Vitamins and Minerals along with other nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins and dietary fats are essential for our body to grow and develop well. the following vitamins and minerals play a very important role in our overall health.

Vitamin A important for reproductive, vision and immune system health.

There are eight different essential B vitamins — B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12(cobalamin). They all help convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. Several B vitamins are also necessary for cell development, growth and function.

You may need more B vitamins if you’re elderly, have had gastrointestinal surgery, have a gastrointestinal disorder, or if you abuse alcohol. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant may need more B vitamins, particularly folate, which has been shown to prevent birth defects, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Up to 15 percent of people are deficient in B12. You may also need more B12 if you have pernicious anemia or are a vegan or vegetarian.

 vitamin C boosts the immune system and increases iron absorption from plant-based foods and supplements. Since it’s an antioxidant, vitamin C protects our cells from damaging free radicals. It also aids in wound healing by helping our body produce collagen. If you smoke, you need 35 more mg of vitamin C per day than non-smokers because it takes more vitamin C for your body to repair the cell damage caused by free radicals in tobacco smoke.

Vitamin D builds strong bones by helping our body absorb calcium from food and supplements. It also boosts the functioning of the immune system.

People who avoid the sun or use sunscreen — all smart precautions for skin cancer prevention — may need supplements, as well as people with a malabsorption disorder where the body has difficulty absorbing nutrients (such as Crohn’s or celiac disease).

Vitamin E protects our cells from free radicals, boosts our immune system and helps prevent blood clots.

Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting and healthy bones. You may need more vitamin K if you have had bariatric surgery to lose weight or have a malabsorption disorder.

Roughly 99 percent of calcium in the body is found in bones and teeth, where it is crucial for structural support. The remainder is found in the blood, muscles and intracellular fluids, where it is a critical part of many metabolic, neurological and muscular functions. Postmenopausal women (who have an elevated risk of osteoporosis) and people who don’t consume dairy products (a primary source of calcium) are the mostly likely to require calcium supplements.


Iron is an essential part of building red blood cells, specifically hemoglobin, a protein  that bonds with oxygen to oxygen through the blood from the lungs to the cells throughout your body. Vegetarians need to consume almost twice as much iron daily because the iron in plant-based food is less available to the body than the iron found in animal products. Pregnant women and people with iron-deficient anemia may also need supplements.

Magnesium plays an important role in the function of more than 300 enzymes that regulate various processes in the body, including muscle and nerve function, heart rhythms and glucose control. Older adults and people with diabetes may need supplements.

You can get magnesium from almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, beans, potatoes, brown rice, dairy products, oats, chicken, beef and broccoli.

Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function and is essential for normal growth and development during pregnancy and childhood. Vegetarians may also need supplements since the zinc found in plant-based foods is less available to the body than that found in meat and fish.

You can get zinc from red meat, poultry, seafood (especially oysters, lobster and clams), dairy products, whole grains, beans and nuts.

Reach out to your pharmacist to get more information on supplements. Some vitamins (such as vitamin E) are dangerous in high doses, and some may interact negatively with other medications or medical treatment.