The ABC's Of Vitamins
Where does the word "vitamin" come from? Scientists first thought that vitamins were amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Today, we know of 13 types that are essential for good health. You can usually get all you need from a balanced diet. But some people, especially those who limit certain foods, may benefit from supplements.
How much do you need..... Here are 13 essential vitamins for bodily function:
Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B vitamins (thiamine-B1, riboflavin-B2, niacin-B3, pantothenic acid-B5, Pyridoxine-B6, biotin-B7, folate-B9,and Cobalamin-B12.)
Contrary to popular belief, the optimal way to get the vitamins you need is by consuming a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other plant foods, including seeds, nuts and whole grains.
There are two types of vitamins - 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C)and 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E and K)
All this means is that some vitamins are found and stored in oils and fats while others dissolve in water and mix easily in your blood. Fat-soluble vitamins tend to stick around in the body longer, while water soluble vitamins are eliminated through the urine quicker and small amounts are stored in the body at one time.
A handful of vitamins serve as antioxidants, like Vitamin E, C and beta-carotene (the precursor to vitamin A), and are beneficial for our bodies because they can slow aging and protect against cancer.
Now lets talk food & facts about Multi-Vitamins:
Vitamin A plays an important role in growth and cell development. It also promotes healthy skin, hair, nails, gums, glands, bones and teeth; prevents night blindness and may help prevent lung cancer.
Where to get Vitamin A: Salmon, other cold-water fish, egg yolks, fortified dairy products.
Vitamin B1 is important for maintaining a healthy metabolism. It also helps maintain normal digestion, appetite and proper nerve function.
Where to get Vitamin B1: Pork, legumes, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals, grains.
Vitamin B2 is essential for energy metabolism. It also aids adrenal function, supports normal vision and helps maintain healthy skin.
Where to get Vitamin B2: Fortified cereals, grains, lean meat, poultry, dairy products, fortified soy/rice beverages, raw mushrooms.
Vitamin B3 is important for the body. It’s used to metabolize energy and promote normal growth. In large doses, Vitamin B3 can also lower cholesterol.
Where to get Vitamin B: Lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk; eggs, legumes, fortified breads, cereals.
Although it’s one of the essential vitamins, Vitamin B5 is relatively easy to come by. Why you need Vitamin B5: It aids energy metabolism and normalizes blood sugar levels.
Where to get it: Almost all foods contain Vitamin B5.
Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin for good health. It promotes protein metabolism, metabolism of carbohydrates and the release of energy. It also plays a role in proper nerve function and the synthesis of red blood cells.
Where to get Vitamin B6: Meat, fish, poultry, grains, cereals, bananas, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans.
Vitamin B7 (also known as biotin) is an essential vitamin that plays an important role in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Where to get Vitamin B7: Egg yolks, soybeans, whole grains, nuts, yeast.
Vitamin B9 is an essential vitamin, and is especially important for pregnant women.
Why you need Vitamin B9: To make DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and synthesize certain amino acids. Vitamin B9 is also important for pregnant women, as it helps prevent birth defects.
Where to get Vitamin B9: Liver, yeast, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, orange juice, fortified flour, avocados; legumes.
You need Vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, and myelin for nerve fibres.
Where to get Vitamin B12: All animal products.
Does Vitamin B12 give you more energy?
It's definitely important to get enough B12. Too little of it can cause anemia, memory loss, confusion, and tingling in your arms and legs. But there’s little evidence that taking it makes you a better athlete or gives you more energy.
A diet that includes meat, fish, or dairy products should give you enough. Vitamin B12 may be hard to get if you're on a vegetarian or vegan diet. As we mentioned above, this crucial B vitamin is mostly in foods from animal sources, including meat, eggs, and dairy products. If you don't eat these, you may not be getting enough B12.
Talk to your doctor about whether you should take a supplement.
Vitamin C is important in wound healing and acts as an antioxidant. It also helps the body absorb iron. It's found in citrus fruits, potatoes, and greens.
Megadoses of vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid do not prevent colds for most people. Some studies suggest it might help you get over the symptoms a little faster. But it won't make them less severe.
Deficiency in Vitamin C can lead to easy bruising, fatigue, poor wound healing, fractures, bleeding gums. Extreme Vitamin C deficiency causes a condition called Scurvy. Too much can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Which food is an excellent source of vitamin C?
Sweet red pepper, Broccoli, Spinach, Cabbage, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Cauliflower, Citrus fruits, Strawberries, Tomato juice, Brussels sprouts.
