A – Z of the vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need

Vitamins, Minerals and Trace Elements

Vitamin A

Also Known as retinol helps maintain health of the skin and mucus linings, vision and strengthens immunity.
Good Sources: Cheese, liver, eggs, oily fish, milk and yogurt.

Vitamin B6

Also known as pyridoxine helps haemoglobin to form and allows the body to use and store energy.
Good Sources: Pork, chicken, turkey, cod, bread, whole cereals, eggs, vegetables, soya beans, peanuts, milk and potatoes.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in virtually all meat products and certain algae such as seaweed. It helps make red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy. It also helps release energy from food and is needed to process folic acid.
Good Sources: Meat, salmon, cod, milk, cheese, eggs and yeast extract.

Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, it helps protect cells and keep them healthy. It is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.
Good sources:  Peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, oranges and kiwi fruit.

Vitamin D

Most people get all the vitamin D they need from their diet and getting a little sun, we get most of our vitamin D from the sun. It helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.
Good sources: Oily fish and eggs.

Vitamin E

Has a number of important functions, for example it helps protect cell membranes.
Good sources: Soya, corn and olive oil, nuts, seeds and wheat germ.

Vitamin K

Helps build strong bones and is essential for blood clotting.
Good sources: Leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, vegetables oil and cereals. Small amounts are also found in pork and cheese.


Gives fruit and vegetables it’s yellow and orange colour. Beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A once inside the body.
Good sources: spinach, carrots, red peppers, mango and melon.


Has a number of different functions, one of which is helping digest food into energy.
Good sources: Meat, kidney, eggs and some fruit and vegetables especially dried mixed fruit.


Is thought to help the body make use if the glucose, fats , oestrogen, calcium, copper and magnesium it needs.
Good sources: Green vegetables, fruit and nuts.


Helps build strong bones and teeth, regulates muscle contractions – including the heartbeat – and makes sure blood clots normally. It is also thought that calcium lowers high blood pressure and may help protect against colon and breast cancer.
Good sources: Milk, cheese and other dairy, Soya beans, tofu, nuts, bread, green leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach. It is also found in fish in which you eat the bones such as whitebait, sardines and pilchards.


Affects how insulin behaves in the body, so it may affect the amount of energy we get from food.
Good sources:  Meat, whole grains lentils and spices.


Forms part of the structure of vitamin B12
Good sources: Fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables and cereals.


Helps produce red and white blood cells and triggers the release of iron to form haemoglobin. Copper is thought to be important to infant growth, brain development, strong immune system and strong bones.
Good sources: Nuts, shellfish and offal.


Helps protect teeth from tooth decay and contributes to the formation of strong teeth.
Good Sources: Tea and fish

Folic Acid

Known as Folate in it’s natural form, works with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells.
Good Sources: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, chickpeas and brown rice.


Helps us get energy out of food.
Good sources: Beans, tomato juice, oysters, tuna and garlic.


Helps make thyroid hormones, these help keep the metabolic rate healthy.
Good sources: Sea fish and shellfish.


Helps make red blood cells. Spinach, tea and coffee contain a substance that makes it harder for us to absorb Iron.
Good sources: Liver, meat, beans, nuts, dried fruits, whole grains and most dark green leafy vegetables.


Helps turn food into energy and helps areas needed for healthy bones.
Good sources: Green leafy vegetables and nuts.


Helps activate and produce some enzymes in the body.
Good sources: Bread, nuts, cereals, green vegetables and tea.


Helps make and activate enzymes involved in making and repairing genetic material.
Good sources: Peas, leafy vegetables and cauliflower.


Also known as vitamin B3, helps produce energy from food and helps keep both the nervous and digestive system healthy.
Good sources: Lentils, oats and nuts.

Pantothenic Acid

Helps us release energy from food.
Good sources: Chicken, beef, potatoes, porridge, tomatoes, kidney, eggs, broccoli and whole grains.


Helps build strong bones and teeth, and helps release energy from food.
Good sources: Red meat, dairy, fish, poultry, bread, rice and oats.


Helps control the balance of fluids in the body. It is also thought to help lower blood pressure.
Good sources: Bananas, fruit, vegetables, pulses, nuts, seeds, milk, fish, shellfish, beef, chicken, turkey and bread.


Also known as vitamin B2, Riboflavin can be destroyed by UV light so these foods should be kept out of direct sunlight.
Good sources: mushrooms, milk, eggs and rice.


Plays an important role in our immune systems, it is also part of the bodies antioxidant defence system, preventing damage to cells and tissue.
Good sources: Brazil nuts, bread, fish, meat and eggs.


Helps keep bones and connective tissue healthy.
Good sources: Oats, barley, rice fruit and vegetables.

Sodium Chloride (salt)

Sodium and chloride both help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced. Chloride also aids in digestion.
It’s hard to eat too little salt, avoid as much as possible, no more than 6g of salt a day.


Helps make cartilage.
Good sources:  Eggs, cheese, fish, seafood and dried fruit.


Also known as Vitamin B1, helps keeps nerve and muscle tissue healthy. It works with other B vitamins to help release energy from food.
Good sources: Pork, vegetables, milk, cheese, peas, fresh and dried fruit, eggs and whole grain breads.


Has a number of important functions, for example, it helps; make new cells, heal wounds and in processing carbohydrate, fat and protein in food.
Good sources: Meat, shellfish, milk, cheese, bread and wheat germ.