Vitamins and minerals are essentials nutrients for the body to function properly. Your eye sight, bone health, brain health, hair growth, skin health, heart health and more depending on your everyday vitamin and minerals intake.
We all know that for a healthy body, balanced diet is a basic requirement that provides all essentials nutrients to our body. But did you ever find out what vitamins and minerals are good for which body part, like calcium for bones, vitamin A for eye sight, vitamin C for skin and many.
For that you don’t need to depend upon capsules supplements, there are lots of healthy fruits and vegetables to eat that you can include in your daily diet to get all the essentials vitamin and minerals regularly.
Find out the list of essential vitamins and minerals with their daily recommended intake to boost your health and living with a smile.
But before you should know what are essential vitamins and minerals and why you require them daily?
What are essential vitamins and minerals?
Essential vitamins and minerals are vital for life and consumed via food. These compounds that are necessary for normal growth and function of our body.
Without them, we can’t breathe, digest food, walk and even see properly, or you can say everything that our body does, requires these essential vitamins and minerals.
These are the basic requirement of life that provide fuel to your body for every task. Our food intake provides these nutrients to the body. Deficiency of theses vitamins and minerals can raise many serious health issues even in healthy individuals.
List of essentials vitamins and minerals
Here we are presenting a list of 13 essentials vitamins and minerals with their natural sources and dietary intake.
1). Vitamin A
There are 3 essentials form of vitamin A – retinol, beta carotenes, and carotenoids. Retinol, known as a preformed vitamin, and the most active form that found mostly in the animal source of food. Second is beta carotene, known as provitamin A, found in plant source of retinol, and 3rd is carotenoids, the largest group, that exist in free alcohol or in fatty acyl ester form.
The function of Vitamin A:
This unsaturated organic compound has multiple functions in human body.
Antioxidants in vitamin A boost immune system, healthy vision, and growth. It’s needed by the retina of the eyes and helps in better color vision. Except for eyes, it’s good for skin and keeps your lungs, throat, nose, eyes, and mouth moisturized.
Vitamin A consumers have a low risk of heart disease, and skin aging. It boosts the skin collagen and makes your skin youthful and healthy.
According to warns Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D., author of “The vitamin D solution”, heavy dose of vitamin A can be toxic, so take the right amount.
Vitamin A is good for:
Improve eye vision, healthy teeth, skin, bone growth,
Natural Sources of Vitamin A:
Orange carrot, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, broccoli, and sliced cantaloupe
Deficiencies of Vitamin A:
Night blindness, dry skin, dry hair, broken fingernails and decreased resistance to infection.
The Recommended intake of Vitamin A by RDA:
- 1-3 years : 300 mcg/day
- 4-8 years: 400 mcg/day
- 9-13 years : 600 mcg/day
- 14 year and above: 700 mcg/day
- Pregnant : 750-770 mcg/day
- Breastfeeding/lactation : 1200-1300 mcg/day
- 14 years- above : 900 mcg/day
2). Vitamins B
Vitamin B is water soluble essential vitamins (means body doesn’t store them) and found in 8 form in dietary supplements (Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, Folic acid, B12) that is known as “Vitamin B complex.”
The Function of Vitamin B:
According to Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., a nutrition professor at the University of Maine at Orono, “all the eight vitamin B boost metabolism, tone muscles and sharpen mind power by coordinating nerve cells activities.”
- Vitamin B1: Thiamine
Vitamin B1 was the first discovered vitamin B. it strengthens the immune system and enhances the ability of the body to face stressful condition. It helps in energy production (ATP generation) that is supplied to the body to function properly.
Natural sources of vitamin B1:
Asparagus, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, sunflower seeds, tuna, green peas, tomatoes, eggplant, and sprout.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency:
Rapid weight loss, poor appetite, colitis, diarrhea, nerve damage, fatigue, confusion, muscles weakness, depression and cardiovascular effects such as enlargement heart.
Heating of vitamin B1 can lose its content from food such as processing of grain components for use in cereals.
It’s because vitamin B1 is highly unstable and can be easily damaged by heat. High dose is highly toxic for your body.
