While it’s not always advised to supplement with individual vitamins, it is important to eat a diet rich in quality whole, unprocessed foods. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to ensure you are getting an ample supply of vitamins and minerals. Here’s a quick glance at vitamins:
Promotes vision and eye health, healthy maintenance of cells in the body’s inter-surface linings (intestinal tract, respiratory linings, etc.) and skin. It also functions in both cellular and embryonic development and reproduction, immune function and bone growth. Note: there are two sources of vitamin A, the active source that comes from animals, and the inactive source, known as beta-carotene, which comes from plants.
Best sources (Active): liver, milk, eggs
(Inactive): look for colorful fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and spinach
The B vitamins are what we call coenzymes. They function as catalysts activating chemical reactions. They consist of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, biotin and vitamin B12.
B vitamins work in every cell and have many different functions to make chemical processes occur. They have major roles in energy metabolism (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and biotin work with carbohydrates, fats and proteins to release energy). Folate and vitamin B12 are necessary for new cell production and working with cellular DNA. Vitamin B6 is essential for protein production.
Thiamin: seeds and legumes (especially sunflower seeds, black beans and peas), tuna, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach
Riboflavin: calf’s liver, mushrooms, venison, mushrooms, spinach
Niacin: mushrooms, tuna, chicken breast, asparagus, salmon
Vitamin B6: bell peppers, spinach, bananas, tuna
Folate: dark leafy vegetables (especially romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens), asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and lentils
Pantothenic Acid: mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli
Biotin: found in a wide range of foods, and produced intestinally, greatest sources can be found in swiss chard and egg yolks (supplementation not recommended and deficiency is rare).
Vitamin B12: animal products, specifically calf’s liver, snapper, venison, shrimp, eggs, milk, poultry
Helps to protect against cellular damage, formation and maintenance of tissue protein (collagen), supports immune system function.
Best sources: Papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries and oranges
Fuctions to promote blood clotting and bone health
Best sources: green leafy vegetables especially spinach, kale collards, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus