Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Bit About Vitamins

So, I don't know about the rest of you, but recently I've been wondering if I get enough vitamins daily.  I do not take a multivitamin because they make me nauseous, so I do not have a regular intake of vitamins beyond the food I eat every day.

I work at a library so this wasn't exactly difficult information for me to find.  I picked out a promising book, 100 Health-Boosting Foods by Hamlyn, and started reading.  There is some very useful information in this book.  It gives an overview of carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (had no idea what these were until now).  It also gives you 100 health-boosting foods, explains why, and gives you a simple recipe to go with it.  I recommend checking it out.  I learned a few new things and I hope that you do too!

Today, I'll give you a vitamin overview.

First of all, there are two different kinds of vitamins, fat-soluble, and water-soluble.  Fat-soluble vitamins are store in the body and excessive amounts can be harmful to you.  They are vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and they are obtained through your daily diet.  They are C and B complex vitamins.

Vitamin A (antioxidant)
- Useful for vision in dim light and healthy skin and surface tissues
- Stored in the liver
Ex. cheese, eggs, whole milk, butter, liver
- beta-carotene: Vitamin A can be made in the body from this
Ex. leafy green veggies, orange-colored fruits and veggies

Vitamin D
- Useful for maintaining healthy levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body, healthy bones and teeth
- Body makes it through the action of sunlight on skin
Ex. oily fish, milk, butter, egg yolks

Vitamin E
- fights free radicals and useful for skin health
Ex. poultry, fish, vegetables, vegetable oils, wheat germ, nuts and seeds

Vitamin K
- helps body make proteins
- helps prevent osteoporosis
Ex. leafy green vegetables, soy oil and margarine

B Vitamins
8 B Vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamins (B12), biotin, and folate (aka folic acid)
- some of these are essential for the release of energy from the food we eat
- others are involved in making cells
*deficiency of certain B vitamins may result in depression
- B6, B12 and Folate make red blood cells, protect the heart, and folate protects unborn babies from spinal bifida
Ex. meat, milk, organ meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
*breakfast cereals usually include B vitamins

Vitamin C (antioxidant)
- Useful for growth and maintenance of healthy connective tissue
- Boosts immunity
- Helps body absorb iron
Ex. fruits: black currants, strawberries, kiwi fruit, guavas, and citrus fruits
green salads, vegetables, potatoes

So, if you feel like you are lacking in certain areas, be sure to fill up on the foods with the correct vitamins.  The amount of vitamins you need usually varies based on age.  It never hurts to get enough of all your vitamins though!

Hopefully you learned something new and useful.  Have a great day!


George Eliot quote
Disclaimer: None of the above photos are of me, and I do not take credit for them, they are merely on my blog to serve as fitness inspiration and are taken from various different internet sources.

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