A selection of health fruit and vegetables that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals

We all know that we need vitamins and mineral to help our healthy and us feeling our best.

But, with all the vitamins out there it can be difficult to know what vitamins do and what vitamins you need.

That’s why we’re broken down what some vitamins and minerals do from head to toe.

Vitamins to help with tiredness, energy and your nervous system:

There are many vitamins and minerals to help you feel less tired, full of energy an keep your nervous system functioning at his best.

Tiredness:

If you don’t have enough iron, you can get iron deficiency anaemia. This can cause symptoms such as tiredness and a lack of energy and pale skin (1).

You can get iron in your diet by eating things like:

  • Liver (but avoid this during pregnancy)
  • Red meat
  • Beans, such as red kidney beans, edamame beans and chickpeas, nuts
  • Dried fruit (such as dried apricots)
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Soybean flour

You should be able to get enough iron from your diet, but if you’re struggling you could consider a supplement such as LloydsPharmacy 14mg Iron 60 Tablets*.

Vitamins for energy and your nervous system:

There are a variety of vitamins that can help your body release the energy from the food you eat and help keep your nervous system healthy.

These include:

Thiamine (vitamin B1):

You can get this from peas, some fresh fruits (such as bananas and oranges), nuts, wholegrain breads, fortified breakfast cereals, liver. Your body can’t store it, so you need some in your diet every day (2).

Riboflavin (vitamin B2):

Good sources of riboflavin are milk, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, mushrooms and plain yoghurt. Like Thiamine, Riboflavin can’t be stored in your body so you need to eat foods containing it every day (2).

Niacin (vitamin B3):

As well as helping your body release energy from food and keep your nervous system healthy, Niacin can also help keep your skin healthy. You can get it from meat, fish, wheat flour and eggs. You’ll need to eat foods containing Niacin everyday as it can’t be stored in your body (2).

Pantothenic acid:

Has several important functions, including helping the body to release energy from food. As it’s found in almost all vegetables, wholegrain foods and meats it’s easy to find this in your diet. Some particularly good sources of Pantothenic acid include chicken, beef, liver and kidneys, mushrooms, avocado, and breakfast cereals which have been fortified. It can’t be stored in your body, so you need it in your diet everyday.

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6):

This helps your body to use and store energy from the protein and carbohydrates you get in your food. It also, helps the body form haemoglobin (the substance in red blood cells) that carries oxygen around the body. You can get it from pork, poultry like chicken and turkey, some fish, peanuts, soya beans, wheatgerm, oats, bananas, milk and some fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin B12:

is involved in helping the body make red blood cells as well as keeping the nervous system healthy. It also helps release energy from food and your body to use folate You can get vitamin B12 from meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals. Find out more about vitamin B12 here, including how to get it if you’re vegan.

If you’re not sure you can get enough B vitamins from your diet, you could try Nu U Nutrition Vitamin B complex 180 tablets*, which contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin and folic acid.

Vitamins to Help with Eye Health:

There are two vitamins that help keep your eyes healthy, these are vitamins A and E.

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, helps your vision in dim light (3), and keeps your skin and the lining of some parts of the body such as the nose, healthy.

Vitamin E helps maintain healthy eyes (4). Good sources of vitamin E include plant oils, nuts and seeds and wheatgerm. Any vitamin E your body doesn’t need immediately is stored for future use, so you don’t need it in your diet every day.

You should be able to get enough vitamins and minerals you need from your diet, but if you’re considering a supplement you could try Nu U Nutrition multivitamins and minerals formula 365 tablets*. This has a full range of vitamins and minerals in one easy to swallow tablet, including vitamin A and vitamin E.

Vitamins for your Skin:

Keeping your skin healthy can help you look and feel your best. The vitamins that can help that are vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C. For more information about vitamin E and skincare, read our blog here.

You can get vitamin A from cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat spreads, milk and yoghurt, liver and liver products. Liver is this is a particularly rich source of vitamin A, so you may be at risk of having too much vitamin A if you have it more than once a week. If you’re pregnant you should avoid eating liver or liver products (3).

As well as helping you maintain healthy skin, Vitamin C can help your body maintain your blood vessels, bones and cartilage (5). You can get it from: citrus fruits, such as oranges and orange juice, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes. Vitamin c cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day.

You should be able to get enough vitamins and minerals you need from your diet, but if you’re considering a supplement you could try Nu U Nutrition multivitamins and minerals formula 365 tablets*. This has a full range of vitamins and minerals in one easy to swallow tablet, including vitamin A and vitamin E.

Keeping Your Immune System Well:

As well as helping your skin, vitamins A and E helps your body’s natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system) to work properly.

For more information about keeping your immune system well, check out our blog.

Vitamins and Supplements for Healthy Bones and Joints:

There are three vitamins, minerals and supplements to help keep your bones and joints healthy. These are:

Vitamin D:

This helps your body regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, which are needed to keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

According to the NHS, between October and March we don’t get enough vitamin D from the sunlight (6). You can get it from a small number of foods including oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks, fortified foods (such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals). Or you could consider taking a supplement, such as Nu U Vitamin D3, 3000 IU 365 soft gel capsules*.

Magnesium:

This is a mineral that makes sure the parathyroid glands, which produces hormones important for bone health, work normally and helps us get energy from the foods we eat. You can get it from: spinach, nuts and wholemeal bread.

Calcium:

Has several important functions, including helping build strong bones and teeth, regulating muscle contractions, including your heartbeat, making sure your blood clots normally. Sources of calcium include milk, cheese and other dairy foods, green leafy vegetables, soya drinks with added calcium, bread and anything made with fortified flour, fish where you eat the bones such as sardines and pilchards.

You should be able to get enough vitamins and minerals you need from your diet, but if you’re considering a supplement you could try HealthAid magnesium and calcium high strength 90 vegan tablets*.

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*When considering taking a vitamin or supplement, always read the label and please ask our Pharmacists for advice.