Vitamins are substances the body needs to grow and function. Most vitamins come from foods, but the body can make some (thank you microbiome) including B vitamins, K, and D (from sun exposure).
The best way to get all of your vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods. If you are not eating enough of certain vitamins, you may have health problems.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you need a multivitamin. Too many vitamins, from supplements, can also cause health problems.
Types of Vitamins
There are 13 vitamins the body needs:
- Vitamin A
- Important for: vision, bone growth, cell function, and immunity
- Sources: colorful fruits and vegetables, liver, whole milk
- B Vitamins (9 types)
- Important for: turning your food into energy and forming red blood cells
- Sources: fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, beans, peas
- Vitamin C
- Important for: skin, bones, body tissues, and absorbing iron
- Sources: citrus, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, greens
- Vitamin D
- Important for: absorbing calcium, regulating nerve, muscle and immune systems
- Sources: eggs yolks, saltwater fish, liver, sunshine
- Vitamin E
- Important for: regulating immune and metabolic function
- Sources: vegetable oils, margarine, nuts and seeds, greens
- Vitamin K
- Important for: making proteins for bones, tissues, and blood clotting
- Sources: greens, dark berries