Vitamins copy
Daniel Safvat
Daniel Safvat

Senior Writer

What Are Vitamins?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Table of Contents

Vitamins are organic compounds that your body needs in small quantities to grow and develop normally. A vitamin is both: 

  • An organic compound, which means it contains carbon
  • An essential nutrient that body cannot produce enough of and which it needs to get from food.

Vitamins have different jobs—helping you resist infections, keeping your nerves healthy, and helping your body get energy from food or your blood to clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.

Below are the 13 necessary vitamins for your body.

Vegan Essential Multivitamin

FK Multi web

Vitamin A

Vitamin A

B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate)


Vitamin B

Vitamin C


Vitamin C 1

Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Vitamin E


Vitamin E

Vitamin K

You can usually get all your vitamins from the foods you eat. Your body can also make vitamins D and K. 


Vitamin K

Each organism has different vitamin requirements. For example, humans need to consume vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, but dogs do not. Dogs can produce, or synthesize, enough vitamin C for their own needs, but humans cannot.

People need to get most of their vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, because it is not available in large enough quantities in food. However, the human body can synthesize it when exposed to sunlight

It’s important that the people who eat a vegetarian diet are more likely to need to take a vitamin B12 supplement.


Vitamins Are Either Fat-soluble or Water-soluble, According to Medicalnewstoday

Fat-soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and the liver. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. These are easier to store than water-soluble vitamins, and they can stay in the body as reserves for days, and sometimes months. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats, or lipids.

Water-soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for long. The body cannot store them, and they are soon excreted in urine. Because of this, water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones. Vitamin C and all the B vitamins are water soluble. To get a complete vitamin intake you should follow the Dietary Guideline published every five years. Below you can find some of the tips from the USDA.

Fruits - Focus on Whole Fruits

Eat seasonally! Checking what fruits are in season in your area can help save money. Craving something sweet? Try dried fruits like cranberries, mango, apricots, cherries, or raisins. To meet your fruit goal—keep fresh fruit rinsed and where you can see it. Reach for a piece when you need a snack.

Vegetables - Vary Your Veggies

Vary your veggies by adding a new vegetable to a different meal each day. Add color to salads with baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or green beans. Include seasonal veggies for variety throughout the year. Vegetables go well with a dip or dressing. Try a low-fat dip or hummus with raw broccoli, red and yellow peppers, sugar snap peas, celery, cherry tomatoes or cauliflower.

Grains - Make Half Your Grains Whole Grains

Popcorn is a whole grain! Pop a bag of low-fat or fat-free popcorn for a healthier snack. Whole grain pasta is great in baked dishes or pasta salad. If you choose refined grain pasta, make sure it’s enriched by checking the ingredient list. Ready-to-eat, wholegrain cereal is a tasty breakfast option or can be enjoyed as a whole grain snack.

Protein Foods - Vary your Protein Routine

Make dinner once and serve it twice. Roast a larger cut of lean meat. Make a second meal using the ‘planned-over’ meat. For car trips, pack a mixture of unsalted nuts, seeds and dried fruit for a crunchy, protein-packed snack. Keep seafood on hand. Seafood, such as canned salmon, tuna, or crab and frozen fish is quick and easy to prepare.

Dairy - Move to Low-fat or Fat-free Milk or Yogurt

Make a smoothie by blending fat-free milk or yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. Try bananas, peaches, or mixed berries. For breakfast try low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Mix in cereal or fruit for extra flavor, texture and nutrients. Adding 8 oz. of low-fat or fat-free milk to your meal is one of the easiest ways to get dairy.

Limits - Drink and Eat Less Sodium, Saturated Fats and Added Sugars

Tips for Salt and Sodium

Many processed foods contain high amounts of sodium. Choose fresh vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood when possible.

Using spices or herbs, such as dill, chili powder, paprika, or cumin, and lemon or lime juice, can add flavor without adding salt.


Tips for Saturated Fats

Keep it lean and flavorful. Try grilling, broiling, roasting, or baking—they don’t add extra fat. Simple substitutions can help you stay within your saturated fat limit. Try using nonfat yogurt when you make tuna or chicken salad.

Tips For Added Sugars

Split the sweet treats and share with a family member or friend.
Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. 

Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugars.

What Do Multivitamins Contain?

Thirteen vitamins and at least 16 minerals are essential to your health.
Many of them aid enzyme reactions in your body or function as signaling molecules or structural elements.

Your body also needs these nutrients for reproduction, maintenance, growth, and regulation of bodily processes.

Multivitamins may offer many of these vitamins and minerals — but in varying forms and amounts. They may also contain other ingredients like herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids.

Because dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), multivitamins may contain higher or lower levels of some nutrients than the label states (4Trusted Source).

In some cases, they may not even provide all of the listed nutrients. The supplement industry is notorious for fraud, so it’s important to purchase your vitamins from a reputable manufacturer.

Keep in mind that the nutrients in multivitamins may be derived from real foods or created synthetically in laboratories.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top