Vitamin and Mineral Table
What foods? How does it help?

Vitamin/Mineral Found in RDAa What it does
Vitamin A
(Retinol or Beta-carotene)
Liver, egg yolk, dairy products, margarine. Beta carotene (pro-vitamin A) is found in dark green and deep yellow fruits and vegetables. 5,000 IUb Keeps eyes healthy; develops bones; protects linings of respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts; maintains healthy skin and hair. Beta carotene fights free radicals (chemicals that damage cells).
Vitamin B1
Whole grains, cereals and enriched grain products; also legumes (dried beans, peas, and nuts), organ meats, lean pork and eggs. 1.1 - 1.5 mg Promotes healthy functioning of the nerves, muscles and heart. Metabolizes carbohydrates.
Vitamin B2
Organ meats, enriched breads and cereals, legumes, almonds, cheese and eggs; also meat, fish and dark green vegetables. 1.3 - 1.7 mg  Metabolizes carbohydrates, fats and proteins, produces hormones; promotes eye and skin health.
Vitamin B3
Meat, organ meats, whole grains and cereals, and legumes; also eggs, milk, green leafy vegetables and fish. 15 - 19 mg Metabolizes carbohydrates and fats; helps functioning of digestive system; maintains health skin.
Vitamin B5
(Pantothenic Acid)
Organ meats, yeast, raw vegetables, eggs and dairy products. None;
4 - 7 mg suggested
Produces hormones and maintains body's immune system.
Vitamin B6
Whole-grain products, poultry, fish, and nuts; also meat, most fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy products 1.6 - 2 mg Metabolizes protein; helps produce hemoglobin; promotes functioning of digestive and nervous systems, and healthy skin.
Vitamin B12
Primarily organ meats; also fish, lean meats, poultry, cheese, and eggs. 2 µg Builds genetic material of cells and produces blood cells.
Vitamin C
(Ascorbic Acid)
Almost exclusively fruits and vegetables (especially citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and cantaloupe) although breast milk and organ meats contain small amounts.  100 - 200 mg An antioxidant, fights and resists infection; heals wounds; promotes growth and maintenance of bones, teeth, gums, ligaments and blood vessels.
Vitamin D
For most people, sun exposure is the primary source of vitamin D. Food sources include Vitamin D-fortified milk, eggs, fish-liver oils and fatty fish such as herring, mackerel and salmon. 400 IU Builds strong bones and teeth and maintains the nervous system.
Vitamin E
vegetable oils, nuts, wheat germ and whole-wheat products, egg yolks and green leafy vegetables. Women 8 mg;
Men 10 mg
Protects the lungs, nervous system, skeletal muscle and the eye's retina from damage by free radicals; may reduce risk of heart disease by protecting against atherosclerosis.
Vitamin H
Oats, organ meats, yeast and eggs (cooked); also whole-wheat products, dairy products, fish and tomatoes. None;
30 - 200 µg suggested
Metabolizes proteins and carbohydrates; breaks down fatty acids.
Vitamin K Dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, cheese, pork and liver. 60 - 80 mg Promotes normal blood-clotting.
Vitamin M
(Folic Acid)
vegetables (especially dark-green ones), organ meats, whole-wheat products, legumes and mushrooms. 180 - 200 µg Synthesis of protein and genetic materials; may help prevent some cancers, heart disease and stroke; when taken during pregnancy, protects against some birth defects.
Calcium (Ca) Primarily in milk and dairy products; also dark-green vegetables, legumes, shellfish, fish with edible bones and tofu; also calcium-fortified orange juice. 800 - 1,200 mg Builds bones and teeth; promotes blood clotting, contraction of muscles and nerve impulses.
Chromium (Cr) Whole wheat and other whole grains and molasses. None;
50 - 200 µg suggested
An essential nutrient required for normal sugar and fat metabolism; may also help prevent high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
Copper (Cu) Organ meats, shellfish, whole-grain products, legumes and dried fruits. None;
2 - 3 mg suggested
Builds bones, red blood cells and hemoglobin; metabolizes iron, maintains connective tissue and blood vessels; may play a role in cancer prevention.
Fluoride (F) Seafood, tea, coffee and soybeans; sodium fluoride is often added to the water supply to prevent tooth decay. None Promotes bone and tooth formation; prevents tooth decay.
Iodine (I2) Saltwater fish, shellfish, sea kelp and iodized salt. 150 µg Helps produce thyroid hormones; adequate iodine intake during pregnancy is crucial to normal fetal development.
Iron (Fe) Iron is poorly absorbed from food. The richest sources are red meat and organ meats; other sources include whole-wheat products, shellfish, nuts and dried fruit. Many breads and cereals are enriched with iron. Vitamin C aids absorption of iron and is often added to iron supplements. Women 15 mg;
Men 10 mg
Helps produce hemoglobin and red blood cells; delivers oxygen to muscles and other body tissues; protects against effects of stress
Magnesium (Mg) Legumes, whole-grain cereals, nuts and dark-green vegetables; also meat, seafood and dairy products. Women 280 mg;
Men 350 mg
Builds bones and teeth; involved in functioning of muscular and nervous systems and hear and circulatory system.
Manganese (Mn) Tea, green vegetables, legumes, oats and rice. 2 - 5 mg Involved in reproductive processes, sex hormone formation; essential for normal brain function and bone development.
Molybdenum (Mo) Dairy products, legumes, whole-grain cereals and organ meats. 75 - 250 mg Involved in enzyme activities.
Phosphorus (P) Meat, fish, eggs, legumes and dairy products; also whole wheat, corn and rice. 1 gram Builds bones and teeth.
Potassium (K) Potatoes, dried fruits, bananas, legumes, raw vegetables, avocados and mushrooms; also lean meat, milk and fish. None;
3.5 grams suggested
Helps nerves and muscles function; regulates heart's rhythm; regulates bodily fluids.
Selenium (Se) Whole-grain cereals, fish and shellfish, meat and dairy products. Women 55 µg;
Men 70 µg
An antioxidant, helps protect cells and tissues from damage by free radicals; may also protect against some cancers.
Sodium (Na) Naturally in many foods and is added to many prepared foods. 2,400 mg Maintains body's fluid balance; important for nerve function and muscle contraction; controls heart's rhythm.
Zinc (Zn) Shellfish (particularly oysters), organ meats and lean red meat, yeast, whole-grain cereals, and legumes. Women 12 mg;
Men 15 mg
Involved in growth, skin health and wound healing, development of the reproductive organs, protein metabolism and energy production.
aRecommended Dietary Allowances
bInternational Units

For more information go to The American Society for Nutritional Sciences Nutrient Information.