Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs to grow properly, function normally and stay healthy. It’s possible — and highly recommended — that you get these substances from the foods you eat. However, it sometimes can be difficult to get the recommended amount of some vitamins and minerals from diet alone. That’s why it’s not unusual to hear that taking a multivitamin or other supplement on a daily basis can make good sense.
|Vitamins and minerals||Easy access|
|One small carrot (5 inches) provides about
6,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A.
|Three ounces of tuna (canned in water)
has 11 milligrams (mg) of niacin.
|Vitamin B-6||One medium banana contains about 0.4
mg of vitamin B-6.
|Half a cup (4 ounces) of cooked spinach
contains 130 micrograms (mcg) of folate.
|Vitamin B-12||Three ounces of salmon contains about 5
mcg of vitamin B-12.
|Vitamin C||One medium orange has about 70 mg of
|Vitamin D||One cup (8 ounces) of fortified milk con-
tains 100 IU of vitamin D
|Vitamin E||One ounce of almonds (about 23 nuts) has
more than 7 mg of vitamin E.
|Calcium||One cup (8 ounces) of milk contains 300
mg of calcium.
|Iron||Three ounces of beef, pork, lamb or veal
contains 2 to 3 mg of iron.
|Magnesium||One cup of cooked spinach has 150 to 160
mg of magnesium.
|Potassium||One medium banana has 422 mg of potas-
sium. One medium baked potato (with
skin) contains 926 mg of potassium.
|Selenium||One slice of whole-wheat bread contains
10 mcg of selenium.
|Zinc||Three ounces of lean sirloin contains 5 mg of zinc.|
Foods high in vitamins and minerals
|Vitamins and minerals||Food sources|
|Vitamin A/beta carotene||Carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe, liver,
egg yolks and fortified milk
|Vitamin B-3 (niacin)||Lean meats, poultry, fish, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, peanuts and
|Vitamin B-6||Fortified and enriched grains, whole-grain products, poultry, fish,
soybeans, nuts, pea,s and bananas
|Vitamin B-9 |
|Citrus juices and fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, liver, dark green leafy
vegetables, and fortified breads and cereals
|Vitamin B-12||Meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, dairy products and fortified cereals|
|Vitamin C||Citrus juices and fruits, berries, tomatoes, potatoes, green and red
peppers, broccoli, and spinach
|Vitamin D||Fatty fish (such as salmon and sardines), cod-liver oil, and fortified
milk and cereals
|Vitamin E||Vegetable oils, wheat germ, whole-grain products, avocados and nuts
|Calcium||Dairy products, calcium-fortified cereals and juice, greens (spinach,
bok choy, collards, kale, turnips), broccoli, green soybeans (edamame),
and fish eaten with their bones (salmon, sardines)
|Iron||Meat, seafood, poultry, whole-grain products, beans, peas and dark
green leafy vegetables
|Magnesium||Nuts, legumes, whole-grain products and dark green vegetables|
|Potassium||Citrus fruits, apples, bananas, apricots, cantaloupe, potatoes (especial-
ly with skin), tomatoes, spinach, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, beans,
peas and almonds
|Selenium||Milk, poultry, fish, seafood, organ meats, Brazil nuts and whole-grain
|Zinc||Meat, fish, poultry, liver, milk, oysters, wheat germ, whole-grain
products and fortified cereals
Fortified and Enriched Foods
These days, you may notice that a number of the products you buy at the grocery store have been “fortified” or “enriched” with certain vitamins or minerals. What does this mean?
If a food or beverage is said to be fortified, it means that one or more nutrients have been added that weren’t originally there. Enriched, on the other hand, means that the nutrients lost during processing have been added back. The Nutrition Facts list on the product label will tell you which nutrients have been added. It will also show what percentage of the Daily Value (DV) for each nutrient is met with one serving of the product.