From these foods you’ll get all your vitamins

“Finish your plate, you’ll grow big and strong” – that was probably one of the ways your parents tried to make sure that you got enough vitamins. And they weren’t wrong because you can get a lot of vitamins from food! Do you not want to take any supplements but you do want to make sure that you get enough vitamins and minerals during the day? These foods can help you!

In addition to the fact that vitamins can make you feel fresher after a night out, it’s important to feel healthy and energetic. Overall, there are 13 different types of vitamins: A, B (8 types), C, D, E and K. But, from which ‘everyday foods’ can you get all these vitamins from?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A ensures healthy skin and eyes, but is also very important for the production of cells and tissue of the skin. A deficiency can cause skin problems and dull hair. In addition to vitamin A being high in animal products such as dairy and meat, your body also produces it from plant-based products and vegetables.

Foods: Banana, cauliflower, eggs, mandarins, margarine, oranges, cabbage, fish, meats, carrots and dairy.

Vitamin B

There are eight different types of vitamin B: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B8 (biotin), B11 (folic acid) and B12. The various types of vitamin Bs all have their own function:

B1: helps with the release of energy from carbohydrates
B2: protects the eyes from sunlight and keeps the skin and hair healthy
B3: proper functioning of the nervous system and plays a role in energy transfers and production
B5: construction and breakdown of macronutrients and the formation of hormones
B6: formation of red blood cells, build-up of DNA and the construction and breakdown of proteins
B8: development of skin and hair, formation of fatty acids and energy production
B11: production of DNA, build-up and breakdown of proteins and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
B12: production of DNA, build-up and breakdown of proteins and the production of red blood cells

Foods: Potatoes, apricots, banana, broccoli, brown (whole wheat) bread, eggs, grains, cheese, dairy, nuts, soybeans, spinach, Brussels sprouts, fish, meat, watermelon and carrots.

Vitamin C

When you get enough vitamin C, it ensures for the proper formation of connective tissue, iron absorption and a better immune system. If you have a deficiency of vitamin C, you are more likely to get sick and cuts will heal less quickly.

Foods: Strawberries, pineapple, basil, berries, chives, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, cayenne pepper, chili powder, yellow bell pepper, kiwi, cloves, mango, papaya, parsley, red cabbage, rosemary, orange, Brussels sprouts, thyme and tomatoes.

Vitamin D

The main vitamin for the maintenance of firm bones is vitamin D. In addition to getting this vitamin from foods, your body also produces vitamin D itself and gets it from sunlight. So, a good way to get vitamin D is to go for a nice walk outside! A deficiency in vitamin D can cause osteoporosis and muscle weakness.


Foods: Cooking fats, mushrooms, boiled eggs, cheese, margarine, nuts, legumes, beef tartar, orange juice, soy milk and fatty fish (herring, mackerel, tuna and salmon).

Vitamin E

Vitamin C improves and works together with your immune system. Further, vitamin E also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and slows down the aging process. A vitamin E deficiency occurs rarely, but can lead to anemia.

Foods: almonds, apple, avocado, kale, broccoli, brown (whole grain) bread, nuts, olives, papaya, peanut butter, red bell-pepper, chard, spinach, seeds and sunflower oil.

Vitamin K

For good blood clotting, bone tissue production and strong bones and teeth, you need enough vitamin K. The body produces the vitamin itself in the large intestine, but, just like the other vitamins, it can also be found in certain foods.

Foods: Escarole, apple, banana, kale, broccoli, peas, eggs, cheese, quark, milk, orange, spinach, meat, yogurt, seaweed, sunflower oil and sauerkraut.

From which foods do you get most of your vitamins?

Sources: Gezondheidsplein, Vitamin Info, Voedingscentrum

Want to know more about macronutrients? Take a look here to get a better idea of what they are! >

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Are you getting enough Vitamin B12?

As a vegetarian I know it can be quite a challenge to ensure you get all your nutrients. Especially because you can’t always tell you have a deficiency. Luckily I’ve got a sister with a degree in Food and Nutrition, who’s currently working on her masters in Health Sciences. I was unaware of any deficiencies until she got me hooked on oat milk, which I heat up to put in my morning coffee. The best thing about oat milk for me is that it has added Vitamin B12 – which, I later realized, I wasn’t getting enough of. I am now, and I feel so much better. What about you? Are you getting enough Vitamin B12?

Why is B12 so important?

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a nutrient that our bodies are unable to produce naturally. This means that the only way to get B12 into our system, is by absorbing it through food or supplements. And it’s definitely something to look into. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to various physical complaints, like (extreme) fatigue, anaemia, muscle weakness, stomach problems and damaged nerves. But it can also result in cognitive issues, like a lack of focus, poor memory, confusion and an increased risk for depression. Long story short: both your body and your brain need B12 to function properly.

How do I make sure I get enough Vitamin B12?

The issues mentioned above can, of course, also be the result of another deficiency or medical issue. However, if you’re (mostly) plant-based, you’re at a higher risk of not getting enough B12. This is because the nutrient is mostly found in animal products like meat, fish and dairy. If you suspect a B12 deficiency, take a look at some other products with added B12. Many types of oat milk, soy products, meat substitutes and granola are enriched with B12. That said, vegetarians and especially vegans may need to get a supplement to get the daily recommended amount. Luckily, there are plenty of options these days. B12 is one of the 7 most important supplements that help you thrive on a plant-based diet. Always ask for expert advice from a health care professional before you start taking supplements, so you know you get the formulation that works best for you.