SHTF nutrition: 10 Vitamins and supplements for preppers
05/27/2021 // Divina Ramirez // Views

It's important to have vitamins and minerals on hand when SHTF. Having essential nutrients ensures you stay healthy even in a crisis or disaster scenario. In such cases, you need to be in good shape, physically and mentally.

Reasons to stock vitamins and minerals

Multivitamins usually aren't enough to address all of your body's needs. Different nutrients play different roles so it's better to stock up on supplements of individual nutrients. Here are other reasons you should build a vitamin and mineral stockpile:

  • Vitamins and minerals strengthen the body against diseases. Nutrients like zinc, selenium, vitamin C and B vitamins strengthen your immune system for better protection against diseases.
  • Vitamins and minerals boost energy levels. You'll need all the energy you can get when SHTF. Some nutrients, such as iron and B vitamins, increase energy levels. Others, like selenium, help get rid of accumulated toxins inside the body, which can cause fatigue.
  • Vitamins and minerals help protect against mental disorders. Crises and disaster scenarios may take a toll on your mental health if you're not careful. Thankfully, certain vitamins and minerals can help lower your risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Vitamins and minerals help protect against toxicity. Toxic chemicals and other possibly harmful substances could end up in bodies of water in the event of a disaster, such as a storm or hurricane. Those substances could end up in your body if you happen to drink contaminated water. Fortunately, selenium, molybdenum and zinc can help flush out toxins from your body.
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Essential vitamins and minerals to stock up on

Here are 10 essential nutrients you should consider adding to your stockpile:

  1. Vitamin A – This fat-soluble vitamin helps strengthen your immune system. It also helps improve your vision and lowers your risk of eye disorders.
  2. Vitamin C – Your body needs vitamin C to maintain healthy bones, skin and muscles. It also helps keep your immune system strong. (Related: Prevent bone loss with vitamin C.)
  3. Vitamin D – Vitamin D plays a key role in enhancing immune function and building strong bones.
  4. Vitamin E – Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from free radicals, which can otherwise cause damage.
  5. Vitamin B complex – There are eight B vitamins, each with its own unique health benefits. They work synergistically to ward off diseases, support proper nerve function, maintain good eyesight and more.
  6. Zinc – Zinc is vital to the immune system since your body needs it for wound healing. It also keeps your vision sharp, especially as you age.
  7. Selenium – Selenium is essential for the proper functioning of your immune system and thyroid gland.
  8. Magnesium – Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in your body. It helps create proteins, control blood sugar and encourage proper nerve and muscle function.
  9. Molybdenum – Molybdenum is a trace mineral found in the soil that helps improve plants' uptake of nitrogen, which they need to grow. Molybdenum can be found in many healthy foods, such as beans, grains and organ meats.
  10. Lithium orotate – Lithium orotate is a nutraceutical comprised of orotic acid, a compound your body naturally produces, and lithium, an alkali metal. Lithium is mainly found in grains and vegetables. Lithium orotate is commonly used to improve mood, reduce stress and relieve pain.

Tips for long-term storage of vitamins and minerals

There are some important things to remember when it comes to storing vitamins and minerals. For instance, a B complex supplement is never good past the expiration date. It is also ruined by high heat. Vitamin C is also easily destroyed by high heat.

Here are other tips for storing vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin B complex supplements should come in bright orange or yellow. If the capsules are too dark, they are too old and should be thrown away immediately.
  • Vitamin C is fairly stable, especially when it has nothing added to it and it's kept out of the heat.
  • Dry forms of vitamins A, E and D are more stable and last longer.
  • Vitamin E is relatively more stable than other vitamins. It has been used as a preservative for many types of meat in the past.
  • Supplements can last anywhere between six months to three years. You shouldn't have anything to worry about as long as you keep supplements in a cool, dry and dark place.
  • Storing plastic bottles of supplements inside plastic containers or resealable bags gives them a secondary layer of protection. Refrigerating supplements also helps extend their shelf life.
  • Supplements generally lose their potency over time. Stock enough for one year and replace every year.
  • Chewable supplements don't store well because of their moisture content.
  • Supplements containing oil risk getting rancid. Probiotics can also lose potency over time.

Learn more about essential vitamins and minerals to stock up on at

Sources include:

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