Kick start your immune system for winter with the A-K of vitamin rich foods
The foods you eat do more than fill you up — they also give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.
These vitamin-rich foods fuel your body’s natural disease-fighting abilities.
Foods high in vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient. It helps your body form healthy teeth, bones, soft tissues, and skin. It can also help you ward off bacterial and viral infections, prevent night blindness, and keep your hair and nails healthy.
Foods that are particularly high in vitamin A include:
- sweet potatoes
- winter squash
- spinach & kale
Some spices are also high in vitamin A, including paprika, red pepper, cayenne, and chili powder.
Foods high in vitamin B
Vitamins B-6, B-12, and B-9 are essential for proper nerve function, the synthesis of DNA, and the formation of red blood cells in your body. They also help maintain your brain function, prevent anaemia, and support metabolism.
Foods that are particularly high in vitamins B-6 and B-12 include:
- meat, poultry, and fish
- seafood, including mussels and oysters
Foods that are particularly high in B-9, or folic acid, include leafy green vegetables and poultry. Some breakfast cereals, fruit juices, and other products are fortified with folic acid.
Foods high in vitamin C
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the health of your cells. It improves your body’s iron absorption. It’s also important for promoting healthy teeth and gums, healing wounds, and helping you resist infection.
Foods that are particularly high in vitamin C include:
- citrus fruits
- Brussels sprouts
- dark leafy greens, such as kale
Foods high in vitamin D
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin. On top of absorbing it from foods you eat, your body can also synthesize it from sunlight. It’s critical for the health of your bones and immune system, as well as calcium absorption. According to the National Cancer Institute, it may also help lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Though sunshine is by far the richest source of vitamin D, foods that also provide vitamin D include:
- some seafood, such as salmon, herring, catfish, trout, and oysters
- shiitake mushrooms
Foods high in vitamin E
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It helps protects your cells from damage. It also helps your body use vitamin K and repair muscle cells.
Foods that are particularly high in vitamin E include:
- sunflower seeds and almonds
Foods high in vitamin K
Vitamin K is critical for your body’s formation of blood clots. Without it, you could bleed to death from a simple cut. It may also help maintain bone strength in older adults.
Foods that are particularly high in vitamin K include:
- kale, spinach
- Brussels sprouts