The Handy-Dandy, Exhaustive Guide To Vitamins & Minerals; Complete From Vitamin A to Zinc [Part 1]
Populated by capital letters and obscure elements you haven’t heard since HS chem class — including the likes of vitamin A, 8 flavors of vitamin B, biotin, and zinc — reading the bottom half of a nutrition label might just make your head feel like it’s in the middle of one of those hideous, vomit-inducing spinning teacup rides, gyrating at full speed.
The convoluted, vast world of vitamins and minerals is nauseating. And with original, *captivating* names like A, B, and E — named simply in the order in which they were discovered (with the exception of K) — it tees up one really intuitive mnemonic. Not.
Don’t fret, The Handy-Dandy, Exhaustive Guide To Vitamins & Minerals is designed as your nutrient crutch. We’ve stockpiled the bare essentials — the dead simple ins-and-outs — for each of the important vitamins and minerals, including primary functions, top food sources, how much you need every day (RDI), and what happens when you’re deficient.
That way, the next time you read a nutrition label you won’t be as utterly lost. And when your head’s still twirling, refer back to it as a reference guide.
In part 1 of our two-part guide, we cover the comprehensive vitamin realm — including A, the B vitamins, C, D, E, and K. In part 2, we runthrough the full spectrum of minerals, complete with everything from iron to zinc.
What is Vitamin A (Retinol)
Vitamin A isn’t a single nutrient, but rather a related group of nutrients that come in two different forms — retinoids, which are pre-formed and found in animal sources; and plant-based carotenoids (they’re pigments), including alpha & beta-carotene, that need to be converted into retinoids once they’re inside the body.
Collectively, vitamin A supports vision, healthy skin & teeth, immunity, reproduction, organ function, and cell growth; carotenoids specifically are anti-inflammatory and act as powerful antioxidants.
Two specific carotenoids — lutein and zeaxanthin — are critical to eye health and are found abundantly in green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, chard, etc.) & goji berries.
- Best Sources of Vitamin A — Think ORANGE and DARK GREEN. Kale, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, lettuce, mustard greens, goji berries, Swiss chard, butternut squash, sweet potato, red peppers, broccoli raab, arugala, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and liver are all loaded with vitamin A.
- Recommended Daily Intake — Men = 900 mcg/day; women = 700 mcg/day.
- Vitamin A Deficiency — Diarrhea, vision issues and blindness, increased risk of infections.
References, Notes, Links
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto.
I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP
, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid
, and all-around fitness junkie.
I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine
When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses
and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.
Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO)
& Snapchat (BRYDISANTO)
Latest posts by Bryan DiSanto (see all)
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6