College students who take multivitamins may make up some of the nutrients missed in their daily diet. However, research has proven that our bodies can best absorb and use vitamins from food. So, if you want to stay your healthiest in college, make sure you “eat” your vitamins and minerals!
Here is a list of essential vitamins and minerals along with the foods they can be found in. If your daily diet is rich in these foods, you won’t have to remember to take a multivitamin as part of your daily routine.
List of Essential Vitamins & Foods
Vitamin A: has to do with healthy night vision and healthy skin; also prevents dry eyes and aids in sensory abilities
Foods: sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy vegetables, sweet red peppers
Vitamin B1: helps your body turn carbohydrates into energy needed to perform bodily function; also improves the nervous system
Foods: black beans, sunflower seeds, lentils, tuna
Vitamin B2: improves complexion; helps body break down fat, protein and carbohydrates to use throughout body functions
Foods: lean meats, milk, green vegetables, fortified cereals
Vitamin B3: helps maintain healthy nervous system and good digestion
Foods: tuna, turkey breast, chicken breast
Vitamin B12: helps in lowering risk of heart disease; protects nerve cells and helps cell growth; hardest vitamin to absorb, especially in adults, and deficiency in B12 can cause memory loss
Foods: meat, poultry, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals, fortified soymilk
Biotin: helps convert food into energy and break down the fatty acids that go through the body; most known for keeping hair, skin and nails healthy
Foods: whole grains, egg yolk, soybeans, fatty fish
Vitamin C: boosts your immune system, reduces wrinkles and helps prevent skin diseases
Foods: citrus, spinach, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, mango, kiwi, kale
Vitamin D: makes your body better at using calcium and promotes bone health
Foods: sunlight (natural source though not a food!), fortified milk, eggs, salmon
Vitamin E: boosts your immune system, improves blood flow and promotes tissue repair
Foods: spinach, almonds, olives, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils, margarines, whole grains
Choline: helps with nerve and brain activities as well as metabolism
Foods: milk, eggs, peanuts
Folic Acid: helps with brain functions; can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers
Foods: asparagus, broccoli, okra, spinach, chickpeas, tomato juice
List of Essential Minerals & Foods
Calcium: builds and protects bones and teeth; also helps with muscles, nerves, and blood pressure too!
Foods: yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, salmon, green vegetables
Potassium: helps keep heart healthy; helps function of the nervous system; also known to be beneficial to your bones
Foods: milk, meat, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes
Christina is currently a student at Rutgers University pursuing a degree in Nutritional Sciences with a focus in food service administration and minor in public relations. She loves traveling around Europe and spending time with her family in Greece every summer. She hopes to have her own business in the near future dealing with nutritious foods and beverages.