The Wonderful World of Vitamins

Vitamins are tiny chemicals that your body uses in small amounts to grow and repair itself. They perform hundreds of important roles in the body, like strengthening bones, healing wounds, and making your immune system more powerful. They turn food into energy and repair damaged cells. If you do not eat enough vitamins, you may have a deficiency. If you eat too much of one vitamin, however, it is considered toxic. Vitamins come from plants and animals, so it is critical to eat a variety of foods.

Vitamin A

  • Why it’s important: healthy eyesight, night vision, developing healthy skin, and growth of strong bones and teeth
  • Where to find it: bright orange and green vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, and dark leafy greens


Vitamin B6

  • Why it’s important: maintains normal brain function, makes hormones, enzymes, and hemoglobin (protein molecule in a red blood cell), antibodies for immunity, and insulin
  • Where to find it: fortified cereals, beans, vegetables, bananas, eggs, meat


Vitamin B12

  • Why it’s important: makes hemoglobin, maintains healthy nerve cells, makes DNA
  • Where to find it: shellfish, fish, meat, dairy products


Folic Acid

  • Why it’s important: normal growth and maintenance of all cells, makes red blood cells and DNA
  • Where to find it: dark leafy greens, avocados, beets, broccoli, orange juice, strawberries


Vitamin C

  • Why it’s important: supports immune cell functions, makes collagen, maintains body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds
  • Where to find it: bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, brussels sprouts


Vitamin D

  • Why it’s important: helps absorb calcium, builds strong bones and teeth
  • Where to find it: sunshine, milk, fatty fish like wild salmon or sardines, liver, egg yolks, vitamin D-fortified foods


Vitamin E

  • Why it’s important: antioxidant that protects healthy cells from damage
  • Where to find it: vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, seeds, wheat germ


Vitamin K

  • Why it’s important: helps clot blood after injuries
  • Where to find it: broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, lettuce