How To Eat Your Vitamin
By Nmami Agarwal
Welcome to the world of fast-paced lifestyle, where everyone is looking out for short-cuts and quick-fixes for every aspect of their lives. You want a pizza? Get it in thirty minutes straight. You want to travel? Book a cab right with one click on your mobile. Everything is served to you really quick. This is why most people look out for quick fixes for their health too. Instead of consuming vitamin rich foods, more and more people are popping vitamin pills right from the shelf of a drug store. But, do you really require gulping that pill when there are plenty of ways to eat your vitamins. Let’s explore.
The daily vitamins should be a blend of Vitamin A, D, B- Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Since, our bodies cannot synthesize vitamins naturally; they have to be incorporated from an external dietary source. Fruits, vegetables, animal products, nuts and seeds are rich sources of essential vitamins.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is also known as “ascorbic acid”. Vitamin C is required by the body to form collagen. It is also used partially in the synthesis of tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It helps to maintain cartilage, bones and teeth, and also to heal wounds. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals when you are exposed to pollution, cigarette smoke and ultraviolet light from the sun.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin C from – Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon and cranberries. Bell peppers, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens and other leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash and Brussels sprouts are other good sources of vitamin C.
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is good for healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body. Vitamin A often can fight cell damage by working as an antioxidant. Vitamin A has an important role in the maintenance of vital organs like heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin A from- Milk, eggs, meat, cheese, beef liver, salmon, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squash, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli and tomatoes.
- Vitamin B Complex- Eight vitamins together make up the whole Vitamin B- Complex. It is composed of B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), and Biotin. Vitamin B Complex is essential for helping the body produce necessary immune cells, convert food into energy; protect skin and hair vitality and making blood and nerve cells healthy. Folate (vitamin B9) is in the forefront of mood management. Findings show that many people with depression have decreased levels of folate in the blood. Pyridoxine is required for more than 100 enzyme reactions in the body.
Get your daily dose of B-Complex from- Wheat germ, pork, trout, black beans, tuna, milk and dairy products, almonds, chicken, peanuts, rice, mushrooms, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli.
- Vitamin D – It is a type of fat soluble Vitamin and is also known as the “sunshine” vitamin. Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You need adequate intake of Vitamin D for many essential functions like calcium absorption, bone health, immune function, anti-inflammation, and brain health. Some studies have shown that the active form of vitamin D known as calcitriol can reduce cancer progression
Sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows most people to produce sufficient vitamin D but stores can run low in winters so you might need more exposure.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin D from- fatty fish like salmon & tuna, egg yolks, fish liver oils, mushrooms and fortified milk.
- Vitamin E – Another type of fat-soluble vitamin. Naturally it occurs in eight different forms viz. four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) and four tocotrienols. Alpha tocopherol is the most potent form of Vitamin E. It mainly functions as an antioxidant, and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is also vital to the immune system.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin E from – Almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, and vegetable oils, such as sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils. Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli also contain vitamin E.
- Vitamin K – Fat soluble Vitamin that is also known as “blood-clotting” vitamin for its role in healing of the wounds. The “K” is derived from the German word koagulation. Vitamin K helps produce four of the 13 proteins needed for blood clotting.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin K from- Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, green leaf lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Over to you
Do not pick your vitamins off the drugstore shelf. Vitamins should be a staple ingredient in the diet and not substitutes for healthy food.
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