8 Water-Soluble Vitamins and Where to Find Them

The water-soluble vitamins are vital for many of the functions your body needs to stay healthy, including energy production and immune system function.

Your body doesn't store most of the water-soluble vitamins very long, so they need to be replenished daily. Flip through the slideshow and take a tour through the water-soluble vitamins.


Vitamin C


Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, and potatoes. You need vitamin C for a healthy immune system and for healthy skin. A vitamin C deficiency can reduce immune system function.  



English muffin

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B-1, is found in rice and other whole-grain and fortified bread and cereals, meat and fish. Thiamine is needed to convert carbohydrates into energy and metabolize some amino acids. 



Cottage cheese

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Riboflavin, which is also known as vitamin B-2, is found in dairy products, lean meats, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, fortified breads and cereals. Riboflavin works with other B-complex vitamins and is needed for general growth, red blood cell production and energy metabolism.  




Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Niacin, also called vitamin B-3, is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts, legumes and eggs. You need niacin for healthy skin and for converting the foods you eat to energy. Niacin is also available as a dietary supplement, but when taken in large amounts you may feel a niacin flush.   


Pantothenic Acid

Mushrooms cropped

Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B-5, is found in a wide variety of foods including organ meats, eggs, fish and shellfish, poultry, legumes, whole grains, dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, avocados, and mushrooms. You need pantothenic acid for energy metabolism and, red blood cell production and hormone synthesis.


Vitamin B-6


Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Vitamin B-6, also known as pyridoxine, is found in a variety of foods such as fish, meat, beans and legumes and many vegetables. You need it for a healthy nervous system and for making hemoglobin. Vitamin B-6 is available as a dietary supplement, but you need to be careful because taking too much may cause a vitamin B-6 toxicity over time.


Folate and Folic Acid

Spinach and strawberries are high in folate.
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Folate is found in leafy green vegetables, oranges and strawberries, legumes and whole grains. Your body needs folate to make red blood cells and to break down the proteins you eat.  Folic acid is the supplemental form of folate.


Vitamin B-12


Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

Vitamin B-12 is found in meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, but not in plant-based foods so vegans are at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency. You need vitamin B-12 for a healthy nervous system and blood cell production. 

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