The Vitamin Alphabet

Nutrition has always been of interest to me but it is an almost endless topic with many different interpretations and variations on what not to do versus what you should do. So I'm going to attempt to bypass all of those arguments and go back to basics...

What do vitamins and nutrients do and where do you find them?

Now I've had to cut this list down a bit as there are LOADS, so it is by no means exhaustive, however, these are the ones I've encountered the most...

Vitamin A

Found in -- Orange fruit and veg, dark green leafy veg, liver, fortified milk

Not enough? -- night blindness, rashes

  • Skin, teeth and bone health

  • Eyesight

  • Foetus and embryo development

  • Immune system function

Vitamin B

(DID YOU KNOW? - There are 8 sub categories of B vitamin!)

Found in -- wholegrains, milk, rice, broccoli, meat

Not enough? -- Anaemia, depression, pins and needles in the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)

  • Healthy nervous system

  • Releasing energy from foods

  • Formation of haemolgobin and red blood cells

  • Fat metabolism

Vitamin C

Found in -- Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, cauliflower, red pepper

Not enough? -- scurvy! Bleeding gums, easy bruising

  • Immune function

  • Collagen production

  • Tissue growth and repair

Vitamin D

Found in -- Naturally created when skin is exposed to sunlight, Fortified foods, Fatty fishes e.g. salmon, mackrel, swordfish

Not enough? -- muscle aches, easy fractures

  • Immune system function

  • Calcium absorption

  • Reduction of inflammation

  • Cell growth

Vitamin E

Found in -- almonds, sunflower seeds

Not enough?

  • Antioxidant

  • Immunity

  • Blood vessel function

  • Clotting

Vitamin K

Found in -- green leafy veg

Not enough? -- easy bleeding, easy bruising

  • Blood clotting

Folate (a B-group vitamin)

Found in -- spinach, green leafy veg, nuts

Not enough? --

  • Pregnant women --> helps prevent birth defects

  • New tissue and protein growth


Found in - almonds, cashews, wheat bran

Not enough? -- irregular heart beat, palpitations

  • Muscle and nerve function

  • Steady heart rhythm

  • Bone strength


Found in -- dairy products, fortified cereals, dark leafy greens

Not enough? -- muscle cramps, lethargy, fingers tingling, delayed development in children

  • Fortifying bones

  • Cell communication

  • Blood vessel and muscle function


Found in -- liver, dark leafy veg, red meat, lentils

Not enough? -- anaemia, fatigue, noticeable heartbeats, headache

  • Transporting oxygen round the body

  • Cell growth

#fruit #vegetables #nutrition #minerals #health

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