- Vitamin B2: Riboflavin
Like other vitamins, it also helps in energy production through metabolism of fats, ketones bodies, carbohydrates, and proteins. It protects cells from oxygen damage. The yellow color of urine is a sign of taking vitamin tablets.
Natural source of vitamin B2:
Green leafy vegetables, spinach, tomatoes, yeast, mushrooms, milk, almonds, and legumes.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency:
Fatigue, nerve damage, anemia, inflamed mouth and tongue, sore throat, mouth and lip sores, change in mood like anxiety and depression
Heating of vitamin B2 can lose the vitamin content in foods, like milling of cereals loss up to 60%of vitamins.
- Vitamin B3: Niacin
This also helps in energy production and convert the proteins, fats and carbohydrates into usable energy in the body. Instead of all these, niacin helps in the production of steroids hormones and repair DNA.
Natural sources of vitamin B3:
Avocados, leafy vegetables, dates, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, chicken, beef, salmon, broccoli, eggs, fish, and milk.
Vitamin B3 Deficiency:
Skin inflammation, digestive distress, diarrhea, pharynx and esophagus, abdominal discomfort, constipation, nausea, vomiting, dementia, confusion, and depression.
Avoid High dose of vitamin B3 as it can cause itching, liver damage, and high blood sugar.
- Vitamin B5: Pantothenic acid
It supports adrenal glands and helps to release energy from sugars, starches, and fats.
Natural sources of vitamin B5:
Cauliflower, eggs, mushrooms, yogurt, corn, legumes, meat, broccoli, Sunflower seeds, and avocado.
Vitamin B5 Deficiency:
Insomnia, muscles cramp, burning feet, upper respiratory infections, stomach pains, depression, and fatigue.
- Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine
Essentials vitamin for the formation of RBCs and metabolism of amino acids, fats, and carbohydrates.
Natural source of Vitamin B6:
Garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, banana, celery, cabbage, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, bell papers, broccoli and Brussels sprout.
Vitamin B6 Deficiency:
Mood swings, low energy, sores in the mouth, anxiety, depression, confusion, muscles pain, nerve damage, skin problem and worsen anemia
High dose of vitamin B6 can damage the nerves and sensory neuropathy.
- Vitamin B7: Biotin
Instead of metabolism of fats and amino acids, biotin is essentials for cell growth also. It helps to maintain normal blood sugar and great for the strengthening of hair, nails and better skin tone. You can easily found biotin in hair care shampoos and products.
Natural sources of vitamin B7:
Eggs, almonds, cheese, dairy products, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach.
Vitamin B7 Deficiency:
Hair loss, dry scalp, dry skin, cracked lips, dry eyes, insomnia, depression, swollen tongue, and loss of appetite.
- Vitamin B9: Folic acid
Folate acid is essentials for development of fetus nervous system. Decrease amount of folate acid in the body can increase the chances of fracture in older adults. It also, involved in the formation of RBCs and keeps RBSs healthy while protecting against cancers and birth defects. This is most important for young women.
Natural source of Folic acid:
Leafy vegetables, spinach legumes, sunflower seeds, citrus foods, peas, and beans.
Folic acid Deficiency:
Mouth ulcers, diarrhea, brain disorder in fetus, confusion, and depression.
- Vitamin B12
One of the necessary vitamin for the formation of RBCs and DNA synthesis. It also helps in the normal function of nervous system.
Natural sources for Vitamin B12:
Plants are poor sources of vitamin B12 and come from food from animals. Liver, beef, Aloe Vera, cheese, milk, eggs, and red meat.
Vitamin B12 deficiency:
Vitamin B12 is special because the body can store it in the liver for many years, hence deficiency is rare. But still if due to some issue it happened, then it can cause anemia and memory loss.
Also Read: Top 15 reason why to eat fruits daily
3). Vitamin C
Water soluble acid ( means body doesn’t store them ) also known as ascorbic acids, commonly found in citrus fruits and used as dietary supplements. The antioxidants in vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and prevents the heart and eye disease. Vitamin C is great for skin regeneration and collagen production that slow down aging by preventing wrinkles and fine lines.
