Vitamins are divided into two categories:
- water soluble: the body expels what it does not absorb. Including eight B vitamins (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9, and B-12) and vitamin C.
- fat soluble: leftover amounts are stored in the liver and fat tissues as reserves. Including vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Minerals are split into two groups: major and trace. Major ones are not necessarily more important than trace, but it means there are greater amounts in your body.
The best approach to ensure you get a variety of vitamins and minerals, and in the proper amounts, is to adopt a broad healthy diet.
B-1: ham, soymilk, watermelon, acorn squash
B-2: milk, yogurt, cheese, whole and enriched grains and cereals.
B-3: meat, poultry, fish, fortified and whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes
B-5: chicken, whole grains, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms
B-6: meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu and other soy products, bananas
B-7: Whole grains, eggs, soybeans, fish
B-9: Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, legumes (black-eyed peas and chickpeas), orange juice
B-12: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, fortified soymilk and cereals
Vitamin C: Citrus fruit, potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts
Vitamin A: beef, liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, mangoes
Vitamin D: Fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish
Vitamin E: vegetables oils, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts
Vitamin K: Cabbage, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, kale
Calcium: yogurt, cheese, milk, salmon, leafy green vegetables
Magnesium: Spinach, broccoli, legumes, seeds, whole-wheat bread
Potassium: meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes
Sodium: salt, soy sauce, vegetables
Chromium: meat, poultry, fish, nuts, cheese
Copper: shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes
Fluoride: fish, teas
Iodine: Iodized salt, seafood
Iron: red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread
Manganese: nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea
Selenium: Organ meat, seafood, walnuts
Zinc: meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains
– By Matthew Solan
Executive Editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Image: © Maksym Yemelyanov | Dreamstime.com