Top 10 Essential Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs

We all need vitamins and minerals to function normally, but what are the most important that our body cant work normally without them.

1.Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium, which is important for bone health. Not getting enough of this vitamin can increase:

  • your likelihood of getting sick
  • your chances of bone and back pain
  • bone and hair loss

While you technically should be able to get your daily vitamin D by being in the sunlight for 15 minutes, the reality is that over 40 percent of people in the United States don’t. Living in wintery locations with little sunlight, working an office 9 to 5 life, and applying sunscreen (which blocks vitamin D synthesis) makes getting vitamin D hard. This vitamin is also hard to come by in food, which is why Taub-Dix says to look for this ingredient in your multi.

2.Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

The primary purpose for vitamin B1 in the body is to help your body make use of the carbohydrates you take in on a daily basis, utilizing the nutrient for energy.

Another main purpose for this nutrient is to promote a healthy nervous system where it will help maintain proper nerve transmission throughout the cells.

Where To Get It: One of the best sources of vitamin B1 in the diet comes from sunflower seeds, with a quarter cup supplying almost 50% of your daily needs. Other good sources include yellowfin tuna, black beans, and lentils.

3.VITAMIN A

GOOD FOR: Healthy eyes and general growth and development, including healthy teeth and skin.
NATURAL SOURCE: Carrots and other orange foods including sweet potato and cantaloupe melons – all of which get their hue from the carotene pigment.

4.Magnesium

Why you need it: Low levels may cause menstrual migraines and tension-type headaches, and up your diabetes risk.

How to get it: For starters, eat regular meals. In a recent study, adults who ate breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks were more likely to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium than those who didn’t. “Small amounts of magnesium are in many foods, so eating more meals increases your odds of getting enough,” says Pleuss. A top source: nuts. An ounce of most types offers up to 20 percent of the RDA (320 mg for women over age 30).

5. Calcium

Over 40 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough calcium from their diet. This means those people aren’t getting the mineral they need for strong bones and teeth. Women in particular start losing bone density earlier, and getting enough calcium from the start is the best nutritional defense against this loss.

Foods with calcium

  • fortified cereals
  • milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • salty fish
  • broccoli and kale
  • nuts and nut butters
  • beans and lentils

6.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Another variation of the B vitamins, riboflavin helps the body break down and process the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), as well as promoting a healthy skin complexion.

Where To Get It: One extremely good source of vitamin B2 is Calf’s liver, which supplies you over 100% of your daily needs, however since most people are not going to willingly eat this food, milk is the single most popular source of riboflavin. One glass of milk will provide almost 30% of your daily needs, so it’s a simple way to make sure you’re getting enough.

7. VITAMIN C

GOOD FOR: Strengthening blood vessels and giving skin its elasticity, anti-oxidant function and iron absorption.  
NATURAL SOURCE: Everyone knows this one – oranges! But they’re not the only source – other fruits and veggies packed with Vitamin C include guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, grapefruits, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and cantaloupe.

8.Iron

Why you need it: Not getting enough iron puts you at risk for anemia and may also lead to fatigue or hair loss.

How to get it: Fire up the grill! Three ounces of beef provides about 20 percent of the RDA (18 mg for women under 50). So does a serving of beans, tofu, or spinach, although the iron from plant foods isn’t absorbed as easily by your body. “Add a tomato salad or a few orange wedges to a vegetarian meal — the vitamin C will help your body better utilize the iron,” says Dee Sandquist, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

9.Zinc

“Zinc tends to be low in older people and anyone under a lot of stress,” says Lerman. Which, (hello!) is basically everyone. And it makes sense. Zinc supports our immune system and helps our body use carbohydrates, protein, and fat for energy. It also aids in wound healing.

Foods with zinc

  • oysters
  • grass-fed beef
  • pumpkin seeds
  • spinach
  • organ meats
  • tahini
  • sardines
  • brown rice
  • wheat germ
  • tempeh

10.Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

The Top 10 Vitamins That Everyone Should Include In Their Diet!

Niacin is a third B vitamin and also plays a key role in energy production and maintaining the nervous system. In addition to this, is also promotes a healthy digestive system.

Where To Get It: Chicken breast meat is a really good source if niacin and provides 72% of your daily needs per 5 oz serving. Other foods that contain niacin include yellowfin tuna, halibut, and turkey breast.

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