If you’re like most kids, you’ve probably heard at least one parent say, “Don’t forget to take your vitamin!” or “Eat your salad — it’s packed with vitamins!” But what exactly are vitamins?

Vitamins and minerals are substances that are found in the foods we eat. Your body needs them to work correctly, so you grow and develop just like you should. When it comes to vitamins, each one has a unique role to play. For example:

  • Vitamin D in milk helps your bones.
    Vitamin A in carrots helps you see at night.
    Vitamin C in oranges helps your body heal if you get a cut.
    B vitamins in whole grains help your body make energy from food.

Vitamins Hang Out in Water and Fat
There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble.

The vitamins are stored in the fat tissues in your body and liver when you eat foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins. They wait around in your body fat until your body needs them.

Fat-soluble vitamins are happy to stay stored in your body for a while — some stay for a few days, some for up to 6 months! When it’s time for them to be used, individual carriers in your body take them to where they’re needed. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins are different. When you eat foods that have water-soluble vitamins, the vitamins don’t get stored as much in your body. Instead, they travel through your bloodstream. Whatever your body doesn’t use comes out when you urinate (pee).

So these kinds of vitamins need to be replaced often because they don’t stick around! This crowd of vitamins includes vitamin C and the big group of B vitamins — B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), niacin, B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, B12 (cobalamin), biotin, and pantothenic acid.

Vitamins Feed Your Needs

Your body is one powerful machine, capable of doing all sorts of things by itself. But when it comes to vitamins, it can use some help. That’s where food comes in. Your body can get the vitamins it needs from the foods you eat because different foods contain different vitamins. The key is to eat different foods to get an assortment of vitamins. Some kids take a daily vitamin, but most kids don’t need one if they’re eating a variety of healthy foods.

Now, let’s look more closely at vitamins — from A to K:

Vitamin A

This vitamin plays a massive part in eyesight. It’s great for night vision, like when you’re trick-or-treating on Halloween. Vitamin A helps you see in color, too, from the brightest yellow to the darkest purple. Besides, it helps your body fight infections by boosting your immune system.

Which foods are rich in vitamin A?

  • milk fortified with vitamin A
    orange fruits and vegetables (like cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes)
    dark green leafy vegetables (like kale, collards, spinach)

The B Vitamins

There’s more than one B vitamin. Here’s the list: B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin, and pantothenic acid. Whew — that’s quite a group!

The B vitamins are essential in metabolic activity — this means that they help make energy and set it free when your body needs it. So the next time you’re running to third base, thank those B vitamins.

This group of vitamins is involved in making red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. Every part of your body needs oxygen to work correctly, so these B vitamins have an essential job.

Which foods are rich in vitamin B?

  • whole grains, such as wheat and oats
    fish and seafood
    poultry and meats
    dairy products, like milk and yogurt
    leafy green vegetables
    beans and peas

Vitamin C

This vitamin is essential for keeping body tissues, such as gums, bones, and blood vessels in good shape. C is also crucial if you get a cut or wound because it helps you heal.

This vitamin also helps your body resist infection. This means that even though you can’t always avoid getting sick, vitamin C makes it a little harder for your body to become infected with an illness.

Which foods are rich in vitamin C?

  • citrus fruits, like oranges
    kiwi fruit
    sweet red peppers

Vitamin D

No bones about it . . . vitamin D is the vitamin you need for strong bones! It’s also great for forming healthy teeth. Vitamin D even lends a hand to an essential mineral — it helps your body absorb the amount of calcium it needs. Vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight, or you can get it from the foods you eat.

Which foods are rich in vitamin D?

  • milk fortified with vitamin D
    egg yolks
    fortified cereal

Vitamin E

Everybody needs E. This hard-working vitamin protects your cells and tissues from damage. It is also essential for the health of red blood cells.

Which foods are rich in vitamin E?

