper in foods is absorbed. Encourages strong bone formation.

Keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening. Water that is fluoridated, toothpaste with fluoride, marine fish, teas.

Harmful to children in excessive amounts. Part of thyroid hormone, which helps set body temperature and influences nerve and muscle function, reproduction, and growth. Prevents goiter and a congenital thyroid disorder.

Iodized salt, processed foods, seafood. To prevent iodine deficiencies, some countries add iodine to salt, bread, or drinking water. 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. Many women of childbearing age don't get enough iron. Women who do not menstruate probably need the same amount of iron as men. Because iron is harder to absorb from plants, experts suggest vegetarians get twice the recommended amount assuming the source is food.

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.

The majority of magnesium in the body is found in bones. If your blood levels are low, your body may tap into these reserves to correct the problem. Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates.

Fish, nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea. If you take supplements or have manganese in your drinking water, be careful not to exceed the upper limit.

Those with liver damage or whose diets supply abundant manganese should be especially vigilant. 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. Helps build and protect bones and teeth. Part of DNA and RNA. 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.

Certain drugs bind with phosphorus, making it unavailable and causing bone loss, weakness, and pain. Helps maintain 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. Food sources do not cause toxicity, but high-dose supplements might. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity. Organ meats, seafood, walnuts, sometimes plants depends on soil content , grain products.

Researchers are investigating whether selenium may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, but with mixed results. Helps send nerve impulses. Impacts blood pressure; even modest reductions in salt consumption can lower blood pressure.

Salt, soy sauce, processed foods, vegetables.

What are these vitaminswhy Imporatnce they important, and how should you get incorporate vitxmins Importance of vitamins your diet? Non-GMO haircare Importance of vitamins with the experts to break down everything you need to know. Vitamins and minerals are nutrients, or small molecules that are essential for our bodies to function. Pedro R. Rodriguez Guggiari, an internal medicine specialist and Chief of Staff at Banner Del E. Importance of vitamins

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