Menu

Essential Vitamins & Minerals for the Human Body: Periodic Table

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

Vitamin K

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

Copper

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

Sodium Chloride

  • 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

  • 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.

Our NutriQlu test will unlock the secrets of your DNA to identify genetic predispositions for food intolerances, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, ideal exercise type and more.

Train smarter, eat better and recover faster with key insights from your custom genetic report.

If you’re looking to lose weight, get lean, gain muscle and optimise your diet take the first step with a NutriQlu personalised nutrition and fitness report.

LEARN MORE

Keep up-to-date with our latest news