By Deborah Lowther @kidsgummymum
There is great debate on whether or not we need to take vitamins, but no argument about what vitamins we need to be taking in! The issue isn’t if we need vitamins, but if we are getting enough in the food we are eating.
What you eat affects how you feel, how your body processes food & creates energy, how healthy your heart is, how your brain functions and how strong your immune system is. Not having enough of the essential nutrients can leave you feeling stressed, run down, and susceptible to cold and flu.
So what vitamins should top your essential list?
The A, B, C’s and 1, 2, 3’s of Vitamins
Vitamin A – Supports a healthy immune system by promoting normal production of red blood cells and helps prevent you from feeling run down, it increases your immune system and helps combat stress. Vitamin. Vitamin A can be found in foods high in beta carotene such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, spinach and cantaloupe.
Vitamin B-Complex – All the B vitamins work together to regulate the body’s level of energy and help your body metabolize fats and carbohydrates. When you are not eating properly it is easy to deplete your Vitamin B stores as they are water soluble and don’t stick around for long, meaning you must replenish them daily. When you are low on B vitamins, such as folic acid, B6 and B12, you are low on energy. Foods high in B vitamins include beans, whole grains, eggs, and dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, nuts and bananas.
Vitamin C – A staple in supporting a healthy immune system, Vitamin C helps prevent fatigue caused by infections. It is also essential in helping the body absorb iron and produce white blood cells that keep you feeling alert. Vitamin C is easily found in many citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, mangoes, tomatoes and in broccoli and red and yellow peppers.
Vitamin B1 – Also called thiamine, Vitamin B1 was the first of the B-Complex vitamins to be discovered. It helps the body convert food into energy and is important for the functioning of the muscular and nervous system. Thiamine is also sometimes called the anti-stress vitamins as it strengthens the body’s immune system and its ability to handle stress. Foods high in thiamine include tuna, sunflower seeds, black beans, lentils and sesame seeds.
Vitamin B2 – Also called riboflavin, Vitamin B2 is part of the B-Complex family of vitamins and is important for producing energy for the body as well as being an antioxidant that fights free radicals that can damage cells and may contribute to the aging process as well as a number of health conditions such as heart disease. Foods high in riboflavin include yogurt, soybeans, milk, spinach, mushrooms and almonds.
Vitamin D3 – Is synthesized in the skin when it is exposed to UVB rays from sunlight. As little as 20 minutes 3 times a week of sunlight is enough. However, sunscreen, clothing, and shade can prevent absorption of the UVB rays. Vitamin D3 is important for cardiovascular, bone and mental health as well as immune function. Good food sources of Vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolks and fortified foods such as milk and some juices.
Omega 3s – Essential fatty acids play an important role in maintaining optimal health and are required for the normal development and function of the brain, and eyes, while also helping reduce inflammation throughout the body. Since your body cannot produce these essentials fatty acids, you need to supply them through foods high in Omega 3s, such as tuna,
salmon, flax seed, and sardines.
Getting the proper nutrition from your food is always best, but if you can’t always eat what you should, find an all natural, Health Canada approved brand of vitamins you enjoy taking. Staying healthy should taste great and can be as easy as ABC & 123!
More about Deborah Lowther:
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. To read more articles you can visit her websites www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com
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