Food and Vitamins: Which Foods Are Most Nutritious?

Food vitamins

Have you ever heard the saying “eat to live, don’t live to eat”? This curious little phrase reminds us of the need to keep to a healthy diet – one which includes plenty of vitamins. Fish, meat, and fresh vegetables offer simple, healthy ways to satisfy our nutrient needs.

In this new guide, we’ll help you identify which foods are healthiest and highest in vitamins. If you don’t include enough of them in your diet, we’ll walk you through the Sundt alternative. Sundt multivitamins helps keep vitamin deficiency at bay when the food you eat doesn’t meet all your needs. Happy reading!

Key Ideas

  • It’s important to maintain a balanced diet which includes various vitamin-rich foods. This helps us prevent all the problems caused by low micronutrient levels, including fatigue, hair loss, and higher risk of infection.
  • Fish, meat, nuts, and fresh vegetables like spinach and asparagus are all chock-full of vitamins.
  • If a stressful life or a weight-loss diet stops you from getting the vitamins you need through food, you can instead try taking a supplement like Sundt multivitamins.

Food and Vitamins: The Best Sources

A healthy diet should include multiple “nutritionally dense” foods. This term refers to products with very high concentrations of vitamins and oher nutrients. As such, these foods help you avoid malnutrition and enjoy better health. Are you interested in knowing which foods are the best, healthiest vitamin sources? Check this table (1)!

Food High in Vitamin…
Tuna A, B3, B12, D, and K
Salmon B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, D, and K
Spinach A, C, B2, B6, B9, E, and K
Sunflower seeds B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and E
Pork B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12
Organ meat (for example, liver) A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, D, and K
Asparagus A,C, B9, E, and K
Papaya A, C, B9, E, and K

Tuna

Tuna is a genuine “nutrient bomb” full of vitamin A, B3, B12, D, and K! This common staple food helps your entire body meet its vitamin intake needs. Keep a couple cans of tuna in your larder – they’ll help you fix up many a dinner.

To avoid low levels of B vitamins, salmon is the perfect food. (Source: Heftiba: inDRPMBfX8M/ Unsplash.com)

Salmon

Salmon is the perfect food of you if you’re trying to avoid low levels of the B vitamins. Salmon’s delicate meat is loaded with folic acid and vitamin B12. These nutrients help keep your brain healthy and keep fatigue at bay.

Haddock is a nutritionally similar – but cheaper – alternative to salmon. Look for it at the nearest fish market. Your wallet will thank you!

Spinach

Spinach is a fantastic food – low in calories and quite high in vitamin A, C, B2, B6, B9, E and K. Its high vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K content helps keep your bones strong. It also keeps your immune defences on the alert against any invading germs.

Sunflower Seeds

The vitamin E in sunflower seeds helps stop signs of premature aging. Plus, they provide B vitamins – which are useful for preventing fatigue. Eating a handful of sunflower seeds as a midmorning snack will help you feel full and give you a “boost” from all the vitamins.

Sunflower seeds contain high amounts of vitamins. (Source: Brinney: gv0UL1uLzLA/ Unsplash.com)

Pork

One portion of pork per week may be all you need to stay healthy. Pork is a great source of B vitamins. Its high levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) help children grow and help adults stay healthy.

Organ Meat

Meat from organs, such as liver, is rich in vitamin A, B, D and K. These nutrients are essential for building strong bones and recovering from illness and injury. However, remember that foods like liver and tripe are very high-cholesterol and high-calorie. For that reason, limit your consumption to twice a week at most.

Asparagus

Don’t ever underestimate asparagus! These humble vegetables are rich in antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E, and K) as well as folic acid, a molecule especially vital during pregnancy. Have you ever tried asparagus au gratin with some good salmon? We promise it’s delicious!

Papaya

If you’re looking for a fruit high in vitamins, papaya is your best bet! This tropical fruit raises your vitamin A and vitamin C levels, keeping you youthful and healthy for longer. It’s also full of folic acid, making it the perfect snack for women trying to become pregnant.

Papaya is an excellent natural diuretic. (Source: Vivant: Ooj1c6fhdFM/ Unsplash.com)

Food and Vitamins: What You Need to Know

By now, you know which foods have the highest vitamin content. But do you know how to make the most of them? Plus, what alternatives are available if your diet doesn’t include all these products? We’ll answer those questions in the next section, so read on!

