Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting to know what the vitamins do... Part One (A-E)

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A comes from plants and animals and is not stored in the body. Beta-Carotene is often termed as pro Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps benefit your vision, tissues, skin, teeth, hair, nails and bones in many ways.

Food sources of vitamin A include carrots, papayas, peaches, apricots, mango, plums, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, collard greens, and tomatoes.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Thiamin is a water soluble vitamin, meaning any excess is excreted and not stored in the body. It is highly beneficial for the nervous system and your mental disposition. It helps maintain healthy nerves and improve memory and mental clarity. Thiamin is also necessary to help convert carbohydrates in food to energy.

Good sources of Thiamin are Romaine lettuce, Tomato, Green peas, Eggplant, Mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, Watermelon, Carrots, Broccoli, Green beans, Black beans, Pineapple, Oranges, Garlic, Grapes and Sesame seeds

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

You have an increased need for Riboflavin during stressful situations and it is the most common vitamin deficiency. Its primary function is to work with other substances to metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy. It has a profound effect on thyroid hormone production, helps in the production of immune cells to fight infection, and aids in transporting oxygen to cells in the body.

The most abundant sources of this vitamin are milk, milk products and liver. Other food sources of riboflavin are oysters, lean meat, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, avocados, Brussels sprouts and salmon. Brewer’s yeast is the richest natural source of vitamin B2. Liver, tongue, and other organ meats are also excellent sources. Oily fish, such as mackerel, trout, eel, herring, and shad, have substantial levels of riboflavin, too. Nori seaweed is a fine source. Milk products have some riboflavin, as do eggs, shellfish, millet and wild rice, dried peas, beans, and some seeds such as sunflower.

Vitamin B6

One of the more important vitamins, B6 performs over 100 valuable functions for the body. According to a government survey, only 1/3 of adults and 1/2 of women get enough B6 in their diet. B6 helps convert amino acids into serotonin. It helps red blood cells, makes proteins, and manufactures brain chemicals. B-6 is believed to play a vital role in disease prevention and treatment.

Excellent sources of vitamin B6 include spinach, bell peppers, and turnip greens.

Very good food sources of vitamin B6 include garlic, tuna, cauliflower, mustard greens, banana, celery, cabbage, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cod and chard.

Vitamin C

A potent antioxidant that may prevent premature death from heart disease and cancer. A vital protector of cells. Plays a primary role in collagen formation, which is essential for the growth and reparation of tissue cells, gums, blood vessels, teeth, and bones. Due to its mild antihistamine effects, Vitamin C also strengthens immunity and helps to minimize and/or prevent colds.

Excellent food sources of vitamin C include broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, mustard and turnip greens, brussels sprouts, papaya, chard, cabbage, spinach, kiwifruit, snow peas, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, limes, tomatoes, zucchini, raspberries, asparagus, celery, pineapples, lettuce, watermelon, fennel, peppermint and parsley.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. It is a potent antioxidant that help protects cell membranes from free radicals. Its benefits are enhanced when combined with selenium. It helps protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E helps improve immune function and slows the aging process.

Excellent sources of vitamin E include mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, and sunflower seeds.

Very good sources of vitamin E include almonds and spinach.

Good sources of vitamin E include collard greens, parsley, kale, papaya, olives, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, kiwifruit, tomato, blueberries, and broccoli.

More to come...


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