Below are just a few examples of food sources for each vitamin and mineral, as well as an average RDA for each.

Body size, exercise frequency and intensity, gender, and age play a role in determining your specific RDA.

 

**Please consult a physician and registered dietitian before beginning any sort of exercise routine or meal plan.**

 

RDA= Recommended Daily Allowance

mg= milligrams

mcg= micrograms

1 mg = 1,000 mcg

1 gram = 1,000 mg

VITAMINS

Vitamin A (Retinol)

  • Function: helps to form and maintain healthy teeth, skin, skeletal and soft tissue, eye pigment, and promotes good vision in low light.

  • Food Sources: carrots, green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, peaches.

  • RDA: 800 mcg

 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

  • Function: Also known as "anti-stress" vitamin. Promotes healthy brain function, resistance to stressful conditions, helps to regulate metabolism, as well as controlling formation of ATP.

  • Food Sources: sunflower seeds, lentils, navy beans, pinto beans, mushrooms, spinach, brussel sprouts.

  • RDA: 1.4 mg

 

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Function: Works as an antioxidant and protects the body from cell damaging particles known as free radicals. Important for growth and red blood cell production. 

  • Food Sources: almonds, mushrooms, soybeans, wild rice, broccoli, eggs.

  • RDA: 1.6 mg

 

Vitmain B3 (Niacin)

  • Function: Produces macromolecules including fatty acids and cholesterol. Helps to prevent fatigue and facilitates DNA repair.

  • Food Sources: peanuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, lentils, barley, peaches. 

  • RDA: 16 mg

 

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

  • Function: Critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, as well as sex and stress related hormones produced in the adrenal glands.

  • Food Sources: broccoli, lentils, split peas, cauliflower, avocado. mushrooms, strawberries.

  • RDA: 5 mg

 

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Function: Assists in the development of neurotransmitters, chemicals that relay signals from one nerve cell to another. Plays a major role in the production of melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

  • Food Sources: brown rice, garbanzo beans, green leafy vegetables, bananas, walnuts, peanut butter.

  • RDA: 2-3 mg

 

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

  • Function: Crucial for proper brain function and plays a vital role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA and is especially important when the body's tissues are growing rapidly.

  • Food Sources: whole grains, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, brussel sprouts, bananas. green peas.

  • RDA: 400 mcg

 

Vitmain B12 (Cobalamine)

  • Function: Helps in the formation of red blood cells as well as DNA and RNA. Important in the maintenance of healthy nerve cells. Since B12 is mainly found in animal products, signs of deficiency have been found in vegetarian and vegan diets. Vegetarians and vegans are encouraged to supplement their diets with B12 or with a full B-Complex Vitamin.

  • Food Sources: nutritional yeast, salmon, tuna, shellfish, eggs.

  • RDA: 2.4 mcg

 

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

  • Function: Responsible for wound healing, protection from viral and bacterial infection, cell lifespan and immune system support.

  • Food Sources: green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cauliflower, berries, peppers, broccoli.

  • RDA: 60 mg

 

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

  • Function: Extremely important for strong teeth and bones. Vitamin D also aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous which are necessary minerals that play a major role in bone strength and density. Vitamin D is also a special vitamin, being that your body can produce it through sun exposure!! So please make sure to spend at least 20 minutes a day outside in the sun.

  • Food Sources: salmon, tuna, vitamin D fortified foods, cod liver oil, sun exposure.

  • RDA: 5 mcg

 

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

  • Function: Powerful antioxidant that protects the body from cell damaging free radicals. Helps to repair damaged tissue and can help to maintain good eyesight.

  • Food Sources: almonds, peanuts, spinach, soy beans, sprouts, vegetable oil.

  • RDA: 15 mg

 

Vitamin H (Biotin)

  • Function: Maintains strong hair and nails. Keeps blood sugar levels stable.

  • Food Sources: egg yolk, almonds, walnuts, pecans, mushrooms, yeast.

  • RDA: 30 mcg

 

Vitamin K

  • Function: Assists in wound healing. Protects bones from developing osteoporosis.

  • Food Sources: green tea, broccoli, kale, spinach, egg yolk, asparagus, cabbage.

  • RDA: 120 mcg

 

MINERALS

Calcium

  • Function: Responsible for teeth and bone strength, blood clotting, muscle contractions, and proper nerve function.

  • Food Sources: broccoli, spinach, okra, kale, calcium fortified oatmeal, soybeans.

  • RDA: 800 mg

 

Chloride

  • Function: Travels with sodium and water to help generate osmotic pressure of body fluids. Needed to maintain acid base balance. Assists liver in the clearing of waste products.

  • Food Sources: seaweed (dulse and kelp), tomatoes, celery, olives, table and sea salt, 

  • RDA: 5 grams

 

Chromium

  • Function: Important in metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis which are important for brain function.

  • Food Sources: broccoli, grapes, potatoes, garlic

  • RDA: 35 mcg

 

Copper

  • Function: Works with iron to help form red blood cells. Necessary for proper growth, development, and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, brain, and heart.

  • Food Sources: shellfish, whole grains, nuts, potatoes, dark leafy greens, yeast.

  • RDA: 900 mcg

 

Iodine

  • Function: vital component of hormones produced by the thyroid gland that are responsible for a number of important functions in your body including growth, metabolism, reproduction, nerve and muscle function, regulation of body temperature, and blood cell production.

  • Food Sources: iodized salt, most seafood, seaweed, vegetables grown in iodine rich soil.

  • RDA: 150 mcg

 

Iron

  • Function: Essential element for blood production. 70% of all iron in body is found in red blood cells. Body needs iron to form oxygen carrying proteins.

  • Food Sources: whole grains, beans, fruits, eggs, salmon, tuna, almonds, spinach.

  • RDA: 8 mg

 

Magnesium

  • Function: Needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. Regulates blood glucose levels and aid in production of energy and protein.

  • Food Sources: brown rice, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, cashews, tofu, soybeans

  • RDA: 400 mg

 

Manganese

  • Function: Helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. Plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.

  • Food Sources: nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, pineapple.

  • RDA: 3 mg

 

Molybdenum

  • Function: Acts as a catalyst for enzymes and to help facilitate the breakdown of certain amino acids. Combines with sulfite oxidase to catalyze sulfur containing amino acids that are crucial for human health.

  • Food Sources: spinach, kale, swiss chard, beans, lentils, peas, whole grains.

  • RDA: 45 mcg

 

Phosphorus

  • Function: Plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues.

  • Food Sources: whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, potatoes.

  • RDA: 700 mg

 

Potassium

  • Function: Crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction.

  • Food Sources: bananas, salmon, cod, citrus fruits, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes.

  • RDA: 5 g

 

Selenium

  • Function: Assists your body in making specific proteins called antioxidant enzymes that help to prevent cell damage.

  • Food Sources: brazil nuts, raisins, shellfish, whole grains, eggs, garlic.

  • RDA: 55 mcg

 

Sodium

  • Function: Needed in small amounts to control blood pressure and blood volume. Assists in proper function of muscles and nerves. Americans are seldom in a sodium deficiency. If anything we must be more aware and limit our sodium intake. Most processed and preserved foods contain high amounts of sodium.

  • Food Sources: table salt, sea salt, soy sauce, beets, celery.

  • RDA: 2,300 mg

 

Zinc

  • Function: Needed for the body's immune system to work properly. Plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.

  • Food Sources: almonds, walnuts, whole grains, beans, lentils, yeast.

  • RDA: 11 mg

 

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