The vitamins your body needs daily are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins, which include: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).
Your body is unable to store vitamin C, all but one of the B vitamins, and only limited amounts of K, and as a result, these vitamins should be consumed daily. These vitamins are easily obtained and absorbed from food, though a daily multivitamin can make up for any gaps in your diet. Common sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwis, berries, broccoli, and peppers. B vitamins are found in a variety of foods including whole grains, eggs, cheese, milk, beans, lentils, meat, poultry, fish, and dark leafy greens. For vitamin K, kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are all great sources.
Vitamins A, B12, D, and E can be stored in significant amounts in the liver and fatty tissues. Deficiencies of these vitamins typically take longer to develop than the other vitamin deficiencies because your body has stores it can pull from on the days you fall short.
Excellent sources of vitamin A include sweet potato, squash, cooked kale, turnip greens, collards, and carrots, as well as liver, salmon, and mackerel. Meat, fish, and dairy are high in B12, as are fortified nutritional yeast, cereals, plant-based milk, and meat alternatives. Vitamin D
is found in salmon, herring, sardines, canned tuna, as well as fortified milk and yogurt (dairy and non-dairy.) Top sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, and wheat germ.
Below are the daily recommended amounts for each vitamin based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Adequate Intake (AI) issued by the Food and Nutrition Board
of the Institute of Medicine
. The RDA is the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals, and AI is the level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA.
Keep in mind, these recommendations are based on what the average daily intake should be to avoid deficiency-related health issues. In some cases, like Vitamin D, you may require more for optimal health.
Male: 900 mcg/day
Female: 700 mcg/day
Male: 90 mg/day
Female: 75 mg/day
Male: 16 mg/day
Female: 14 mg/day
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Male age 19-50: 1.3 mg/day
Male age 51+: 1.7 mg/day
Female age 19-50: 1.3 mg/day
Female age 51 up: 1.5 mg/day