Why Do We Need to Get Vitamins from Food?

Vitamins are molecules which regulate our body’s processes and keep it functioning well. They’re essential nutrients – meaning that our body cannot produce them for itself. For that reason, we need to consume foods which have them. If not, a variety of unpleasant consequences can ensue:

  • Low vitamin A can weaken your eyesight and immune system (2).
  • Low levels of B vitamins completely paralyse your metabolism, potentially causing anaemia and neurological problems. For pregnant women, folic acid (vitamin B9) deficiency leads to birth defects (3).
  • If you don’t get enough vitamin C, you may suffer from low energy, frequent infections, and trouble curing cuts and injuries properly (4).
  • Vitamin D deficiency weakens bones, increasing the odds of breaks and fractures (5, 6).
  • Low vitamin E reserves can affect your brain and muscles, causing weakness and fatigue (7).
  • Vitamin K deficiency can make even small cuts bleed excessively. It can also weaken your bones (8).
Fish, meat, nuts, and fresh vegetables like spinach and asparagus are all chock-full of vitamins. (Source: Grabkowska: _efCc8CPwhM/ Unsplash.com)

Does Healthy Eating Prevent Vitamin Deficiency?

Health and nutrition experts clearly tell us that it does. The food you eat ought to provide all the vitamins, minerals, and protein you need for your daily life. Balanced ways of eating (like, for example, the Mediterranean diet) can satisfy all your nutritional needs (9).

Unfortunately, balanced diets can be a hard goal to reach for many of us:

  • Stress, for example, can make your vitamin reserves fall sharply, increasing your risk of deficiency.
  • “Miracle diets” are very low in calories and nutrients. As such, they can lead to severely low vitamin levels.
  • Highly active lifestyles, like those of elite athletes, vastly increase your vitamin requirements.
  • Sedentary lifestyles, on the other hand, may mean you don’t get out of the house much or get much exposure to sun. This factor makes you more prone to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D, after all, is known as the “sunshine vitamin”.
  • Abusing alcohol and drugs robs your body of nutrients vital for your wellbeing.
  • Special dietary needs, like vegan diets which avoid all animal products, can lead to deficiencies of some specific vitamins like B12.

If adopting healthier habits isn’t an option, we must instead ask a doctor or nutritionist about including vitamin and mineral supplements in our everyday lives.

Does Cooking Reduce Food’s Vitamin Content?

Vitamin C and vitamin B can “disappear” from food if cooked too much. As such, avoid submerging food in water (these vitamins tend to pass out of food and into the water used to cook). Instead of boiling, steam or sauté your food to protect its nutrients.

On the other hand, vitamin A, D, E and K withstand cooking much better. Even so, avoid burning food or frying it in lots of oil. If you bake or sauté them, you can enjoy meals which are richer in vitamins (10, 11).

It’s important to maintain a balanced diet which includes plenty of vitamin-rich food. (Source: Hubbard: qPcSUERqBAc/ Unsplash.com)

What Are the Alternative Ways to Get Vitamins?

If your lifestyle doesn’t offer all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, you should reconsider your eating habits. For example, drinking less alcohol, cooking more often, and consulting a nutritionist can all help you regain balance.

However, while we struggle to establish healthier habits, supplements can be extremely useful for preventing treating nutritional deficiencies or treating their consequences (12, 13, 14). Sundt multivitamins provide all the vitamins you need to feel better in record time. Try them out; you won’t be disappointed!

Our Conclusions

The vitamins in food help you stay healthy. There’s no arguing that these micronutrients are essential for keeping your body strong, your skin youthful, and your immune system prepared.

A healthy diet ought to satisfy your vitamin requirements. However, if you cannot include enough vitamin-rich food in your diet, you can instead rely on nutritional supplements to stay balanced. Speaking of supplements, have you already tried Sundt multivitamins? If not, we think you’ll love them!

Do you get enough vitamins in your food? Do you have questions or concerns about your diet? Feel free to tell us about your experiences. Plus, don’t forget to share this article.

