Vitamins A, B and E are found in foods derived from both animals and plants. Get your vitamin A for eyesight and healthy body tissue from organ meats (such as giblets) and orange vegetables (such as carrots). Of the B vitamins in food—B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, biotin, and pantothenic acid—B6 and B12 are essential vitamins for red blood cell formation and hundreds of other growth and catalyst functions. Find these major nutrients in meats, fish and enriched cereals. Vitamin E is concentrated in egg yolks and many nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. The nutrition facts printed on labels list any significant amounts of vitamins in food products.
This essential vitamin is most potent in beef, pork, chicken and turkey liver. It is present in chicken white and dark meat but not in turkey pieces. Fish and shellfish are good sources of vitamin A, while pork chops and roasts have only low amounts. Most cereals, especially bran, are fortified with vitamin A.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests daily adult intake of vitamin A of 900 mcg RAE (micrograms in retinol activity equivalents). Nutrition facts help you locate vitamin A in dairy products. It occurs naturally in whole milk and can be added to other varieties. Get A vitamins in foods such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin, and in dark-green, leafy vegetables including spinach, collard, kale and beet greens.
Label nutrition facts help you choose prepared cereals enriched with vitamins B6 and B12. Adults ages 19 through 50 need 1.3 mg of B6 vitamins in food or supplements per day. Those ages 14 and up require 2.4 mg of vitamin B12 per day. Find both of these essential vitamins in chicken, beef, pork, turkey and lamb, and in fish such as tuna, salmon and trout.
Dairy products and eggs also contain vitamins B6 and B12. Dark-green, leafy produce, legumes (beans) and whole grains such as oatmeal are additional good B vitamin sources.
Fortunately, many of these same classes of foods satisfy your daily need for vitamin E. Get plenty of this nutrient from wheat germ, almonds, peanut butter and sunflower seeds. Vitamin E is also present in corn, sunflower, safflower, wheat germ, peanut and soybean oils.
Sardines, herring and crab are good animal sources of vitamin E. It exists in less significant amounts in beef, chicken, turkey, lamb and pork. Ages 14 and over should get 15 mg of this essential vitamin daily. Vitamin E may be listed on nutrition facts as a-tocopherol, short for alpha-tocopherol, the form of the nutrient necessary for adequate body function.