We all know vitamins and minerals are essential for our health, but we rarely stop to think about why or whether we’re getting enough. Each vitamin has a special part to play in our biology and while trying to get a wide range of vitamins into our diets is important, there are 13 main vitamins that are most important to get in your diet.
13 Main Vitamins You Need in Your Diet & Why
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important for maintaining vision as this vitamin is needed in able for light to be converted into an electrical signal from your eye to your brain. People who are deficient in vitamin A often find themselves suffering with night blindness.
Vitamin A is also important for normal organ function. It plays a part in the growth and development of body cells, including the production of white blood cells which are vital for a strong immune system. Vitamin A is essential in keeping our mucous membranes healthy, which are one of the first lines of defense we have against infection.
2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is important for converting the food you eat into the energy your body needs for various functions. In other words, without thiamine your body simply wouldn’t be able to function properly.
3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Like all B vitamins, vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin) is important for energy production, as well as fat metabolism and healthy cell function.
Riboflavin aids in the production of red blood cells and supports energy-giving cell functions.
4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Like vitamin B1, vitamin B3 (niacin) helps to turn food into energy which is crucial for proper function of the body. This vitamin is also thought to ease the pain of arthritis, lower cholesterol, and boost cognitive function.
5. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Next is vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, which is needed for fatty acid production. These, in turn, impact tissue and cell metabolism and function, as well as receptiveness to hormones, and how well the body uses other nutrients.
6. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is used to help create energy through the breakdown of proteins and aids in the production of red blood cells. These red blood cells carry oxygen around the body to ensure that all the tissues work properly.
7. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin (vitamin B7) is a vitamin you have probably heard about in regards to hair, skin, and nails. This is because biotin stimulates the production of keratin in our hair and nails and even works to increase follicle growth. Vitamin B7 is also involved in the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose.
8. Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Another B vitamin, vitamin B9 (folate), is important for both cell function and division. This vitamin is especially important for women in the early stages of pregnancy as it works to reduce the threat of birth defects of the spine and brain.
9. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
The last B vitamin on my list is cobalamin (vitamin B12). This vitamin is important for red blood cell production, brain function, and nervous system function, and it also aids in the production and regulation of DNA.
Like all B vitamins, it allows the production of energy for use within the cells of the body and also works to synthesize fatty acids.
Without vitamin B12, red blood cells are unable to multiply as they should, and so a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to anemia.
10. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is another vitamin that is very familiar to us all. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is the main protein found in our skin and is needed for the production of neurotransmitters and collagen. This makes this vitamin crucial within the healing process.
Vitamin C is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and therefore reducing the risk of sickness and disease.
11. Vitamin D
Vitamin D, which can be made by the skin when exposed to sunlight, is important for the immune system as well as bone health. Vitamin D enables the body to absorb and preserve calcium and phosphorus which are essential minerals for building bone.
12. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another vitamin that helps support immunity but is also a powerful antioxidant. This means that it protects your cells from free radicals, loose electrons that would otherwise cause cell damage.
13. Vitamin K
Last on my list, but certainly not least, is vitamin K. This vitamin is key in blood clotting cascade and bone development by creating the proteins needed for these processes.
Many of these vitamins will be naturally present in your diet, but it is not always easy to ensure that you are getting every single vitamin you need to ensure your body is healthy and functioning the way it should.
By supplementing your diet with a multivitamin, you can be sure that your body is getting everything it needs for all of its many processes and you’ll likely find yourself feeling less sluggish, looking healthier, and sleeping better as a result.
My Immuno Multivitamin contains all 13 of these essential vitamins and other essential minerals to cover all of your nutritional needs. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to ensure you’re meeting your daily vitamin and mineral needs. Make sure you use it in tandem with a balanced diet to get the best results. Find Immuno Multi here.
Dr. Nancy Rahnama, MD, ABOM, ABIM, is a medical doctor board certified by both the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her specialty is Clinical Nutrition, that is, the use of nutrition by a medical doctor to diagnose and treat disease. Dr. Rahnama has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of weight loss, gut health, improved mood and sleep, and managing chronic disease.