Vitamins are compounds that are not made in the human body but are needed for healthy nutrition and normal growth. Because vitamins are not self-made, they need to be consumed through a healthy and balanced diet. There are two types of vitamins:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins – These are absorbed, stored and removed in the body through fat.
  • Water-soluble vitamins – These are absorbed, stored and removed through water.


Today let’s have a look at water-soluble vitamins. Below is a table that explains the role that each water-soluble vitamin plays in the body, and what food sources you can include in your diet:


Vitamin Function Sources
C Essential for connective tissue, energy production and is an antioxidant.

apricots, apple, rockmelon, oranges, lemons, blackberries, strawberries, tomatoes and carrots


B1 (Thiamine) Help in muscular and nervous system function, energy production from CHO.

legumes, peas, nuts, seeds, pumpkin, asparagus, plumbs, broccoli, lamb, milk, liver, oatmeal, bread, fish, rice, cheese, eggs, and beef.


B2 (Riboflavin) Cellular health, immune system and adrenal gland function.

liver, kidney, milk, eggs, cheese, fish, oatmeal, bread, spinach, lettuce, bananas, figs, apples and berries


B3 (Niacin) Cell metabolism

Bran, cooked liver, canned tuna, chicken liver, smoked salmon, turkey, chicken, sardines, veal, rump steak, and peanuts


B6 (Pyridoxine) Essential for immune and nervous system function and, red blood cell function.

Bran, soy flour, walnuts, banana, peanut butter, liver, sardines, tuna, avocado, white fish, and lean meat.


B9 (Folate) Essential for the generation of new cells; protects the cells DNA; important for fetal development during pregnancy.

Lentils, collard greens, chickpeas, spinach, asparagus, soybeans, peanuts, eggs, bananas, tinned salmon and milk.


B12 Important for red blood cell and nerve cell function

lamb liver, lamb kidneys, chicken liver, canned sardines, milk, turkey, white fish, lean beef and eggs


It is important that you consume the right amount of each vitamin; eating too little of certain vitamins, as well as eating too much can lead to health issues - deficiency on one end and toxicity at the other. For more information, consult a dietitian.