You’ve probably had this conversation before if you’re into animal-based eating, or if you’re following a carnivore or Keto way of eating. “You’re not getting enough vitamins! You need your veggies!!!!!” In fact, there are plenty of vitamins found in animal foods.
Yes, even vitamin C can be found in some animal-based foods.
Sometimes, people are genuinely trying to offer advice. Other times, people are just shaming you for eating a meat-heavy diet. Don’t let them. You’re getting plenty of vitamins eating animal products.
As I’ve written before, I’m not completely carnivore. I do eat cruciferous vegetables to get additional K vitamins and some minerals as I have a family history of heart diseases. However, animal products are essential to one’s diet and health.
Here are nine key vitamins you’ll find in various animal products. What I mean by animal products is not only meat, but eggs and even dairy, which are animal byproducts.
1.) Vitamin A
Vitamin A is best known as a vitamin that is responsible for maintaining good vision, a strong immune system, and healthy skin. Trying to conceive? Make sure your vitamin A levels are up to par, as vitamin A is also good for reproductive health for both men and women.
One serving of various livers and liver oil easily exceeds the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A.
Not into liver? Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna contain relatively large amounts of vitamin A. Cheese, butter, and eggs also contain smaller amounts that may need to be supplemented with other meats.
Not into fish or liver? Supplements are available.
2.) Vitamin B2
Also known as Riboflavin, vitamin B2‘s best purpose is regulating energy metabolism. Main symptoms of deficiency are swelling and inflammation of the mouth and throat.
The good news is one 6-oz. steak can get you your daily allowance of B2, so you won’t need to really go out of your way to ensure adequate ingestion.
Other animal products that contain B2 are milk, salmon, pork, and eggs.
Many mornings after a workout I eat a breakfast of four hard-boiled eggs, which alone gets me about 80% of my RDA of Riboflavin.
3.) Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 is also known as Pantothenic Acid and is another essential vitamin. B5 is best known for fat maintenance and is critical if you’re trying to lose weight. Also, B5 is a key vitamin for cellular health.
Deficiency of B5 can include fatigue and cramps.
One 9-oz salmon fillet accounts for your RDA of vitamin B5.
Also high in B5 is chicken breast, steak, milk, and pork chops.
4.) Vitamin B6
You may also know vitamin B6 as Pyridoxine. B6 is most important to your metabolism and the creation of red blood cells.
Milk, ricotta cheese, fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, chicken liver, and beef all contain generous amounts of B6.
5.) Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 has become a serious topic of interest for many. There are even brick-and-mortar places where you can get injections to supplement B12!
Why do that when you can supplement B12 fully through diet?
I wrote an article recently on 12 Animal-Based Sources of Vitamin B12. If you are into seafood, you should have no problem at all supplementing B12. Steak, eggs, pork, and even chicken provide good amounts.
6.) Vitamin C
Like B12, vitamin C is another vitamin that is often supplemented in pill form. We’ve all been told to load up on it if we’re starting to feel the effects of a cold, such as runny nose and sore throat. Also known as Ascorbate or Ascorbic Acid, vitamin C is known to reduce the severity and duration of colds.
We’re also told to drink orange juice due to the amounts of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is most commonly thought to be in fruits and vegetables, but it can be found in animal-based products as well.
Sufficient amounts can be found in fish roe and liver. Raw fish can also contain a decent amount.
I advocate the consumption of cruciferous vegetables to complement the animal products I consume. One reason is to ensure vitamin C, as I don’t eat liver.
7.) Vitamin D
Go out in the sun and get some vitamin D!
Well-known as the sun vitamin, vitamin D is the one vitamin your body produces when exposed to sunlight.
Many people in the world are deficient in vitamin D, which regulates calcium, can help with sleep, helps maintain healthy teeth and bones, and is said to even protect against type 1 diabetes.
Wild-caught salmon contains the most vitamin D, with one 3.5-ounce filet containing as much as 165% of the RDA. Farmed salmon contains far less vitamin D. Other seafood such as herring, sardines, cod liver oil, tuna, oysters, and shrimp, as well as egg yolks, contain this essential vitamin.
8.) Vitamin E
Vitamin E is vital to the health of your cells. Without it, people are who deficient can suffer from infections, decreased eyesight, and muscular weakness.
The highest concentrations of vitamin E are found in seeds and fruits. One avocado contains up to 30% of the RDA.
However, it can be found in animal products as well. The shellfish abalone contains the highest amount of vitamin E of all animal products, but is very expensive to buy. Oysters, which are much more attainable, contain decent amounts of vitamin E. One salmon or trout fillet contains up to 30% of the RDA. Other animal foods containing vitamin E are snails, crayfish, octopus, lobster, and dried cod.
9.) Vitamin K2
Vitamin K is also crucial for kidney health, brain health, bone health, regulating calcium and insulin, and can possibly be key for cancer prevention.
While K1 is found in leafy green vegetables, K2 is found in animal products. This is why some ways of eating, such as NSNG, put emphasis on the consumption of select vegetables in addition to animal products.
K2, which is also known as menaquinone, can be found in beef liver, pork, and chicken in large concentrations. In smaller concentrations, K2 can also be found in bacon, ground beef, other animal livers, beef kidney, and duck breast. Hard cheeses also contain high concentrations of K2. Other cheeses and even egg yolks contain lower concentrations.
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