Vitamins are important nutrients your body needs to stay strong and healthy. We see their names everywhere, from food labels to supplement bottles, but where do these letters come into play when it comes to your health?
From Vitamins A to K, let’s take a look at what these super small, yet super vital hard workers do to keep you going from day to day and learn where to get more in our everyday diet!
What does it do? Vitamin A plays wears many hats when it comes to supporting your health! It helps your body create new cells and tissues, supports your immune system, encourages healthy vision and plays an important role in the health of your hair and skin.
What foods have it? The foods that are the best source of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes and liver. You can also find milk fortified with vitamin A in your local grocery store!
What does it do? Did you know vitamin B is not one substance, but actually a group of 8 essential vitamins? These vitamins have a wide range of responsibilities, such as playing an important role in breaking down fats, proteins and carbohydrates from the foods you eat in order to produce energy for your body. B vitamins also support a healthy heart and circulation, the health of your nervous system, and promote beautiful hair, skin and nails.
What foods have it? Different types of vitamin B can be found in different foods, but you can typically get a great serving of B vitamins from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, poultry and fish.
What does it do? Vitamin C is known as an antioxidant, meaning it helps to support your body as you get older by fighting free radicals, which can damage the cells in the body and cause the signs of aging. It also supports a healthy immune system, heart and circulation, as well as helps keep your hair, skin and nails strong, soft and healthy.
What foods have it? You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli and kale.
What does it do? Also known as the Sunshine Vitamin, vitamin D is a unique substance because your body makes it on its own when you are in the sun. This important vitamin supports strong, healthy bones and teeth by helping with the absorption of calcium. It also supports your immune system, your body’s natural defense!
What foods have it? Unfortunately, there are not too many foods that contain vitamin D. The best food sources of vitamin D are fatty fishes such as tuna and salmon, as well as fish oils. Nowadays, most milks are fortified with vitamin D. Although the sunlight triggers our bodies into creating vitamin D, getting too much sun is never a good thing, so oftentimes many people will take supplements to get their daily dose of D.
What does it do? Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant. This vitamin helps keep your heart healthy, as well as supports your immune system. You might notice that many skincare products have vitamin E listed on its label–that’s because it helps keep your skin moisturized and soothed when used topically!
What foods have it? Vitamin E can be found in nuts such as almonds, pecans, and pistachios, in greens such as collards, kale and cooked spinach, as well as in tofu.
What does it do? The “K” in vitamin K comes from the German word koagulation, translating to “coagulation,” which this nutrient plays an important role in! Coagulation is when your blood clots, which stops cuts and scrapes from bleeding. Vitamin K also supports strong, healthy bones and a healthy heart, and can be found in many skincare products thanks to its natural moisturizing effects!
What foods have it? You can find Vitamin K in fish, eggs, leafy greens, broccoli, liver and green tea.
And those are the basic ABC’s of vitamins! Next time you’re at the supermarket, keep an eye out on these healthy, vitamin-packed foods to help your family get the most nutrition out of each meal.
Have a question about vitamins and how they help your body stay happy and healthy? Feel free to ask in the comments, on Dr. Smarty’s Facebook page, or tweet your question to @AskDrSmarty!