Your Guide to Essential Nutrients for Diabetics & The Best Food Sources of Vitamins and Minerals

vitamins and minerals

There are no less than 30 identified vitamins and minerals. With new ones constantly discovered, it’s almost impossible to keep up. But not all vitamins and minerals are essential for diabetics.

Nonetheless, we need most of the 30 vitamins and minerals to reach optimal health. So which vitamins and minerals are essential for diabetics? Read on to find out!

This is a big page, so here’s what you’ll find in order:

Here are some important nutrients for diabetics:

Essential Vitamins for Diabetics:

vitamins supplements
Vitamins Supplements image uploaded to flickr by SOCIALisBETTER

Vitamin A – Protects the lining of the digestive system. Also vital for growth and night vision.

Found In – Liver (not a good source during pregnancy), Egg yolks & dairy products (esp. cheese)

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – vital for muscles and heart function.

Found In – Wholegrains, eggs, beans, nuts and pork.

Vitamins B1 B2 B6 & B12 And Patothenic Acid also supports our enzyme functions. Enzymes are needed to break down food and trigger energy release. These are vital for diabetics let alone anyone overweight.

Found In – Animal Produce (dairy and meaty) & Wholewheat Grains.

Niacin – Metabolises carbs and fat and supports our digestive system. Vital for diabetics

Found In – Oily fish, White meat of poultry, liver, beans and nuts.

Biotin – Essential for digestion. Also triggers our enzymes.

Found In – Beans, grapefruit, bananas, mushrooms (perfect in combination with many meals) and egg yolks.

Essential Minerals for Diabetics:

essential minerals

Iron – Essential to create energy and transport blood around the body. Click here to learn more about iron, iron rich foods and iron deficiency

Sodium (Found in salt, but don’t have too much) and Potassium – Regulates and maintains water balance.

Potassium is found In – Avocados, citric fruit, bananas, green leafy veg, Wholegrains and pulses. Learn the best way to maintain your water balance and drink water, here.

Zinc – Essential for growth and repair. Like the B vitamins, it supports our enzymes.

Found In – Oysters, red meat, beans and wholegrains.

Manganese – Triggers enzymes that release energy.

Found In – Pulses, nuts and some cereals.

Calcium – Essential for strong bones and regulates our muscles.

Found In – Dairy Products (including the dairy queen), Tofu and some nuts.

To learn more about Calcium and its food sources, click here.

Are there any other non-food sources of vitamins and minerals?

Yes, there are. You may occasionally come accross some antibiotics that contain essential vitamins and minerals to help cure certain symptoms.

You can learn a little more about antibiotics here.

EU Values for RDAs of Essential Nutrients

Click here to open up the table of EU Values in a new window.

Table courtesy of The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) at

Why have enzymes come up so often?

Enzymes are essential to break down the food in our bodies but – more importantly for diabetics – they help to control your blood sugar levels by steadying the energy released from your food.

Whenever there’s an opportunity to help control your blood sugar levels, you should take it as it can give you more freedom with your daily lifestyle.

So I have included most of the vitamins and minerals that support the enzymes in your body.

Why should I care about Enzymes?

Because if you can steady the energy release from the foods you eat, you can steady their sugar release, helping you control your blood sugar levels.

That’s why the vitamins and minerals listed above – in particular the enzyme supporters – are so important for diabetics. But that’s not the only benefit of enzymes!

Enzymes can also be found in marinades to tenderize the tougher cuts of meat. So not only will enzymes help you to digest your food, they’ll also make it taste that much better. To learn more about using enzymes to tenderise meat click here.

Surely you can’t expect me to eat all of these vitamins and minerals from food sources alone?

Truthfully? No, I can’t. In fact, it is almost impossible! You would need to eat like an elephant just to get your RDA (Reccomended daily allowance) of these nutrients.

Here, I’ll show you how difficult it is to get your RDA of nutrients from food sources alone…

vial of essential oils with vitamin-e

Let’s take Vitamin E as an example. Vitamin E:

  • Protects our lungs and tissues
  • Maintains the level of red blood cells in our body
  • And (yet again) supports our enzyme functions

To get the recommended 400 IU (International Units) of Vitamin E, you would need to eat:

  • Almost 14 cups of fortified Wheat germ (a grain)


  • Over 3.5 cups of safflower oil


  • 7.5 cups of roasted almonds


  • 72.5 cups of boiled, drained, unsalted spinach!

