Our bodies need access to a number of different vitamins to function efficiently. Only small amounts of each vitamin are required but a lack of any vitamin will soon reveal itself in a health problem.
Vitamins are found in the food we select for our everyday diets and if we make sensible choices from a wide selection of foodstuffs, on a daily basis, our need for supplementation should be minimal.
If you would like to ensure that your body has access to all of the vitamins it needs, without taking supplements, be sure to select foodstuffs from each of the following groups as they contain naturally occurring vitamins:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is available from two primary food group sources. Provided you do not have a history of high cholesterol problems you can obtain Vitamin A from animal sources - meat, dairy products and cod liver. If you need a lower cholesterol option vitamin A can also be obtained from beta-carotene sources - carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, mango, broccoli and other fruits and vegetables that have red and yellow coloured skins.
2. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 is also known as Thiamine and this can be found in whole grain bread, cereal and
pasta. This vitamin can also be found in meat, fish, pulses and beans, dairy products
and fruits and vegetables.
3. Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 is also known as Riboflavin and can be found in dairy products. Smaller quantities
of this vitamin can also be sourced from chicken, green vegetables, fruits and almonds.
4. Vitamin B3
Also known as Niacin, Witamin B3 is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meat, nuts and eggs. Some cereals also contain traces of Vitamin B3.
5. Vitamin B5
Pantothenic Acid is another name for Vitamin B5. This vitamin can be sourced from fish, dairy products, poultry, beef, brassicas, sweet potatoes, peanuts and peas.
6. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, also known as Pyroxidine, is contained within bananas, watermelons and tomatoes, chicken, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, white rice, peanuts, oats and fortified cereals.
7. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and dairy products.
The best source of folate is green, leafy vegetables. Alternative sources are: tomato juice, peas, wheat germ, oranges and mushrooms.
9. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is commonly sourced from citrus fruits, strawberries, melon and cranberries.
10. Vitamin D
The body can manufacture its own Vitamin D provided the skin is exposed to sunlight for part of the day There is a theory that, with the increased use of sun blocks, more people are experiencing symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is also present in dairy products,
poultry, and cereals.
11. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is obtained from peanuts, whole grains, wheat germ, corn, nuts, olives, spinach and other green and leafy vegetables.
12. Vitamin K
Vitamin K, like Vitamin D, can be manufactured by the body although Vitamin K is produced by friendly bacteria in the gut. Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables, soybeans, cereals, fruits, potatoes, dairy products, meat and poultry.