How to Get Your Daily Vitamins & Minerals without Swallowing Pills

Hate swallowing pills to get your daily vitamins? You’re not alone!

40 percent of American adults have difficulty swallowing pills. Fortunately, pills aren’t the only – or even the best – way to get your daily vitamins.

If you want to get your daily vitamins and minerals without swallowing pills, here’s a breakdown of the best alternative options according to Factor’s dietitian team:

How to Get Your Daily Vitamins & Minerals without Swallowing Pills
Eating fruits and vegetables can help you get many of your daily vitamins and minerals.

How to Get Your Daily Vitamins without Swallowing Pills

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get your daily vitamins without swallowing pills. From simply consuming a well-balanced diet to taking supplements, here are a few of your options:

Get Them in Your Food: A balanced diet is the foundation for good health. Focusing on consuming high-quality, nutrient-rich foods will keep your body running efficiently! Nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, contain high doses of essential daily vitamins and minerals. Protein sources such as lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy and eggs are sources of B vitamins.

Liquid Vitamins: If you have trouble swallowing pills, liquid vitamins and minerals can be a great alternative. If you can’t find the specific item you want in liquid form at the store, ask your pharmacist if one exists. But you may need to shop around before you find one you like, as some can have a bitter aftertaste.

Crushable Vitamins: Some solid vitamins can be crushed, which allows you to mix the vitamins with your food. Crushing vitamins can increase the rate your body absorbs the vitamins. However, be sure to read the label or ask your pharmacist, as some vitamins may need to remain intact when swallowing to ensure they digest properly.

Gummy Vitamins: Another tasty alternative to traditional vitamins is gummy vitamins. However, some gummy vitamins contain a relatively high amount of added sugar content, ranging between 2 to 5 grams per serving. If you’re taking more than one type of gummy vitamin, the sugar can add up!

How to Get Your Daily Vitamins & Minerals without Swallowing Pills
Healthy hair is just one of the benefits you can get from consuming your daily vitamins and minerals.

Why Do You Need Vitamins & Minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that help our bodies function properly. They’re necessary for critical tasks, such as nerve, muscle, bone immune and brain function. They also contain cancer-fighting properties and help you maintain healthy hair, skin and nails.

Heart-Healthy Benefits: Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of dietary fat that reduces inflammation in the body and may lead to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Omega-3’s are found in foods, such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseeds and olive oil. Fish oil supplements are an alternative source of omega-3 fatty acids for those who feel they may not be getting enough in their diet.

Hair, Skin, and Nails: Vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins (e.g., Biotin) are the primary ingredients found in products that promote hair, skin and nail health. These vitamins can help stimulate hair follicle growth and strengthen nails when a deficiency exists. Dietary deficiencies that affect the strength of hair, skin and nails include protein, iron, biotin, zinc and vitamin A. [1]

Lower Cancer Risk: Antioxidants are compounds that help prevent and slow damage to cells in the body by neutralizing free radicals. Antioxidants have been linked to reduced cancer risk. Vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene and lutein are a few examples of dietary antioxidants. Research has found that the best way to consume antioxidants is through food, such as apples, berries, dark leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, nuts and beans.

Immune System Boost: Antioxidants can also help boost your immune system. A healthy immune system is built over time by consistently consuming foods high in vitamins and minerals. While vitamin C gummies may come in handy when sickness strikes, it’s best to avoid colds all together with a consistent, well-balanced diet.²

How to Get Your Daily Vitamins & Minerals without Swallowing Pills
The daily requirements for different vitamins and minerals can vary greatly.

How Much of Each Vitamin and Mineral Do I Need Each Day?

Daily values (DV), a term set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are a reliable way to identify the nutritional quality of food. DVs display the recommended daily intake of nutrients for healthy adults following a 2,000-calorie diet. The % Daily Value (%DV) listed on the Nutrition Facts Label is a guide to help you more easily understand the number of vitamins and minerals in one serving of a particular food. [2]

Explore the chart below to learn what the DVs are for specific vitamins and minerals and what foods you should eat to get enough of them.

