13 Essential Vitamins Your Body Needs to Stay Healthy

There are 13 essential vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy and functioning properly. These vitamins are A, C, D, E, K and B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12 and folate). Each of these vitamins has a different role in keeping your body functioning optimally. Vitamin A is important for keeping your teeth, bones, skin and mucous membranes healthy.

You can get it from dark green leafy vegetables, dark fruits, egg yolks, liver, fish and beef. Folate works in conjunction with vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells and is also necessary for DNA production. It can be found in beans, leafy greens, citrus fruits, peanut butter, wheat and brewer's yeast. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored in your body for later use.

It is found in oily fish, egg yolks, liver and fortified foods. Vitamin K is actually a group of vitamins found in leafy greens, cereal grains and vegetable oils. It's important to note that too many vitamins can cause toxic buildup in the body and too many antioxidants can lead to the development of certain types of cancer. Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds and leafy greens.

Recommended Dietary Amounts (RDA) for vitamins reflect the amount of each vitamin most people should eat each day. However, it's important to keep in mind that everyone has different levels of vitamins in their bodies so it's important to know your predisposition to have low, medium or high levels of vitamins. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and keeps skin, hair, bones, blood vessels and cartilage healthy. It also helps protect cells from damage.

Vitamin D is especially important for children as a lack of it can cause serious conditions such as rickets and in adults it can cause bone pain caused by osteomalacia. Vitamin B3 helps release energy from food as well as keeping the skin and nervous system healthy.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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