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Must-Have Vitamins & Minerals

Eating right helps you develop stamina, improve athletic performance and recover quicker from injury. Here's a rundown on essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay fit.

Vitamin A

What is does: This vitamin helps you see colors, and it helps with your night vision. It also helps you have healthy skin.

What you should eat: Vitamin A can be found in carrots, spinach, apricots, nectarines, guava, cantaloupe and fortified milk.

B Vitamins

What is does: These vitamins, which include B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid, help make energy and red blood cells that carry oxygen to different parts of your body.

What you should eat: B vitamins are found in fish like tuna, and meats such as beef, pork and chicken. Other foods with B vitamins are enriched cereals and breads, leafy green vegetables, dried beans and whole wheat grains.

Vitamin C

What is does: This popular vitamin is well known for helping your body resist infection. It also strengthens muscles, bones, gums and teeth.

What you should eat: Oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, lemons, and raspberries. Orange juice and other juices can be excellent sources of vitamin C. Check labels to make sure you’re getting what you need. Tomatoes, broccoli and green peppers are also great sources.

Vitamin D

What is does: This is an essential vitamin for strong bones and teeth because it helps the body absorb calcium.

What you should eat: Milk, pudding, eggs and tuna.

Vitamin E

What is does: This vitamin protects important body tissues, like the ones in your eyes, skin and liver. It also protects the lungs from damaging air and helps your body store vitamin A. Additionally, it works with vitamin K to help with blood clotting.

What you should eat: Oils found in corn and sunflower seeds; leafy dark green vegetables and nuts.


What is does: This mineral helps build strong bones and healthy teeth.

What you should eat: Milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt and cheese. Plus, some juices and whole grain cereals are fortified with calcium, so read your labels and drink the juices that will help build strong bones.


What is does: This is an important part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. It is very important to get enough iron.

What you should eat: Red meat, beans, baked potato (eat the skin), apricots. Whole grain breads (or iron-enriched breads), some cereals and raisins.

Interested in learning more about fueling a young athlete?

Schedule an appointment with a WakeMed dietitian by making an appointment with Outpatient Nutrition Services at 919-350-7000.

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