Micronutrients and their Food Sources


Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are easily absorbed and as they cannot usually be stored by the body they are readily excreted.  Therefore, we should ensure we have a daily supply of these vitamins although gut bacteria can make some water-soluble vitamins, which are B5, B6, B12 and folic acid. 

The following are all water-soluble vitamins along with some of the foods you can find them in. 

  • B1 (thiamin): wholegrains such as oats, sunflower seeds, legumes, avocado, pineapple  
  • B2 (riboflavin): eggs, whole grains, red meat and organ meats, most fish, avocado and watercress  
  • B3 (niacin): rice bran, buckwheat, meat and organ meats, most fish, peanuts, tomato puree, potato skin 
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): rice bran, potato skin, oats, organ meats, poultry, duck, avocado, lentils, pumpkin 
  • B6 (pyridoxine): rice bran, buckwheat, brown rice, potato skin, sweet potato, meat and poultry, lentils, avocado, banana, mango 
  • Folic acid: green vegetables, liver, beans, avocado, almonds 
  • B12 (cobalamin): meat (particularly red meat), fish, shellfish, eggs, dairy 
  • Vitamin C: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, bell peppers, berries, kiwi fruit 

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are found in food sources of fat and oil, require emulsification to be absorbed, and are stored in the body so can be utilised in times of need but can also be toxic in excessive amounts. 

  • Vitamin A: liver, full-fat dairy, eggs, oily fish.  Green, yellow, orange and red plant foods such as kale, broccoli, bell peppers, mango and apricots are sources of carotenoids such as beta-carotene that can be converted to vitamin A. 
  • Vitamin D: Primary source is sunlight but small amounts can be obtained from oily fish, butter, cod liver oil and egg yolk. 
  • Vitamin E: Wheatgerm, nuts and seeds and their oils, avocado and virgin olive oil are all sources. 
  • Vitamin K: Good sources include parsley, cabbage, kale, spinach, broccoli and chickpeas.  Gut bacteria also make a significant amount of vitamin K. 


Mineral absorption can be negatively impacted by tea, coffee, alcohol, low stomach acid, oxalates (found in coffee, chocolate, rhubarb, spinach, berries, beans and nuts) and phytates (found in nuts, seeds, grains, beans and tofu).  Oxalates and phytates may be reduced by soaking and cooking the foods that contain them. 

  • Boron: beans, chickpeas, almonds, walnuts, avocado, broccoli, apple 
  • Calcium: kale, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts (particularly almonds), sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dairy, fish (particularly fish with soft bones such as sardines) 
  • Chromium: nuts and seeds, whole grains, black pepper, molasses, asparagus, mushrooms 
  • Copper: whole grains, nuts, legumes, shellfish, molasses, avocados, olives 
  • Iodine: sea vegetables, fish, eggs, dairy 
  • Iron: meat and poultry, seafood, dark green leafy vegetables, beans and peas (plant sources should be consumed with vitamin C to aid absorption) 
  • Magnesium: wholegrains, nuts and seeds, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables 
  • Manganese: whole grains, nuts, legumes, seed sprouts, spices, dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, raspberries, blackberries 
  • Molybdenum: beans, lentils, peas, nuts, whole grains 
  • Phosphorus: meat and poultry, fish, pumpkin seeds 
  • Potassium: beans, nuts, fruit such as avocado, bananas and kiwi, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potato 
  • Selenium: garlic, mushrooms, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, asparagus 
  • Zinc: shellfish, meat, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, mushrooms 

Buckwheat Pancakes (Gluten & dairy free)