Most adults need between 75 and 90 milligrams a day. A half-cup of sweet red pepper does the trick-- about the same as a 6-ounce glass of orange juice.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin because your skin makes vitamin D when it gets sunlight. People with dark skin may be more likely to have low vitamin D levels. Older people also might not have enough because skin gets less efficient at converting sunlight to vitamin D as you age.
If you stay out of the sun because of sensitive skin or the risk of cancer, you may also need extra D.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which creates healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D is found in fortified milk products (cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream) and cereals, as well as in fish (fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and orange roughy) & fish liver oils.
Vitamin E helps to combat free radicals, which can damage our cells. It's found in nuts & seeds, green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, turnip greens), corn, asparagus, wheat germ,Oils (safflower, corn, and sunflower) and Margarine (made from safflower, corn, and sunflower oil)
Vitamin K: Our intestines typically produce Vitamin K and it’s function is primarily to allow blood clotting when you are injured. It also ensures calcium gets to the bones and blood and helps prevent calcification from occurring in the arteries and soft tissues.
Increase your intake of these foods for preventative measures to combat injury and to prevent calcification -Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, cabbage, kale and other dark leafy greens.
Talk to your doctor if you think you need a supplement.....But, challenge yourself to have an excellent diet!!!
Interesting Facts About Vitamins:
Which nutrients might protect your eyesight as you age?
Studies show that many different vitamins and minerals may lower your risk for an eye problem called macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in people over 65.
A balanced diet loaded with fruits and vegetables should give you all you need. If your risk is still high, your doctor may recommend a supplement along with lifestyle changes. And don't smoke!
Which vitamins and minerals help keep your bones strong?
Most people know that calcium and vitamin D are important for healthy bones. But new research shows that other nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K, help, too.
If you have a high risk of brittle, thinning bones, called osteoporosis, your doctor may recommend a calcium and vitamin D supplement.
What’s the difference between vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins come from plants or animals. Minerals come from the earth.
Your body needs vitamins for growth, digestion, and nerve function. Minerals support cells and help different parts of your body do their jobs.
Vitamins are known by letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, and K. Examples of minerals include calcium, which builds bone and makes blood clot, and iron, which helps your blood carry oxygen.
Can the color of your urine can show whether you’re getting enough vitamins?
Some vitamins, including C and B, turn your pee a bright orange or even yellow-green if you take more than you need. That’s your kidneys getting rid of the excess. (Don't test it out -- it can be dangerous to get too much of some nutrients.)
But the recommended amounts of most vitamins and minerals don't color your urine.
Are vitamins and minerals safe to take?
Supplements can be a good way to make sure you get enough nutrients, but many vitamins and minerals can be toxic if you take too much.
A lot of vitamin A can cause nausea, vomiting, and liver damage, for example. Too much vitamin D can cause weakness, heart rhythm problems, and confusion. Because the body stores vitamins A, D, E, and K and iron, the excess can build up in your organs and tissues and damage your kidneys or liver.
Researchers continue to study whether some antioxidants prevent the kind of genetic damage that can turn cells into cancer. But there is no evidence that taking these supplements will lower your risk for the disease. If you’re getting cancer treatment, talk to your doctor before you take any. Some research suggests that antioxidant supplements may keep some cancer-fighting medicines from working.
Who typically needs more iron?
Woman, before menopause. Women who still have their periods usually need more iron because they lose a little with each menstrual cycle.
Experts say premenopausal women should get 18 milligrams a day. Men usually need only 8 milligrams a day. Pregnant women should get 27 milligrams a day.
Experts are deeply divided on multivitamins. A lot of recent studies have found that healthy people don't benefit from them. Even those who have taken one every day for years don't appear to be healthier or to live longer.
But other scientists believe that they can help fill in for what's missing in many people's diets. Experts do agree that the best source for vitamins and minerals is food, not pills.
Folic acid is added to foods like fortified cereals to help prevent: Birth Defects. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects, specifically problems with the brain and spinal cord. Because it's so important during pregnancy, doctors say pregnant women and those who want to have a baby should take a supplement to make sure they get enough. Talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can show whether you have as much as you need.
Which mineral can help you keep your blood pressure under control?
Potassium. This mineral helps keep your heart beating regularly, and one study found that taking it lowered systolic blood pressure (the top number). Reducing blood pressure lowers the risk of stroke, heart disease, heart failure, and kidney disease. Teens and adults should get 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Many foods have this nutrient, so it's rare that people don't get enough from their diet.
Potassium-rich foods include many fruits and vegetables, milk, meat, and whole grains.
Incorporate vitamin-rich foods into your diet & eliminate unnecessary supplements. Foods have added benefits and will absorb more effectively into your body. You can eat your pounds away while nourishing your body.
It does not get much better than that :-)))
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