VITAMIN FUNCTION FOOD SOURCES DAILY VALUE (DV)*
Niacin * Conversion of food into energy
• Digestion
• Nervous system function
• Tuna
• Poultry
• Pork
• Beef
• Portabella mushroom
• Fortified grains
• Peanuts
• Beans
• Whole grains
16 mg
Thiamin (B1) • Conversion of food into energy
• Nervous system function
• Muscle contraction
• Whole grains
• Fortified grains
• Nuts and seeds
• Beans and peas
• Pork
1.2 mg
Riboflavin (B2) • Conversion of food into energy
• Red blood cell formation
• Growth and development
• Beef
• Milk
• Seafood
• Mushrooms
• Eggs
• Spinach
• Fortified grains
• Fortified Tofu
• Poultry
1.3 mg
Pantothenic Acid • Conversion of food into energy
• Nervous system function
• Avocados
• Mushrooms
• Poultry
• Seafood
• Beef
• Milk
• Eggs
• Sweet Potatoes
• Beans and lentils
5 mg
Biotin • Conversion of food into energy
• Energy storage
• Component of healthy bones and hair
• Avocados
• Eggs
• Liver
• Pork
• Salmon
• Whole grains
• Almonds
• Cauliflower
30 mg
Folic Acid • Prevention of birth defects
• Protein metabolism
• Red blood cell formation
• Avocado
• Leafy Greens
• Oranges
• Asparagus
• Legumes
• Fortified grains
400 mcg
Vitamin A • Vision
• Growth and development
• Red blood cell formation
• Bone formation
• Carrots
• Cantaloupe
• Dairy products
• Red peppers
• Pumpkins
• Sweet potatoes
• Fortified grains
900 mcg
Vitamin B6 • Cell formation
• Immune system function
• Nervous system function
• Energy metabolism
• Chickpeas
• Liver
• Tuna
• Salmon
• Poultry
• Potatoes
• Fortified cereals
1.7 mg
Vitamin B12 • Conversion of food into energy
• Red blood cell formation
• Nervous system function
• Seafood
• Liver
• Beef
• Dairy
• Fortified cereals
• Eggs
2.4 mcg
Vitamin C • Acts as an antioxidant
• Collagen and connective tissue formation
• Immune system function
• Wound healing
• Red and green peppers
• Oranges
• Grapefruit
• Kiwi
• Broccoli
• Strawberries
• Tomatoes
90 mg
Vitamin D • Blood pressure regulation
• Development and maintence of strong bones and teeth
• Calcium balance
• Hormone production
• Immune system function
• Cod liver oil
• Fish (swordfish, salmon, tuna, and sardines)
• Oranges
• Dairy
• Liver
• Eggs
• Fortified beverages (dairy, orange juice, and nut-milk)
20 mcg
Vitamin E • Acts as an antioxidant
• Immune system function
• Nuts and seeds
• Spinach
• Broccoli
• Vegetable oils
• Kiwi
15 mcg
Vitamin K • Blood clotting • Leafy greens
• Broccoli
• Soybeans and soybean oil
• Pumpkin
• Pomegranate juice
120 mcg
Calcium • Bone and teeth formation
• Blood clotting
• Muscle contraction
• Nervous system function
• Blood pressure regulation
• Hormone secretion
• Dairy products
• Alternative milks (almond, rice, soy, and coconut)
• Sardines
• Tofu
• Salmon
• Green vegetables
1300 mg
Chloride • Fluid regulation
• Aids in digestion
• Acid-base balance
• Lettuce
• Olives
• Celery
• Tomatoes
• Salt and salt substitutes
2300 mg
Chromium • Insulin function
• Energy metabolism
• Broccoli
• Grape and orange juice
• Potatoes
• Spices (garlic adn basil)
• Whole grains
35 mcg
Copper • Immune system function
• Iron metabolism
• Red blood cell formation
• Liver
• Nuts and seeds
• Chocolate
• Shellfish
• Whole grains
0.9 mg
Iodine • Growth and development
• Reproduction
• Thyroid hormone production
• Nerve and muscle function
• Seafood
• Seaweed
• Dairy
• Iodized salt
• Potatoes
• Fortified breads and cereals
150 mcg
Iron • Red blood cell formation
• Oxygen transport
• Collagen formation
• Energy production
• Beef
* Poultry
• Seafood
• Beans and peas
• Dark green vegetables
• Fortified grains
• Whole grains
18 mg
Mangesium • Blood pressure regulation
• Muscle contraction
• Nervous system function
• Bone and teeth formation
• Blood clotting
• Energy production
• Nuts and seeds
• Spinach
• Beans and peas
• Whole grains
• Avocado
• Potatoes
• Bananas
420 mg
Manganese • Bone formation
• Metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol
• Seafood (mussels, oysters, and clams)
• Nuts
• Whole grains
• Beans
• Spinach
• Pineapple
2.3 mg
Molybdenum • Component of enzymes • Beans and peas
• Liver
• Dairy
• Fortified grains
• Whole grains
45 mcg
Phosphorus • Component of DNA and RNA
• Energy production and storage
• Bone formation
• Beans and peas
• Dairy products
• Beef
• Poultry
• Nuts and seeds
• Fortified grains
• Whole grains
1250 mg
Potassium • Blood pressure regulation
• Fluid balance
• Nervous system function
• Heart function
• Proper growth and development
• Banana
• Potatoes
• Oranges
• Tomatoes
• Beans
• Dairy
4700 mg
Selenium • Acts as an antioxidant
• Regulates thyroid hormone activity
• Brazil nuts
• Seafood
• Enriched grains and pasta
• Beef
• Poultry
• Eggs
• Whole grains
55 mcg
Sodium • Blood pressure regulation
• Acid-base balance
• Fluid balance
• Muscle contraction
• Nervous system function
• Table salt
• Processed foods
2300 mg
Zinc • Growth and development
• Immmune system function
• Taste and smell
• Wound healing
• Protein and cell formation
• Beans and peas
• Beef
• Dairy products
• Nuts
• Poultry
• Seafood (clams, crab, lobster, and oysters)
• Whole grains
11 mg

* The chart above is sourced from the FDA’s official website and lists the amounts of nutrients recommended per day for Americans 4 years of age or older.

How to Get Your Daily Vitamins & Minerals without Swallowing Pills
In some instances, women have different vitamin and mineral requirements than men.

Do Women Need Different Amounts of Daily Vitamins than Men?

Yes, in some cases, women’s daily vitamin requirements are different from men’s. For instance:

Iron: Premenopausal women need more dietary iron due to iron losses during their menstrual cycle. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency found in women. Foods that are high in iron include red meat, fortified cereals, spinach, beans and dark chocolate.

Folic Acid: Women who are pregnant, and women who are planning to become pregnant should take supplemental folic acid. A deficiency in folic acid in a woman who is pregnant may lead to neural tube defects of the fetus, such as spina bifida. It is best to speak with your physician to determine which supplement may be best for you.

Calcium and Vitamin D: These two nutrients are essential for both men and women; however, women may need additional calcium and vitamin D during menopause and perimenopause due to increased risk of osteoporosis. Although the exact cause is not known, there is a clear link between decreased estrogen levels and the development of osteoporosis3. Foods that are high in calcium include dairy products, fortified nut milks, fortified orange juice, green vegetables, salmon, sardines and almonds. [3]


Want an easier way to eat nutrient-rich meals? Factor delivers dietitian-approved, gourmet meals directly to your home or office!

Related Articles