Getting your nutrients from foods is better than getting them from supplements.
You may not get enough of certain micronutrients: iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin Bs, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Many people choose to rely on a multivitamin to supply these crucial micronutrients.
Most of the multivitamins and mineral supplements have no health benefits. Fulfil the lack of nutrients and vitamins by adding foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
That said, some foods are much more nutritious than others.
But instead of a multivitamin, a diet rich in these 9 nutritious foods could supply enough of these nutrients instead.
Here’s a list of some of the most common vitamins and minerals you might typically get from a multivitamin — we included a few options for getting them in food form.Eat up!
1. Vitamin A
Why you need it: Vitamin A is important for good vision, the immune system, embryonic development, and bone growth.
How much you need: Adults need about 700-900 micrograms per day.
Swap vitamin A pills for
2. Vitamin Bs
Why you need it:
Vitamin B6 is important for protein metabolism, forming neurotransmitters, enzyme function, and the nerve system.
Vitamin B12 often known as “energy pills”, helps your DNA to protect itself from damage caused by undue stress on the body or suffering from chronic fatigue.
Vitamin B9 (otherwise known as folic acid) is important for red blood cell formation, protein synthesis, fetal health, and preventing neural tube defects in pregnant women.
How much you need: Adults need about Vitamin B6, 1.3-1.5 milligrams per day, Vitamin B12, 2.4 milligrams per day and Vitamin B9, 400 micrograms per day.!
Swap vitamin Bs pills for
Black-eyed peas, asparagus, chickpeas, broccoli, kidney beans, eggs, ham, fortified whole-grain cereals, wheat germ, salmon, enriched rice, green pea, lentils and nuts such as almonds and pecans.
3. Vitamin C
Why you need it: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that’s important for protecting cells from damaging free radicals (like from smoke and pollution), building immunity against infections, synthesising collagen for healthy skin, and absorbing iron.
How much you need: Adults need 75-90 milligrams per day.
Swap vitamin C pills for
Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, strawberry and grapefruit; bell peppers; broccoli; papaya; and tomatoes.
4. Vitamin D
Why you need it: Known as “the sunshine vitamin”, strengthen teeth and bones and facilitates the absorption of calcium in the body.
How much you need: Adults need 5.0 micrograms per day.
Swap vitamin D pills for
Mushrooms, orange juice, soy milk, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish like salmon, walnuts, avocados and yes – even bacon.
5. Vitamin E
Why you need it: Vitamin E is important for cell signalling, healthy skin, protecting cells from free radicals, and immune function.
How much you need: Adults need about 15 milligrams per day.
Swap vitamin E pills for
All green leafy vegetables, almonds, raw seeds, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, kale, and plant oils.
6. Vitamin K
Why you need it: Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and coagulation, amino acid metabolism, and forming strong bones.
How much you need: Adults need 90-120 micrograms per day.
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Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and Basil.
Why you need it: Magnesium is important for over 300 enzymes in the body, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, protein synthesis, and wound healing. It also contributes to the strengthening of bones.
How much you need: Adults need 320-420 milligrams per day.
Swap magnesium pills for
Spinach, pumpkin seeds, figs, avocado, banana, raspberries, nuts, legumes, peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, and seafood like salmon, mackerel, tuna.
Why you need it: Iron is important for haemoglobin production, forming red blood cells, cellular energy production, and metabolizing drugs in the body.
How much you need: Adults need an average of 13 milligrams per day.
*Specifically, men need 8 milligrams per day and anyone who gets a period needs 18 milligrams per day to support iron loss during menstruation.
Swap iron pills for
Tofu, Tempeh, Soybeans, lentils, beans and peas, pumpkin, sesame, hemp and flaxseeds, cashews, pine nuts, leafy greens, potatoes, and dark chocolate.
Why you need it: Zinc is important for neurological function, immune function, cell structure, and promoting chemical reactions in the body.
How much you need: Adults need 8-11 milligrams per day.
Swap zinc pills for
seafood, beans, peanuts and chicken
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