The following vitamins are important for the body to function well:

  • vitamin A is vital for healthy vision, skin, and skeletal tissue
  • vitamin B1 (thiamin) promotes the body metabolize fats and generate energy
  • vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is an antioxidant and protects the body’s cells against free radicals
  • vitamin B3 (niacin) can reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease
  • vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is necessary for hormone production, producing energy immune system health.
  • vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps produce myelin, a protecting layer around cells
  • vitamin B7 (biotin) important for metabolism, and also healthy skin, hair, nails, and cells
  • vitamin B9 (folate) essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system
  • vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is required for the production of healthy red blood cells and nerve cells
  • vitamin C is vital for growth and replacement of body tissue
  • vitamin D help in calcium absorption, healthy bones, and optimal immune function
  • vitamin E protects against free radicals and can promote the immune system
  • vitamin K can ease the blood to clot and prevent excessive bleeding and keeps your heart healthy and your bones strong
  • choline is essential for nerve function, liver function, and muscle movement

Many vitamins offer related functions. For instance, both vitamins A and C boost the health of the teeth and soft tissues. Several of the B vitamins aid your metabolism function well and help with red blood cell production.

Some human functions require special vitamins. For instance, vitamin D is necessary for helping the body to absorb and control the proper levels of calcium. It’s also important for a healthy immune system to protect the body from illness.

Nevertheless, it is hard to get from your food. Fortunately, it’s provided by the skin after exposure to sunlight. Just going outside during the day twice a week for 10-15 minutes will do the trick.

Another bodily means you need a specific vitamin for is blood coagulation, which needs vitamin K. Vitamin K deficiency is very rare. That’s because the bacteria in the intestines produce about 75 percent of the vitamin K your body needs. Research shows that healthy gut bacteria add to the absorption of vitamin K and other nutrients needed for immune health. All you need to do to get the rest of the vitamin K you need, along with the other necessary vitamins, is to eat a variety of healthy foods.

How can I get vitamins?

Below are recommendations of foods you can eat for each vitamin for adults and children over 4 years old:

Vitamin Food source Daily recommended intake (DRI)
A  cantaloupe carrots, apricots 5,000 international units (IU)
B1 (thiamin)  nuts, lean meats, and seeds, whole grains 1.5 milligrams (mg)
B2 (riboflavin) milk and other dairy products, green leafy vegetables 1.7 mg
B3 (niacin) legumes, poultry 20 mg
B5 (pantothenic acid) broccoli, sweet and white potatoes, mushrooms 10 mg
B6 (pyridoxine) avocado, banana, nuts 2 mg
B7 (biotin) pork, nuts, semi-sweet chocolate 300 µg
B9 (folate) beets, lentils, peanut butter 400 µg
B12 (cobalamin) shellfish, eggs, milk 6 micrograms (µg)
C citrus fruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts 60 mg
D fatty fish such as salmon, fortified milk and dairy products 400 IU
E vegetable oils, mango, asparagus 30 IU
K beef, cauliflower, kale 80 µg
choline cruciferous vegetables, eggs, meats, fish 400 mg

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin B6 and B12, as well as folic acid, to prevent vitamin deficiencies that could hurt a developing fetus. Folic acid can help decrease the risk of a number of birth defects, such as spina bifida, and can also prevent low birth weight. It’s best to take folic acid daily for at least a year before your planned pregnancy.

Dietary restrictions

Vegetarians may require extra vitamin B12. You can also try combining foods, such as bread, that are enriched with the vitamin.

If you follow a vegan diet and don’t eat dairy, eggs, fish, or meat, you may be at danger for vitamin A deficiency. Eating plenty of dark-colored fruits and vegetables can help prevent vitamin A deficiency. It’s essential to make sure you get enough zinc, as well.

Aging

Older women and people who avoid sunlight may require to take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D can be dangerous in large amounts, so be sure not to exceed the suggested daily amount unless directed by a doctor.

Talk to your doctor about your vitamin D blood levels. Vitamin D helps the immune system fight diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Older adults may also be deficient in vitamin B, which plays a vital role in digestion and metabolism function.

Nutrient deficiencies

It’s necessary to get adequate nutrients on a daily basis, or you could encounter a nutrient deficiency. These deficiencies can harm your health, and you may experience obvious symptoms and side effects. Fatigue and headaches are two of the most common side effects of nutritional deficiencies.

Some side consequences and symptoms can indicate specific nutrient deficiencies:

  • Numbness in the hands or feet can mean a vitamin B deficiency.
  • Muscle cramps can indicate deficiencies of potassium,  magnesium, calcium.
  • Weakness, fatigue, and muscle aches can show a vitamin D deficiency.
  • Memory loss can be a sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Mouth ulcers, fatigue, or gray hair can indicate a folate deficiency.
  • Poor night vision bumps on the back of the arms, or dandruff can all indicate a vitamin A deficiency.

If you encounter the following symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms or tingling
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

They can run a blood test to check your nutrient levels and make sure nothing else is causing your symptoms.