Eating a variety of food is the best way to get these important nutrients or through supplementation. Eat the natural, whole foods that are vitamin-rich as specified below.

Vitamin A: Promotes growth, healthy skin and immune function. It helps your eyes to function properly. Liver, salmon, kale, turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupes, apricots, red peppers and tomatoes.

Vitamin D: Works with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel as well as cod-liver oil have the highest levels of vitamin D. Smaller amounts are available in oysters, eggs, mushrooms, milk and yogurt. During the warmer months, people who live in warmer climates and who get enough mid-day sun may not need extra vitamin D. Most of the vitamin D consumed in the U.S. Diet comes from fortified foods such as milk.

Vitamin E: An antioxidant that prevents breakdown of body tissues. Vitamin E is fat- soluble (dissolves in fat) and plays an effective role in keeping your “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to artery walls. It’s effective in the fight against heart disease. Getting enough vitamin E in the diet is achieved by consuming vegetable cooking oils, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, spinach, and broccoli.

Thiamin: Helps to release energy from carbohydrates. Breads, cereals and pastas are enriched with thiamin and niacin. However, in older people who frequently drink alcohol, levels of thiamin can fall below recommended levels and cause memory problems. Rice, flours, cereals are all fortified with thiamin. Pork is naturally high in thiamin, with 3 ounces of tenderloin providing 53 percent of the Daily value (DV).

Riboflavin: Required to produce energy throughout the body. The body uses riboflavin to manufacture glutathione, a powerful compound that battles free radicals. Best sources of thiamin are in milk, chicken and yogurt and these foods provide some eye protection. All of these foods contain a large amount of riboflavin, a B vitamin that appears to help prevent cataracts from forming.

Vitamin B6: Assists with your body’s capability to use protein for energy. Older people have trouble getting enough B vitamins that are essential for keeping the nerves and brain healthy. As we age, the lining of the stomach changes, making it harder to absorb these nutrients. Apparently, after age 55 it is easy to be deficient in vitamin B6. Potatoes and bananas are good sources also brown rice, whole wheat bread, pistachios, garlic, chicken lean beef, pork tenderloin, tuna, cod, and avocado.

Vitamin B12: Joins with folate to build red blood cells. Researchers are investigating B vitamins to address Alzheimer’s disease. The body uses B vitamins to help maintain the protective covering on nerves and to manufacture chemicals that nerves use to communicate. When levels of B vitamins decline, mental performance may suffer. In a study using Alzheimer candidates, researchers found that levels of vitamin B12 in the spinal fluid was lower for these candidates than those people who didn’t have the disease.
Good sources of vitamin B12 are meats such as turkey, chicken, liver and seafood such as steamed clams, cooked mussels and mackerels. For vegans: If you’re the strictest and don’t eat meat, meat products, milk or eggs, you may want to add some sea vegetables to your diet.  Without adequate amounts of Vitamin B6, you can develop fatigue, memory loss, and nerve damage result in tingling inn the feet and hands.

Folate: Needed for healthy blood cell development and is essential for normal baby development. Folate is good for women in their childbearing years. It also fights heart disease in everyone. It appears that folate controls the amount of homocysteine (an amino acid) in the blood stream. When folate levels drop, homocysteine levels rise causing damage to the tender arteries supplying blood to the heart and brain. Researchers feel that getting enough folate to prevent heart disease may be just as important as controlling cholesterol. Asparagus is packed with folate, a B vitamin that is essential for helping cells regenerate. Other sources of folate are green, leafy vegetables, beans, fruits and vegetables and other foods that contain antioxidants.

I hope this list will shed some light of the importance of eating a wide variety of foods to get the nutrients that our bodies need to maintain and live healthy to prevent the onslaught of ravishing diseases.

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Author's Bio: 

Hope Anderson RDN, LDN is an entrepreneur, coach with an online business to serve you passionately with credible science-based information, tools, products and services for you to achieve your integrative healthy lifestyle so you can help others.

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