Everything You Need to Know About Vitamins: Recommended Daily Intake

Vitamins are essential for our bodies to function properly and maintain our health. They help us stay energized and strong, but how much of each vitamin do we need? Knowing the recommended daily intake of vitamins is key to avoiding deficiencies. Vitamins are divided into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K, are stored in the body's fat cells and can be used when needed.

Water-soluble vitamins, including Vitamin B and C, are not stored in the body and must be replenished daily.

Vitamin A

is important for healthy vision, skin, bones, and immune system. The recommended daily intake for adults is 900 micrograms (mcg) for men and 700 mcg for women. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, cantaloupe, and fortified milk.

Vitamin B is a complex of eight different vitamins that are essential for energy production, metabolism, and nerve function. The recommended daily intake for adults is 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12, 1.3 mg of vitamin B6, 400 mcg of folate (folic acid), 30 mg of niacin, 16 mg of thiamin (vitamin B1), 2 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 5 mg of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and 20 mcg of biotin (vitamin B7). Good sources of vitamin B include whole grains, legumes, nuts, eggs, dairy products, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin C

is important for healthy skin, bones, teeth, and blood vessels.

The recommended daily intake for adults is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes.

Vitamin D

is important for strong bones and teeth as well as a healthy immune system. The recommended daily intake for adults is 600 IU (international units).

Good sources of vitamin D include fortified milk and orange juice as well as fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.

Vitamin E

is important for healthy skin and eyes as well as a strong immune system. The recommended daily intake for adults is 15 mg. Good sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower oil and safflower oil as well as nuts and seeds.

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone health. The recommended daily intake for adults is 120 mcg. Good sources of vitamin K include leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale as well as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It's important to note that the recommended daily intakes listed above are just guidelines.

Your individual needs may vary depending on your age, gender, activity level, health status, and other factors. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian if you have any questions or concerns about your vitamin intake. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, and healthy fats is the best way to ensure you're getting all the vitamins you need. Supplements can also be helpful if you're not able to get all the vitamins you need from food alone.