Know Your Vitamin ABCs (And D, E, Etc.)
Here's the purpose and food sources for some common vitamins:
Vitamin A: Needed for low-light vision, bone and tooth growth, reproduction. Found in milk, cheese, butter, eggs, spinach, broccoli, apricots, peaches, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins.
Vitamin B1 (thiamin): Needed to metabolize carbohydrates; shortages can cause enlarged heart, abnormal heart rhythms, walking problems. Found in whole grains, nuts.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Needed for vision and skin. Found in cereals, milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, whole grains.
Vitamin B3 (niacin): Used in energy metabolism; helps skin. Found in milk, eggs, poultry, fish, whole grains and enriched breads.
Folate (folic acid): Prevents neural tube defects; low levels have been linked to depression. Found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and liver.
Vitamin C: Needed for skin and blood vessels; helps resist infection. Found in oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot), potatoes, papayas, mangoes.
Vitamin D: Helps calcium be absorbed, so it helps bones, including those in the ear_too little can lead to deafness. Found in fortified milk, eggs, liver, fish.
Vitamin E: An antioxidant, so it helps prevent cells from breaking down. Found in plant oils, whole-grain products, nuts, seeds, egg yolks, some fish.
Vitamin K: Works with blood-clotting proteins. Found in dark green leafy vegetables, milk.
- Wire Reports (Adapted from The Hartford Courant)