Doctor’s Orders: Why Vitamins & Minerals Are Good for You

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Easy Dishes Tomake For Your50Th Birthdaydinner Party 3 Copy 800X675 2 | Doctor'S Orders: Why Vitamins &Amp; Minerals Are Good For You

Sure, you know that vitamins and minerals are good for you, but do you know WHY vitamins and minerals are good for you? Let’s explore…

In one sentence: Our bodies can’t produce all of the nutrients that we need to function properly, so we have to eat them.

And, when we don’t eat enough of them, or get enough variety in our diet, that is when supplemental vitamins can come into play.

Vitamins and minerals for things like:

  • PMS? Get some magnesium.
  • Hate fish, but need brain power? Pop an Omega-3.
  • Low energy? Reach for iron or a B-complex!

But what if you WANT to try getting in your body’s needs through food?

It is possible—given you mix things up throughout the week.

Here’s a hit list of 7 different vitamins and minerals to try out, PLUS the best food finds to get ‘em in. Reach for at least 1-2 servings of each vitamin and mineral powerhouse each week:

Vitamin B12: Energy!!!

Vitamins And Minerals Good
Deficiency:
Vegans and vegetarians are at risk for B12 deficiency as vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods, not plants.  Common signs of deficiency include: Fatigue, constipation, low libido, weakness, anemia

Top Sources:

  • Liver
  • Sardines
  • Raw cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Clams
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Yogurt, plain
  • Grass-fed Beef

Vitamin A

Vitamin A

Good vision, bone growth, healthy reproduction and immune system, helps the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively

Deficiency: Dry skin, poor GI tract health, vision impairments

Top Sources

  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots/carrot juice
  • Collards
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Mixed veggies
  • Beet greens
  • Pumpkin
  • Turnip greens
  • Organ meats
  • Red pepper
  • Egg yolks

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential Fatty Acids

EFAs give us brain power, improved digestion and metabolic function. Humans are unable to synthesize the fatty acids linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Since these fats are required for health, they must be obtained through the foods we eat.

Deficiency: Sluggishness, poor digestion, brain fog, low energy

Top Sources

  • Wild caught salmon
  • Omega-3 eggs
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Shrimp
  • Halibut
  • Snapper
  • Winter squash

Folate

Folate

Helps the body make new cells. Folate is a general term for a group of water soluble B-vitamins, and is also known as B9.

Deficiency: Anemia, birth defects, cancer risk and stroke risk

Top Sources

  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Pinto Beans
  • Beets
  • Black eyed peas
  • Liver
  • Broccoli

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Wound healing, repairing, immunity, and maintaining the health of your bones and teeth, and plays a role in helping your body absorb iron; Heart health; Antioxidant to blast illness

Deficiency: Dry splitting hair, easy bruising, bleeding gums, inflammation, decreased wound healing, low immunity

Top Sources

  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Red/Green Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potato
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kale

Magnesium

Magnesium

Constipation relief/Bloating, PMS and Cramp relief, Muscle recovery (workouts)
Deficiency:
Muscle Cramps, Nausea, Anxiety, High Blood Pressure, Weakness

Top Sources

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Halibut
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Buckwheat
  • Nuts
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Beet Greens
  • Black Beans/White Beans

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Fat Soluble Vitamin (Helps with absorption and digestion); Hormone balance
Deficiency:
Seasonal depression, low immunity, autoimmune disease

Top Sources

  • Sunlight
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Raw Milk
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Caviar
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