Vitamins are organic nutrients that our bodies need to function correctly. Most vitamins cannot be produced by us, at least not in sufficient quantities to meet our needs. As a result, they must come from the food we eat as well as multivitamins.
Read on to learn about the importance of each vitamin from A to K and the foods that contain them.
A Quick Guide to Vitamins A to K
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps your body form healthy teeth, bones, soft tissues, and skin. Additionally, you can prevent bacterial and viral infections, keep your hair and nails healthy, and prevent night blindness.
Vitamin A is exceptionally high in the following foods:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Kale, spinach, and collard greens
Spices such as paprika, red pepper, cayenne, and chili powder are also high in vitamin A.
Vitamins B-6, B-12, and B-9 are necessary for your body to function appropriately, synthesize DNA, and form red blood cells. Additionally, they help maintain brain function, prevent anemia, and support metabolism.
The following foods contain particularly high levels of vitamins B-6 and B-12:
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Seafood, including mussels and oysters
Leafy green vegetables and poultry are exceptionally high in B-9 or folic acid. Certain breakfast cereals, fruit juices, and other products are fortified with folic acid.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the health of your cells. It also improves your body’s iron absorption and ensures healthy teeth and gums. Besides that, it heals wounds and helps you resist infection.
The following foods contain Vitamin C:
- Citrus fruits
- Brussels sprouts
- Dark leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens, and chard
Vitamin D is a unique nutrient. Besides absorbing it from food, your body can synthesize it from sunlight. Your bones, immune system, and calcium absorption depend on vitamin D. According to the National Cancer Institute Trusted Source, it may also lower your risk of colorectal cancer.
Although vitamin D comes mainly from the sun, foods that also provide this nutrient include:
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Some seafood, such as salmon, herring, catfish, trout, and oysters
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects your cells from damage. It is also essential for your body’s ability to use vitamin K and repair muscle cells.
Vitamin E is abundant in the following foods:
- Bell peppers
- Sunflower seeds and almonds
- Spinach, swiss chard, and turnip greens
Vitamin K is essential for your body’s ability to form blood clots. Without it, you could die from a simple cut. Older adults may also benefit from vitamin K for maintaining bone strength.
Among the foods that are particularly high in vitamin K are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Romaine lettuce
- Kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and mustard greens