References (14)

1. Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (USDA). FoodData Central . FoodData Central. 2019 . p. fdc.nal.usda.gov.
Source

2. Gilbert C. What is vitamin A and why do we need it? Community Eye Heal J . 2013 Dec 20;26(84):65–65.
Source

3. Chawla J, Kvarnberg D. Hydrosoluble vitamins. In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology . Elsevier B.V.; 2014 . p. 891–914.
Source

4. Maxfield L, Crane JS. Vitamin C Deficiency (Scurvy) . StatPearls. 2019.
Source

5. Bhan A, Rao AD, Rao DS. Osteomalacia as a result of vitamin D deficiency . Vol. 39, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America. Elsevier; 2010. p. 321–31.
Source

6. Akkawi I, Zmerly H. Osteoporosis: Current concepts . Vol. 6, Joints. CIC Edizioni Internazionali s.r.l.; 2018. p. 122–7.
Source

7. Rizvi S, Raza ST, Ahmed F, Ahmad A, Abbas S, Mahdi F. The role of Vitamin E in human health and some diseases . Vol. 14, Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. Sultan Qaboos University; 2014. p. 157–65.
Source

8. Vitamin K | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University .
Source

9. Dieta mediterránea: ¿Qué es y cómo sacarle el mayor provecho?.
Source

10. Mattila P, Ronkainen R, Lehikoinen K, Piironen V. Effect of Household Cooking on the Vitamin D content in Fish, Eggs, and Wild Mushrooms. J Food Compos Anal . 1999 Sep 1 ;12(3):153–60.
Source

11. Lee S, Choi Y, Jeong HS, Lee J, Sung J. Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables. Food Sci Biotechnol . 2018 Apr 1;27(2):333–42.
Source

12. Long SJ, Benton D. Effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and mood in nonclinical samples: A meta-analysis. Psychosom Med . 2013;75(2):144–53.
Source

13. Harris E, Kirk J, Rowsell R, Vitetta L, Sali A, Scholey AB, et al. The effect of multivitamin supplementation on mood and stress in healthy older men. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2011 Dec ;26(8):560–7.
Source

14. Ward E. Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements. Nutr J . 2014 Dec 15;13(1):72.
Source

Official Website
Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos (USDA). FoodData Central . FoodData Central. 2019 . p. fdc.nal.usda.gov.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Gilbert C. What is vitamin A and why do we need it? Community Eye Heal J . 2013 Dec 20;26(84):65–65.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Chawla J, Kvarnberg D. Hydrosoluble vitamins. In: Handbook of Clinical Neurology . Elsevier B.V.; 2014 . p. 891–914.
Go to source
E-Book
Maxfield L, Crane JS. Vitamin C Deficiency (Scurvy) . StatPearls. 2019.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Bhan A, Rao AD, Rao DS. Osteomalacia as a result of vitamin D deficiency . Vol. 39, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America. Elsevier; 2010. p. 321–31.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Akkawi I, Zmerly H. Osteoporosis: Current concepts . Vol. 6, Joints. CIC Edizioni Internazionali s.r.l.; 2018. p. 122–7.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Rizvi S, Raza ST, Ahmed F, Ahmad A, Abbas S, Mahdi F. The role of Vitamin E in human health and some diseases . Vol. 14, Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. Sultan Qaboos University; 2014. p. 157–65.
Go to source
Official Website
Vitamin K | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University .
Go to source
Supplement Guide
Dieta mediterránea: ¿Qué es y cómo sacarle el mayor provecho?.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Mattila P, Ronkainen R, Lehikoinen K, Piironen V. Effect of Household Cooking on the Vitamin D content in Fish, Eggs, and Wild Mushrooms. J Food Compos Anal . 1999 Sep 1 ;12(3):153–60.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Lee S, Choi Y, Jeong HS, Lee J, Sung J. Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables. Food Sci Biotechnol . 2018 Apr 1;27(2):333–42.
Go to source
Meta-Analysis
Long SJ, Benton D. Effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and mood in nonclinical samples: A meta-analysis. Psychosom Med . 2013;75(2):144–53.
Go to source
Human Study
Harris E, Kirk J, Rowsell R, Vitetta L, Sali A, Scholey AB, et al. The effect of multivitamin supplementation on mood and stress in healthy older men. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2011 Dec ;26(8):560–7.
Go to source
Scientific Article
Ward E. Addressing nutritional gaps with multivitamin and mineral supplements. Nutr J . 2014 Dec 15;13(1):72.
Go to source
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