There is a wide variety of nutrients that the human body needs to survive. If you are lacking in any one of these vitamins and/or minerals, your body can suffer major consequences. The following is a list of 11 essential vitamins and minerals you should be consuming every day:
- Vitamin A – This vitamin is essential for eye health, growth and development, and healthy teeth and skin.
- B Vitamins – These vitamins help energy production, immune function, and iron absorption.
- Vitamin C – This vitamin is good for strengthening blood vessels, skin elasticity, and iron absorption. It is also high in antioxidants.
- Vitamin D – This vitamin is essential for bone strength.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E is very important for proper circulation as well as protection from free radicals that can be found in the environment.
- Vitamin K – This vitamin is needed for blood coagulation (clotting).
- Folic Acid – This is important for cell renewal. Folic acid is also very important during pregnancy as it prevents many birth defects.
- Calcium – This mineral is critical for healthy teeth and bones.
- Iron – Iron is needed for natural muscle growth and overall blood health.
- Zinc – This mineral is essential for immunity, physical development, as well as fertility.
- Chromium – Chromium is needed for glucose function, which ensures that the cells in your body are getting the energy they need to properly function.
Nowadays many people are preferring to get needed nutrients from the food they eat rather than relying on pills. If you want to get all of the essential vitamins and minerals you need through food, then you must eat a healthy and well-balanced diet including all five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. The following is a list of natural foods that will deliver proper amounts of the above 11 nutrients:
- Vitamin A – carrots, sweet potato, and cantaloupe
- B Vitamins – whole, unprocessed grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, beans, and yeast
- Vitamin C – oranges, lemons, guava, bell peppers (especially red and green), kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe
- Vitamin D – eggs, fish, and mushrooms (natural sunlight is another way for the body to get and process vitamin D)
- Vitamin E – almonds and other nuts, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes
- Vitamin K – leafy greens including kale, spinach, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts
- Folic Acid – dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets, and corn
- Calcium – dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and tofu
- Iron – oysters, liver, soybeans, cereal, pumpkin seeds, beans, lentils, and spinach
- Zinc – spinach, cashews, beans, and dark chocolate
- Chromium – whole grains, fresh vegetables, and herbs
Not everyone is able to include all necessary foods in order to get all of the essential nutrients that our bodies need. This may be due to an allergy, intolerance, or even a general distaste for certain foods. In this case, dietary supplement can and should be taken to make up for the vitamins and minerals that are missing in one’s diet. Many individuals simply choose to take a multivitamin every day to ensure optimal health, even if they have a well-balanced diet. However, for some who may be missing only certain food groups, specific vitamins and minerals can be taken. It is important to speak with your doctor about your diet and any dietary supplements that you are interested in taking or are already taking.