Nutrients & Health
Packing the optimal amounts of nutrients into your diet alone can be a challenge.
Did you know the vast majority of us in the UK have diets that are deficient in recommended nutrient levels*?
As more and more people switch to plant-based diets, the risks of nutrient deficiencies looks set to grow. A good quality daily multivitamin supplement can be a useful way to bridge the gaps.
*Source National Diet and Nutrition Survey
Find out more about vitamins, minerals and essential fats in our A-Z guide below:
Vitamin A: vital for maintaining good eyesight, important for immunity, and growth in children. The richest natural sources of vitamin A are fish liver oil and animal liver. Other sources include egg yolk, cheese, fortified margarine, butter and full-fat milk.
Vitamin B6: an important vitamin for metabolism and the creation of red blood cells, support the immune system, it helps with the regulation of hormonal activity and can reduce tiredness. Sources of vitamin B6 include poultry, fish, peanuts, oats and bananas.
Vitamin B12: If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet, supplementing with Vitamin B12 can be important; it is only found in animal products or fortified foods. This vitamin is essential in the functioning of the nervous and immune systems; making red blood cells and is involved in energy production. Good sources of vitamin B12 include meat, liver, kidney, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and fortified breakfast cereals.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is synonymous with colds. It acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralise free radicals. It is also involved in maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels. It helps aid wound healing and increases iron absorption in the gut. Vitamin C is found in foods of plant origin, particularly citrus and soft fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D: often called “the sunshine vitamin”, the body creates this from direct sunlight on the skin. Public Health England recommends a daily 10 microgram D supplement, particularly in autumn/winter when the sun isn’t strong enough for the body to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus; essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth and supporting heart and muscle function. It is also important for the immune system Good food sources include full-fat dairy products, oily fish, egg yolks and fortified margarine.
- Vitamin E: an antioxidant protecting cells in your body from damage from free radicals. Vitamin E is found in plant-based oil, nuts seeds fruits and vegetables.
Biotin: part of the vitamin B family. Your body needs biotin to help convert nutrients into energy. It also plays in important role in the health of your hair skin and nails. Biotin-rich foods include egg yolks, peas, beans, nuts and seeds mushrooms, broccoli and bananas.
- Folic Acid: helps the body form healthy red blood cells. Women are advised to take folic acid for 12 weeks prior to conception until the 12th week of pregnancy. Folic acid is essential during pregnancy for efficient neural tube development which forms the brain and spinal cord. Good sources of folate include broccoli, brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage and spinach, peas, chickpeas, breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.
Calcium: maintains healthy bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a role in regulating muscle contraction, including the heart muscle; Good sources include dairy products, canned fish such as sardines, dark green leafy vegetables, bread, sesame seeds.
Iodine: used to form thyroid hormones, which help regulate our body’s metabolic rate – the speed at which chemical reactions take place in the body. Good sources include saltwater fish and shellfish, kelp, seaweed, sea salt, iodised salt, dairy products and pulses.
Iron: essential for the formation of haemoglobin in red blood cells and transports oxygen around the body. Good sources include liver, kidney, heart, red meat, beef, pork, canned pilchards/sardines, fish, shellfish, wholegrain cereals, eggs, spinach, chicken, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit and fortified breakfast cereals.
Selenium: plays a major role in important processes in your body including your metabolism and thyroid function. It acts as an antioxidant preventing cell damage caused by free radicals. Selenium-rich foods include brazil nuts unprocessed meat, fish, shellfish and eggs.
Magnesium: needed for the formation of many enzymes in the body which release energy from food. It is also vital for the nervous system, muscle movement and for the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium is present in all green plants. The main sources are unrefined cereals and wholemeal bread, green leafy vegetables, and peanuts.
- Zinc: required to aid growth of the immune cells plus maintenance of hair, skin and nails. Superoxide dismutase (a powerful antioxidant enzyme that neutralises potentially damaging free radicals) requires zinc. Zinc is also essential for reproduction. Good sources include red meat, liver, shellfish (especially oysters), egg yolks, dairy products, wholegrain cereals and pulses.
- Omega 3: Omega-3 essential fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are found in every cell membrane in the body and have a wide range of functions. They help to reduce triglyceride levels in the blood, supporting heart health, brain function, reducing blood pressure, maintaining eye health. Omega-3 is found in fish oils and algae oils. Algae oil is the most potent source of Omega-3 DHA.