The Best Foods for Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are substances that are needed in low amounts to support our body. These vitamins and minerals act as an bodyguard against possible low intakes, particularly if you are under stress, smoke, drink alcohol, exercise regularly, or cannot always eat a balanced diet. Our body needs vitamins and minerals  to work perfectly and for a strong immune system, nervous system and hormonal system to ward off diseases. We need a lot of different vitamins which are needed to support every system in our body.  The minerals have mainly structural roles, such as calcium in the bones or regulatory roles, such as muscle contraction.

You can get vitamins through natural and organic sources but minerals are inorganic elements. These essential vitamins and minerals will allow you to perform better both physically and mentally, to resist infections more effectively and even to extend your lifespan.

The Best Food Sources for Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A

Best For:

Our body needs Vitamin A to improve vision in dim light, healthy skin and linings of the digestive tract, nasal and throat problems.



Best Food Sources

Best For:

Full fat dairy products such as meat, oily fish, parsley, margarine, peas, wholegrain and legumes.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Our body needs vitamin B1 to release of energy from carbohydrates, healthy nerves and the digestive system.

Best Food Sources

Wholemeal bread and cereals, meat, pulses and sunflower seeds are the best natural food sources for vitamin B1 (Thiamin).


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Best For:

Healthy skin, release of energy from carbohydrates, eyes and nerves.

Best Food Sources

Milk and dairy products, eggs, meat, soya products, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and avocado.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Best For:

Healthy skin, nerves and digestion, release of energy from carbohydrates.



Best Food Sources

Meat and offal, fish, nuts, milk and dairy products, eggs, wholegrain cereals, dates and alfalfa.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Best For:

Metabolism of protein, carbohydrate and fat, manufacture of red blood cells, healthy immune system.

Best Foods Sources

Nuts, fish, pulses, eggs, sunflower seeds and banana.


Vitamin B12

Best For:

Red blood cells formation and energy metabolism.

Best Food Sources

Milk and dairy products, fish, meat, fortified breakfast cereals, soya products.

Vitamin C

Best For:

Healthy bones, gums and teeth, healthy connective tissue, blood vessels. Vitamin C also promotes immune function and helps iron absorption.


Best Food Sources

Fruits and vegetables such as specially raspberries, blackcurrants, kiwi, oranges, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and cabbage.

Vitamin D

Best For:

Builds strong bones: needed to absorb calcium and phosphorus.

Best Food Sources

Sunlight, oily fish, fortified margarine, cold pressed vegetable oil, breakfast cereals, eggs, parsley and alfalfa.



Vitamin E

Best For:

Antioxidant which helps protect against heart disease, promotes normal cell growth and development.

Best Food Sources

Cold pressed vegetable/seed oils, oily fish, nuts, seeds, egg yolk, avocado and brown rice.

Beta Carotene

Best For:

This is a natural antioxidant which protects against certain cancers and converts into vitamin A.



Best Food Sources

Fruit and vegetables such as apricots, tomatoes, mangoes, peppers, squash, broccoli, carrots and watercress.

Folic Acid

Best For:

Formation of DNA and red blood cells,reduces risk of spina bifida and birth defects in developing babies.

Best Food Sources

Yeast extract, green leafy vegetables, pulses, nuts and citrus fruits.

Calcium

Best For:

Building bone and teeth, blood clotting, nerve and muscle function.

Best Food Sources

Milk and dairy products, sardines, dark green leaf vegetables, pulses, Brazil nuts, almonds, figs and sesame seeds.

Iron

Best For:

Formation of red blood cells and oxygen transport. Prevents anemia.

Best Food Sources

Meat and offal, whole grains cereals, fortified breakfast cereals, pulses, green leafy vegetables, nuts, sesame and pumpkin seeds.

Zinc

Best For:

Healthy immune system,wound healing, skin and cell growth.

Best Food Sources

Eggs, whole grain cereals, meat, nuts and seeds.

Magnesium 

Best For:

Healthy bones,muscle and nerve function and cell formation.

Best Food Sources

Cereals,fruit, vegetables, milk, nuts and seeds.

Potassium

Best For:

Fluid balance, muscle and nerve function.

Best Food Sources

Fruit, vegetables, cereals, nuts and seeds.

Sodium

Best For:

Fluid balance, muscle and nerve function.

Best Food Sources

Salt, processed meat, read meals, sauces, soup, cheese and bread.

Selenium 

Best For:

Antioxidant which helps protect against heart disease and cancer.

Best Food Sources

Cereals,vegetables, dairy products, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds.

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