The function of vitamin C:
Our body needs vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissue in all parts. It boosts collagen production ( A protein that makes skin, ligaments blood vessels and cartilage).
Instead of all these, it helps to heal wounds fast, and repair bones. For beautiful skin tone and healthy hair, vitamin C is very important for the body.
Vitamin C is good for:
Strengthening of blood vessels, skin elasticity, iron absorption, and hair.
Natural Source of Vitamin C:
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, raspberry, papaya, water lemon, tomato, kiwi, and citrus juice. Green leafy, red and green peppers, potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapple are the good source of vitamin C.
Vitamin C Deficiency:
High blood pressure, gallbladder disease, stroke, nose bleeds, atherosclerosis, and plaque building in blood vessels that leads to heart attacks. It also leads to dry skin, scalp and gum bleeding.
The smokers have a high risk of vitamin C deficiency as smoking cigarettes lowers the amount of vitamin C in the body.
The Recommended intake of Vitamin C by RDA
- 1-3 year : 15 mg/day
- 4-8 year : 25 mg/day
- 9-13 year : 45 mg/day
- 14-18 year: 75 mg/day
- 19 year plus: 90 mg/day
- 14-18 year : 65 mg/day
- 19 year above : 75 mg/day
- Pregnant 18 year : 80 mg/day
- Pregnant 19 years and above: 85 mg/day
- 18 year : 115 mg/day
- 19 year and above: 120 mg/day
4). Vitamin D
Vitamin D is present in two important forms in the human body, D2, and D3. D2 is made by plants, while D3 made by human skin when exposed to sunlight. Foods may be secured with both vitamins.
It is responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. This class of vitamin work wonders on women as it reduces the chances of breast cancers by 50% and also protects from ovarian cancer and diabetes.
Function of Vitamin D:
The role of D is to maintain a normal blood level of calcium and phosphorus. It helps to make strong bones by absorbing calcium. It decreases the risk of fractures and protect against osteoporosis, high BP, cancers and other major life threatening disease
Vitamin D is good for:
Strong and healthy bones
Natural Sources of Vitamine D:
Spend few minutes in the sun to stimulates vitamin D production in the skin. You can also take mushrooms, fish, and eggs.
Food containing vitamin D is less, so try to take it from sunlight, especially early morning, as it’s free from UV rays.
Vitamin D Deficiency:
Rickets (weakening of bones), osteomalacia, weak muscles, and frequent fracture with increased fatigue.
The Recommended intake of Vitamin D by RDA:
- 0-12 months : 10 mcg/day
- 1-13 years : 15 mcg/day
- 14-18 years : 15 mcg/day
- 19 above : 15 mcg/day
- Above 70 years: 20 mcg/day
- Pregnancy and lactation: 15 mcg/day
5). Vitamin E
It contains lots of antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals ( Damage cells, tissue, and organs). Powerful vitamin to slow down the aging process by reducing wrinkles.
The function of Vitamin E:
It boosts the immune system and provides protection from bacteria and virus. It’s important for the formation of RBCs, and keep the blood vessels wide, to prevent the blood clotting from inside. Instead of all, it helps the body to use Vitamin K.
Vitamin E is good for:
Blood circulation, protect from free radicals, slow aging, and healthy eyes, thicken hairs, balance hormones, improve vision and balance cholesterol.
Natural Source of Vitamin E:
Sun flower seed, almonds, mango, avocado, broccoli, kiwi, spinach, vegetable oils, nuts, and tomato
Vitamin E Deficiency:
Anemia, dry skin, and hair, cancers, blindness, muscular weakness, slow cells and tissue healing, leg cramps, nervous system. Loss of sensation, and weakens digestive tract.
The Recommended intake of Vitamin E by RDA:
- 0-6 months : 4 mg/day
- 7-12 months : 5 mg/day
- 1-3 years : 6mg/day
- 4-8 years: 7 mg/day
- 9-13 years : 11 mg/day
- 14-older : 15 mg/day
- Pregnant : 15 mg/day
- Lactation : 19 mg/day
Also Read: 6 things to avoid after meal
6). Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essentials fat soluble vitamins that get stored in fat tissues and liver. Vitamin K is essentials for bone health and plays important role in blood clotting.
