Last Updated on January 31, 2021
There are six major nutrients our bodies need to remain healthy and well-functioning: Minerals, proteins, lipids, water, carbohydrates, and Vitamins.
Vitamins play an important role in strengthening the bones, providing body energy, maintaining muscle and brain health, promoting a healthy immune system, wound healing, digestive system, and much more.
The essential vitamins that the body needs are B vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyroxidine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), B12 (cobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, and vitamin A.
Not getting enough of these essential vitamins can cause vitamin deficiency, such as vitamin deficiency anemia, in which the body is unable to produce healthy red blood cells.
Lack of vitamins can cause you some very unpleasant body symptoms including hair loss, poor vision, unhealthy skin, brittle nails, slow wound healing, bleeding gums, etc.
To ensure that your body stays healthy, you need to take the recommended daily vitamin intake. Read on to find out the exact roles of each essential vitamin, where you can find them, and how much you should take.
1. Vitamin A: Hair, skin, and nail health
Vitamin A, found in fortified dairy products, salmon, eggs, spinach, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and other yellow vegetables and fruits, is essential to cell development.
This vitamin promotes healthy hair, teeth, nails, skin, bones, and glands. When you don’t get enough vitamin A, cell division, also known as the reproduction of cells, gets disrupted.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adults.
2. Vitamin B1: Normal digestion and nerve function
Vitamin B1 is found in meat, beans, nuts, dried milk, seeds, cereal grains, peas, and yeast.
Vitamin B1’s main role is to convert carbohydrates into energy for the body, promote a healthy nervous system, and maintain a healthy appetite and digestion.
For a normal-function nervous system and digestive system, your body needs around 0.8mg and 1mg of vitamin B1 per day.
3. Vitamin B2: Healthy metabolism
Foods that are rich in vitamin B2 include fortified cereals, milk, poultry, lean meat, raw mushrooms, almonds, bread, and asparagus.
Vitamin B2 aids in proteins, carbohydrates, and fat breakdown. It plays a major role in providing the body with energy.
This B vitamin also supports healthy skin, vision, adrenal function.
Your recommended daily amount of vitamin B2 is between 1.1 and 1.3mg.
4. Vitamin B3: Normal brain function
Food sources of vitamin B3 include tuna, salmon, anchovies, eggs, lean meats, and fortified bread.
Your whole body needs vitamin B3 to function properly. This vitamin helps convert the food you consume into glucose, reduces fatigue and stress, boosts your brain function.
Vitamin B3 has also been proved to lower LDL cholesterol levels— or “bad” cholesterol— and promote healthy levels of cholesterol.
5. Vitamin B5: Blod cell production, normal blood sugar
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is found in almost all foods, including egg yolks, liver, shellfish, chicken, avocado, milk, yogurt, yeast, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, peanuts, broccoli, etc.
Vitamin B5 is one of the most essential vitamins for us to stay alive. It is responsible for making blood cells, converting food into energy, and normalizing blood sugar levels.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B5 is 5mg for men and women aged 14 and older, 6mg for pregnant women, 1.7mg for infants, and from 2 to 4mg for children aged between 4 and 13 years
6. Vitamin B6: Red blood cell creation
Foods with vitamin B6 include meat, poultry, fish, leafy vegetables, bread, eggs, soya beans, oatmeals, brown rice, and potatoes.
Like many other vitamins, vitamin B6 is important for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
Vitamin B6 is also responsible for healthy nerve function as well as the creation of neurotransmitters and red blood cells.
The daily recommended intake of vitamin B6 for adults is 3–1.7 mg.
7. Vitamin B7: Cell growth, liver metabolism
Small amounts of vitamin B7 are found in a number of foods. This includes egg yolks, yeast, milk, cereals, whole grains, soybeans, pork, sardines, salmon, mushrooms, bananas, raspberries, avocados, and peanuts.
Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is crucial to nervous system function, liver metabolism, cell growth, and healthy mucous membranes.
Since this vitamin is found in small amounts in foods, you can try Biotin supplements. Biotin supplements can help strengthen your hair and nails and give you healthier skin.
It is recommended for adults to take from 2 to 5 mg of vitamin B7 a day.
8. Vitamin B9: DNA, RNA creation
Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruit, whole grains, fortified floor, orange juice, asparagus, and avocados are all rich in vitamin B9.
Your body needs vitamin B9 to make DNA, RNA, and red blood cells. This B vitamin also helps produce energy for the body by converting carbohydrates into glucose.
The daily amount of vitamin B9 an adult should take a day is 400 mcg.
9. Vitamin B12: Healthy blood cells and nerves
Vitamin B12 is abundant in all animal products such as meat, eggs, poultry, milk, and fish, etc. This vitamin is not found in plants.
Vitamin B12 also helps make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, myelin (sheath around nerves), and keeps your nerves and blood cells healthy.
Vitamin B12’s recommended daily amount is 2.4 mcg for adults.
10. Vitamin C: Healthy immune system, collagen production
Foods with vitamin C are abundant. They include oranges, citrus fruit, kale, sprouts, tomatoes, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, papaya, sweet potato, red peppers, yellow peppers, and green peppers, etc.
Vitamin C is important for the formation of collagen, the development, growth, and repair of body tissues, the absorption of iron, proper wound healing, cartilage, bone, and teeth maintenance, and the health of your overall immune system.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adults is between 65 and 90mg.
11. Vitamin D: Calcium absorption, strong bones
Foods that provide vitamin D are dairy products, egg yolks, beef liver, soy milk, orange juice, cereals, fatty fish, and fish-liver oil.
Vitamin D’s major function is to absorb calcium and help form and strengthen the bones. It also maintains strong teeth and normal calcium and phosphorus blood levels.
Vitamin D is recommended at 10–20 mcg a day.
12. Vitamin E: Protects cells, muscle health
Food sources with vitamin E include seeds, leafy vegetables, eggs, vegetable oils, nuts, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin E acts as an indispensable antioxidant. It protects fatty acids and cells from damage, and maintains muscle health.
The daily amount of vitamin E that you should have is 15 mg.
13. Vitamin K: Proper blood clotting, bone metabolism
Foods that contain vitamin K are green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, cereals, eggs, and liver.
Your body needs vitamin K for normal blood clotting, blood calcium regulation, and bone metabolism.
The average adult is advised to consume around 90 mcg of vitamin K daily.
Those were the 13 essential vitamins, found in a variety of foods, for your body to remain healthy and alive! Taking vitamin supplements to attain the 13 essential vitamins should also be fine, but don’t forget to consult your doctor first.
Don’t forget to also share this list and help others get healthier like you!