  • whole grains, such as wheat and oats
    wheat germ
    leafy green vegetables
    vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and olive
    egg yolks
    nuts and seeds

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is the slot master! Remember the last time you got a cut? Your blood did something special called clotting. This is when specific cells in your blood act like glue and stick together at the surface of the cut to help stop the bleeding.

Which foods are rich in vitamin K?

  • leafy green vegetables
    dairy products, like milk and yogurt
    soybean oil

The best nourishments for nutrients and minerals


Nutrients and minerals are as fundamental for living as air and water. In addition to the fact that they keep your body sound and practical, they shield you from an assortment of sicknesses.

Nutrients and minerals get put together. However, they are unique. Nutrients are natural substances delivered by plants or creatures. They are regularly classified “fundamental” since they are not blended in the body (aside from nutrient D) and should originate from food.

Minerals are inorganic components that begin from rocks, soil, or water. In any case, you can assimilate them in a roundabout way from the earth or a creature that has eaten a specific plant.

Two kinds of each

Nutrients are isolated into two classifications: water dissolvable—which implies the body ousts what it doesn’t retain—and fat solvent where extra sums are put away in the liver and fatty tissues as stores. The water-solvent nutrients are the eight B nutrients (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-9, and B-12) and nutrient C. The fat-dissolvable nutrients are A, D, E, and K.

There are numerous minerals. However, certain ones are fundamental for ideal wellbeing. Metals are part of two gatherings: major and follow. Significant ones are not more significant than follow, yet it implies there are more noteworthy sums in your body.

The top food sources

Government rules recommend least every day sums for nutrients and critical minerals. Be that as it may, except if you have to expand your admission for explicit ones given an insufficiency or other clinical explanation, following such a significant number of numbers can be confounding.

The best way to deal with the guarantee you get an assortment of nutrients and minerals, and in the correct sums, is to receive a broad, solid eating routine. This includes an accentuation on foods grown from the ground, entire grains, beans and vegetables, low-fat protein, and dairy items. Fortunately, numerous regular nourishments contain various mineral and nutrient sources, so it is anything but difficult to meet your day by day needs from monthly suppers.

Here are the absolute best nourishments for nutrients and minerals from the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals: Choosing the food sources and supplements you have to remain solid:

Nutrient Sources

Water dissolvable:

B-1: ham, soymilk, watermelon, oak seed squash

B-2: milk, yogurt, cheddar, entire and advanced grains, and oats.

B-3: meat, poultry, fish, sustained and entire grains, mushrooms, potatoes

B-5: chicken, entire grains, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms

B-6: meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, tofu, and other soy items, bananas

B-7: Whole grains, eggs, soybeans, fish

B-9: Fortified grains and oats, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, vegetables (dark peered toward peas and chickpeas), squeezed orange

B-12: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheddar, strengthened soymilk and oats

Nutrient C: Citrus natural product, potatoes, broccoli, ringer peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels grows

Fat dissolvable:

Nutrient A: meat, liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, braced milk, yams, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, mangoes

Nutrient D: Fortified milk and grains, greasy fish

Nutrient E: vegetable oils, verdant green vegetables, entire grains, nuts

Nutrient K: Cabbage, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, kale



Calcium: yogurt, cheddar, milk, salmon, verdant green vegetables

Chloride: salt

Magnesium: Spinach, broccoli, vegetables, seeds, entire wheat bread

Potassium: meat, milk, natural products, vegetables, grains, vegetables

Sodium: salt, soy sauce, vegetables


Chromium: meat, poultry, fish, nuts, cheddar

Copper: shellfish, nuts, seeds, entire grain items, beans, prunes

Fluoride: fish, teas

Iodine: Iodized salt, fish

Iron: red meat, poultry, eggs, natural products, green vegetables, braced bread

Manganese: nuts, vegetables, entire grains, tea

Selenium: Organ meat, fish, pecans

Zinc: meat, shellfish, vegetables, entire grains