Function of vitamin K
Our body needs vitamin K to use calcium for bones building. It reduces the risk of bleeding in liver disease. People having higher levels of vitamin K have greater bone density and reduced risk of fracture.
Vitamin K is good for:
Bone health, blood coagulation, support heart health, helps in menstrual pain and bleeding, and maintain the health of gum and teeth.
Natural Source of Vitamin K:
Leafy green vegetables- kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, and cucumber.
Vitamin K Deficiency:
People having a low level of vitamin K have osteoporosis (A condition in which bones becomes weak and brittle).
Instead of weakens the bones, its deficiency excessive bleeding and highly affects the gum and teeth.
The Recommended intake of Vitamin K by RDA:
- 0-6 months : 2.0 mcg/day
- 7-12 months : 2.5 mcg/day
- 1-3 years : 30 mcg/day
- 4-8 years: 55 mcg/day
- 9-13 years : 60 mcg/day
- 14-18 years : 75 mcg/day
- 19 and older : 120 mcg/day (male)
- 14-18 years : 75 mcg/day
- 19 and above: 90 mcg/day
- Pregnancy : 75 mcg/day
- Lactation: 90 mcg/day
Folate helps the body to produce and maintain new cells and prevent birth defects in pregnancy. It ensures baby’s proper growth and development and also reduces the risk of cancer by preventing changes to DNA.
The function of folate:
Folic acid metabolically converted into folate that is very necessary for the production of new cells in early weeks of pregnancy, when the brain and spinal cord form. The deficiency of folate can lead to miscarriage.
Folate is good for:
RBCs production, new cells development in new born, prevent birth defects in pregnancy.
Leads to miscarriage, anemia, poor immune system, pale skin, premature hair graying, poor digestion, canker sore in the mouth.
Natural Source of Folate:
Dark green leaf, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, seeds, nuts, beets, corn, spinach, and asparagus.
The Recommended intake of folate by RDA:
- 0-6 months : 65 mcg/day
- 7-12 months : 80 mcg/day
- 1-3 years : 150 mcg/day
- 4-8 years: 200 mcg/day
- 9-13 years : 300 mcg/day
- 14-18 years : 400 mcg/day
- 19 above : 400 mcg/day
- Pregnant : 600 mcg/day
- Breast feeding: 500 mcg/day
Calcium is important minerals for healthy teeth and bones. Research shows that combination of calcium with vitamin D has the ability to protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease too.
The function of Calcium:
Calcium is a very important mineral in the body that makes up approx. 2% of total body weight. The human body uses 99% of calcium in bones and teeth, therefore support skeletal system of the body.
Instead of stronger teeth and bones, it contributes too many basic functions of the body, including disease prevention and absorption of other nutrients.
Calcium is good for:
Support bone health and prevent osteoporosis, help to lower high blood pressure, support muscles and nerve function, and healthy teeth.
Weak bones, tooth decay, bone fracture, osteoporosis, problem with blood clotting, Weakness and fatigue, delays in children growth and development and heart problems.
Natural source of Calcium:
Raw milk, cooked kale, yogurt, broccoli, cheese, whey protein, white beans, kidney cheese, sesame seeds, almonds, and mustard greens.
The Recommended intake of calcium by RDA:
- 0-0.5 years : 400 mg/day
- 5- 1 years : 600 mg/day
- 1-3 years : 800 mg/day
- 4-6 years : 800mg/day
- 7-10 years : 800 mg/day
- 11-18 years : 1300 mg/day
- 19- 50 : 1000 mg/day
- 50 above : 1200 mg/day
- 9-18 years : 1300 mg/day
- 19-50 years : 1000mg/day
- 50 above: 1200 mg/day
- 14-18 years: 1300 mg/day
- 19 above : 1000 mg/day
- 14-18 years: 1300 mg/day
- 19 above: 1000 mg/day
Iron is essentials minerals found in red blood cells that make oxygen carrying proteins hemoglobin. Therefore it helps to maintain healthy blood flow in the body.
