A couple of months ago, we launched our Vitamin ABCs series. Today we’re taking that one step further and providing you with a complete guide to the essential vitamins and minerals that the human body requires to run at its optimum with our Periodic Table of Vitamins and Minerals for the Human Body:
To learn more about each of the vitamins and minerals included in the chart above, read on.
- Vitamin A is useful for cell growth and developments, helps your body fight inflammation, keeps your vision active and your brain functioning well. It’s known as the “anti-aging” vitamin.
- Good sources of Vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, organ-based meats, oily fish, dairy products and eggs.
- Men need 0.7mg per day, women need 0.6mg per day.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
- Thiamine is used by the body to turn food, particularly carbohydrates, into energy.
- Good sources of Vitamin B1 include grains, cereals, bread, yeast, beans, nuts, oats and legumes.
- Men need 1.2mg per day, women need 1.1mg per day.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
- Riboflavin keeps your eyes, skin and nervous system in good working order.
- Good source of Vitamin B2 include milk, bread, cereals, meat, cheese, eggs, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes.
- Men need 1.3mg per day, women need 1.1mg per day.
Vitamin B3 – Niacin
- Niacin keeps your skin, mental and digestive health working properly.
- Good sources of Vitamin B3 include meat, fish, poultry, grains, peanuts, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, milk and eggs.
- Men need 16mg per day, women need 14mg per day.
Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
- Pantothenic Acid is used in the body in metabolism to break down food into energy.
- Good sources of Vitamin B5 include chicken, beef, potatoes, tomatoes, kidney, broccoli, eggs and grains.
- Men and women need 5mg per day.
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
- Pyridoxin helps form haemoglobin to transport oxygen around the body in the blood as well as breaking down protein and carbohydrates into energy.
- Good sources of Vitamin B6 include pork, chicken, fish, bread, eggs, many vegetables, peanuts and milk.
- Men need 1.4mg per day, women need 1.2mg per day.
Vitamin B7 – Biotin
- Biotin helps the body break down fat, but is only required in small levels in your diet as your gut bacteria naturally produces it too.
- Good sources of Vitamin B7 include liver, fruit and meats.
- Men and women need 30mg per day.
Vitamin B9 – Folate
- Folate, or folic acid, helps the body form healthy red blood cells. It is most important for pregnant women to help the central neural tube develop properly in the baby.
- Good sources of Vitamin B9 include broccoli, liver, leafy green vegetables and peas.
- Men and women need 400 micrograms per day, pregnant women need 600 micrograms per day.
- Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system stay healthy, production of red blood cells and releasing energy from food.
- Good sources of Vitamin B12 include meat, salmon, milk, cheese and eggs.
- Men and women need 2.4 micrograms per day.
- Vitamin C maintains healthy cells in your skin, bones and blood vessels and helps with healing wounds. Deficiency of Vitamin C in your diet can lead to scurvy.
- Good sources of Vitamin C include oranges, peppers, broccoli, strawberries and blackcurrants.
- Adults need 40mg per day.
- Vitamin D is used in the body to build healthy bones, teeth and muscles by regulating calcium and phosphate – two important minerals. Deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to rickets and other bone deformities.
- The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, but it can also be found in your diet with red meat, oily fish and eggs.
- Adults need around 10micrograms per day.
- Vitamin E is important to maintaining a healthy immune system as well as healthy skin and eye condition.
- Good sources of Vitamin E include cereal grains, nuts, seeds and oils from plants including olive oil.
- Men need 4mg a day, women need 3mg.
- The body uses Vitamin K in blood clotting as well as maintaining strong bones.
- Good sources of Vitamin K include leafy green vegetables like broccoli and kale, cereal grains and vegetable oils.
- Adults need around 1mcg per 1kg of their body weight.
- Calcium is best known for helping to build strong and healthy bones, but it also regulates muscle contractions and helps blood to clot.
- Good sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk and cheese, nuts, bread with fortified flour and dark leafy greens like broccoli and okra.
- Adults need 700mg per day.
- Iodine keeps metabolic rate in good working order by regulating thyroid hormones.
- Good sources of iodine include shellfish, fish, dairy products like cheese and seaweed.
- Adults need 0.14mg per day.
- Iron is needed in the body to create red blood cells to transport oxygen. A deficiency in iron can lead to anaemia.
- Good sources of iron include red meat, cereal, beans, lentils and dark leafy greens.
- Men and women over 50 need 8.7mg of iron per day, women between 18 and 50 need 14.8mg per day.
- Beta-carotene is important as it turns into Vitamin A in the body – for cell growth and developments, helping your body fight inflammation, keeping your vision active and your brain functioning well.
- Good sources of beta-carotene include most orange or yellow fruit and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and mango, as well as dark leafy greens.
- There is no recommended daily allowance of beta-carotene, but you should be able to get as much as you need from your usual diet.
- Choline is effective in brain and nervous system functions such as memory and muscle control. It operates similar to B vitamins and is produced in the liver.
- Good sources of choline include meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds.
- The recommended amount of choline for adults is 550mg per day.
- Chromium plays a role in maintaining insulin in the body, therefore affecting how it gets energy from food.
- Sources of chromium include meat, grains, lentils, broccoli and some spices.
- Adults need around 25 micrograms per day.
- Cobalt is needed in the body to process and absorb vitamin B12.
- You can find cobalt in fish, nuts, leafy green veg and oats.
- Adults need approximately 1.5 micrograms per day, however if you’re getting enough vitamin B12, you won’t need to source extra.
- The body uses copper to release iron to form haemoglobin as well as producing red and white blood cells.
- Copper is found in nuts, offal, shellfish and beans.
- Adults need 1.2mg of copper per day.
- Fluoride helps prevents tooth decay for healthy teeth.
- Fluoride doesn’t naturally occur in food sources but it can be found in tap water with added fluoride, black tea made with tap water, toothpaste and some shellfish like crab.
- Men need 4mg per day, women need 3mg per day.
- Magnesium acts in the parathyroid glands to keep them working normally to maintain bone health, as well as helping food convert to energy.
- Sources of magnesium include green leafy veg, nuts, brown rice and bread.
- Men need 300mg per day, women need 270g.
- Manganese is necessary for normal brain function, in the nervous system and to activate enzymes in the body.
- Manganese can be found in tea, bread, nuts, cereal and some green veg.
- Men need around 2.3mg per day, women need around 1.8mg.
- Molybdenum works with proteins in enzymes to make genetic material.
- It can be found in tinned vegetables, cereal, nuts, cauliflower and green veg.
- Adults need around 45 micrograms per day.
- Phosphorus is used in building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
- Sources of phosphorus include red meats, dairy, fish, bread and brown rice.
- Adults need 550mg per day.
- Potassium regulates water balance in the body and affects how well the heart muscle works.
- Sources of potassium include bananas, broccoli, sprouts, nuts and fish.
- Adults need 3500mg per day.
- Selenium is useful in the body for healthy immune function and reproduction.
- Selenium is found in brazil nuts, fish, meat and eggs.
- Men need 0.075mg per day, women need 0.065mg.
- Usually known as salt, sodium chloride is important in proper food digestion and at keeping fluid levels balance.
- Sodium chloride naturally occurs in most foods in small levels, but is added to many processed foods such as bacon, cheese, ready meals and cereal.
- Adults need no more than 2.4g per day.
- Zinc is used in the body to process carbohydrates, fat and protein from food, healing damage to the skin and developing new cells.
- Zinc is found in meat, shellfish, dairy products, bread and cereals.
- Men need 9.5mg per day, women need 7mg.
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