That is INSANE! I love spinach but I couldn’t eat 72.5 cups of it, every day!.

What’s more, these figures don’t take into account the amount you will actually absorb. So really, you’d needa bit more!

Clearly it is not viable to stuff yourself silly just to get some extra nutrients in your body. Can you imagine how much food you’d have to eat to balance your diet!

Fruit and veg only accounts for 33%!

So what’s the solution to gaining these nutrients?

Buy vitamins and minerals (AKA nutritional supplements).

Never touched nutritional supplements? Take this into consideration:

Our diets and lifestyle changes make it increasingly difficult to only eat healthy foods.

One day could be very calm,making it easy to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and the next, you’re running about like a Yo-Yo.

Sometimes, when you need it most, you don’t get the essential nutrients. If this happens too often, you can feel fatigued, lose concentration or catch a cold.

If this happens too often, your body will get weaker, you will agequicker and when you look at yourself, you’ll probably feel even worse.

Nutritional supplements help keep you at optimum health, keeping you at your best, long-term.

Why should I buy vitamins and minerals if I don’t know what to choose?

You probably shouldn’t! That may even be why you don’t take supplements. In all fairness, it’s a worldwide problem but that’s not the worst of it!

Don’t buy cheap nutritional supplements!

The quality of many vitamins and minerals is questionable, particularly the nutritional supplements found on the high street.

high street nutritional supplements
High Street Nutritional Supplements image uploaded to flickr by Clean Wal-Mart

I used to buy vitamins and minerals on the high street every month. They were cheap and had the nutrients that I wanted.

Or so I thought.

In a recentstudy, over half (54%) of the nutritional supplements that researchers tested did not disintegrate properly.
Quote: J.Pharm Pharmaceut Sci ( 9(1):40-49

Disintegration is a basic quality indicator. Most of these supplements would be pointless to buy. And most of them are found on the high street!

If a tablet does not disintegrate, many nutrients in the tablet will be trapped. It won’t be digested. It’ll literally go in one end and out the other.

What’s the problem with buying high street nutritional supplements?

  • Minimal/Slow Disintegration – A key quality indicator as mentioned above.
  • Ineffective absorption – This happens when the nutrient can’t pass effectively through our digestive walls and into our bloodstream
  • Poor potency per dose/tablet – This is an important point that i’ll cover below.

What is Poor Potency?

In Chemistry, Potency is a measure of the concentration of a drug. In other words potency is how much of a nutrient is found in a drug/tablet/dose.

When the potency of a tablet is poor, you won’t get enough of that nutrient in your body. Now if you combine that with the points above:

  • The amount of nutrients in the tablets won’t be enough for optimal health,
  • Even if the are, most of it may be trapped in the tablet due to poor disintegration,
  • And even if they do disintegrate they probably won’t effectively, go into our bloodstream!

So they may be cheap but they are poor value for money. Perhaps even a waste of money!

So what nutritional supplements should I buy?

There are two main types of nutrients.

  • The essentials – The vitamins and minerals that are vital for our bodies
  • And the optimisers – The nutrients that we can live without but are very beneficial, like CoQ10 (that’s an enzyme too)!

I can supply both. These supplemental vitamins and minerals are rated worldwide, in many magazines, by many doctors and many companies. Even Olympic athletes take these nutritional supplements. And they don’t take supplements lightly!

Want to know more? Click here to contact me for more details.

Why can’t I buy vitamins and minerals from the high street?

high street multivitamins supplements
High Street Multivitamins Supplements image uploaded to flickr by aluzano

Well, you could but the typical ones aren’t great. The sources of the vitamins and minerals are of low quality. Not forgeting the absporption issues I talked about earlier (where i talked about the research on disintegration).

There is so much more you should consider before buying supplements from the shops. So don’t buy vitamins and minerals willy nilly! Don’t be seduced by the SpOffs (Special Offers). Contact me for more details.

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