The function of Iron:
To get enough oxygen, your body needs good hemoglobin content in red blood cells. Hemoglobin content represents about two third of body’s iron. Without enough hemoglobin content, your body can’t get enough oxygen.
Iron is good for:
An energy source, support growth and development, maintain healthy blood, and good for healthy pregnancy.
Natural Source of Iron:
White beans, spinach, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds.
Iron deficiencies lead to anemia ( lack of RBCs), lack of oxygen supply, chronic fatigue, and low energy, shortness of breath, abnormal heart beats, muscles weakness, hormones imbalance, cough, sores in the mouth and more.
The Recommended intake of Iron by RDA:
- 0-6 months : 0.27 mg/day
- 7-12 months : 11 mg/day
- 1-3 years : 7 mg/day
- 4-8 years : 10 mg/day
- 9-13 years : 8 mg/day
- 14- 18 years : 11 mg/day
- 19 above : 8 mg/day
- 14-18 years : 15 mg/day
- 19-50 years : 18 mg/day
- 14-50 years : 27 mg/day
- 14-18 years : 10 mg/day
- 19-50 years : 9 mg/day
Zinc is building blocks for enzymes, proteins, and cells that help to free vitamin A from its holding tanks, liver. It also helps in mediating sense such as taste and smell, wound healing and strong immune system.
The function of Zinc:
Zinc found in cells, throughout the body that is needed for the immune system to work properly. During pregnancy, zinc need for the growth and development of the fetus as it works in cell growth, cell division, wound healing, and breakdown of carbohydrates.
Zinc is good for:
Immunity, growth, and fertility, heal wounds, fight cancer, balance hormones, treat cold, aids digestion and maintain heart health.
Infertility, chronic fatigue, low immunity, hormonal problem, poor concentration and memory, hair loss, changes in ability to taste and smell, slowed ability to heal wounds.
Natural source of Zinc:
High protein food contains high amounts of zinc, like beef, pork, and lamb than fish. Zinc is not found in abundance in fruits and vegetables. Zinc from plants proteins is not for use in the human body as zinc from animals proteins. In small quantity, it’s also found in chickpeas, cashew, pumpkin seeds, eggs, mushrooms, salmon, and dark chocolates.
The Recommended intake of Zinc by RDA:
- 0-6 months : 2 mg/day
- 7-12 months : 3 mg/day
- 1-3 years : 3 mg/day
- 4-8 years: 5 mg/day
- 9-13 years : 8 mg/day
- 14-18 years : 11 mg/day
- 19 above : 11 mg/day
- 14-18 years : 9 mg/day
- 19 above : 8 mg/day
- 14-18 years : 12 mg/day
- 19 above : 11 mg/day
- 14-18 years : 13 mg/day
- 19 above : 12 mg/day
Chromium is essentials mineral that is not generated in the body itself but needs to grab from food. It’s important for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It also involved for better insulin function.
The function of Chromium:
Provide energy to every cell of the body when needed.
Chromium is good for:
Control blood sugar, reduce high cholesterol, prevent weight gain, maintain brain health, improve skin health, prevent acne, boost metabolism, and eye health and energy suppliers.
Natural Source of Chromium:
Whole grains, fresh vegetables, and herbs, rice, Beef, liver, eggs, chicken, green peppers, apples, banana, spinach, wheat germ,
Low energy, fatigue, weak bones, high cholesterol, worse eye health, change in appetite, poor blood glucose level, and changes in weight.
The Recommended intake of Chromium by RDA:
- 0-6 months : 0.2 micrograms/day
- 7-12 months : 5.5 micrograms/day
- 1-3 years : 11 micrograms/day
- 4-8 years: 15 micrograms/day
- 9-13 years: 25 micrograms/day
- 14-18 years: 35 micrograms/day for boys
- 19 above: 35 micrograms/day for men
- 9-13 years : 21 mcg/day
- 14-18 years : 24 mcg/day
- 19 above : 25 mcg/day
- 14-18 years : 29 mcg/day
- 19-50 years : 30 mcg/day
- 14-18 years : 44 mcg/day
- 19-50 years : 45 mcg/day