The 13 essential vitamins, their sources and how they are important to our health

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Source examples

Importance to our health

Vitamin A

Salmon, egg yolks, liver, dairy products, sweet potatoes, spinach, pumpkin, and carrots


Role in maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones and teeth

Night blindness prevention

Role in reproduction, growth, cell functions and immunity

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

Citrus fruits, melons, berries, peppers, broccoli, and potatoes


Immunity support

Iron absorption

Collagen production (wound healing and blood vessel wall support)


Vitamin D (Calciferol)

Sun exposition

Butter, egg yolks, fatty fish, and fish-liver oil

Calcium absorption (bone building and strengthening)

Role in nerve, muscle and immune systems function


Vitamin E (Alpha-tocopherol)

Eggs, vegetable oils, green leafy veggies, nuts, whole grains, and seeds


Fatty acids and vitamin A protection

Maintenance of red blood cells and muscles

Role in immunity and metabolism

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone, menadione)

Green leafy veggies, liver, eggs, and milk

Role in blood clotting

Role in protein synthesis for bones and tissues

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, soy milk, watermelon, and brown rice

Promotion of a good metabolism, digestion and nerve function

Maintenance of a healthy skin, hair, brain and muscles

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Grains, lean meat, poultry, dairy products, mushrooms, and green leafy vegetables

Role in energy metabolism

Role in adrenal function

Maintenance of a good vision and a healthy skin, hair, brain and blood

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Lean meats, seafood, milk, eggs, legumes, cereals, mushrooms, potatoes, and peanut butter

Role in energy production and growth

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Most of the food products including chicken, egg yolk, tomato, avocados, mushrooms, and broccoli  

Energy production and blood sugar regulation

Role in fat, neurotransmitter, steroid and haemoglobin synthesis

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Meat, fish, cereals, bananas, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and soybeans

Protein and carb metabolism and energy production

Promotion of a good nerve function and red blood cell production

Role in sleep, appetite, and moods

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Eggs, fish, soybeans, whole grains, and nuts

Energy and glucose production

Maintenance of bone and hair health

Vitamin B9 (Folate, folic acid)

Liver, leafy green vegetables, orange and tomato juice, avocados, and legumes

Genetic material and amino acid synthesis

Prevention of birth abnormalities (new-born’s brain and spine)

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Animal food products

Genetic material and amino acid synthesis

Myelin synthesis (nerve)