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Vital Vitamins

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Are you getting your daily dose?

vitamins.jpgVITAMIN A can be found in animal products as retinol, and in precursor carotenoids, like beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A when absorbed by the body. The recommended daily intake is 700 micrograms. Supplements are not recommended, as extremely high levels are toxic.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Fights off infections
  • Ensures cell and bone growth
  • Maintains general health

WHERE TO GET IT:

  • Retinols
  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Carotenoids
  • Orange, green and yellow fruits and vegetables
  • Cantaloupes
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Kale
  • Spinach

VITAMIN C should be taken in divided doses throughout the day, because excess escapes the body. However, a well-balanced diet of varied foods will provide you with more than enough of it.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Aids in collagen production, which is a necessary fibre in the body’s connective tissue and cartilage
  • Acts as a natural antihistamine, lessening the severity of colds
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Keeps gums healthy
  • Can help prevent stroke, heart attack and certain cancers
  • Helps skin stay healthy and younger looking

WHERE TO GET IT:

  • Avocados
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit
  • Persimmons
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwi
  • Pomegranates

VITAMIN B is actually a group — or complex — of water-soluble vitamins. Of this complex, there are eight vitamins that are especially important and often coexist in the same foods.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Stimulates energy production, as well as cell growth and division
  • Combats cardiovascular disease, depression and stress
  • Detoxifies and cleanses organs
  • Can help to clear up acne

WHERE TO GET IT:

  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Leafy greens
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Pheasant
  • Fresh tuna
  • Oysters
  • Mackerel
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • rewer’s yeast
  • Liver
  • Oats
  • Wheat germ
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur
  • Dairy products
  • Soy beans

VITAMIN E is a vitamin complex — and alpha-tocopherol is the most important and abundant component. Current research ecommends women consume 15 mg of natural vitamin E daily. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet hat includes foods that are rich in vitamin E, you should not have to take supplements.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • As an antioxidant, it helps rid the body of disease-causing free radicals
  • Lessens the severity of inflammatory disorders
  • Helps prevent “bad” cholesterol from clogging arteries

WHERE TO GET IT:

  • Wheat germ oil
  • Sunflower seeds, dry roasted with salt
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower oil
  • Tomato sauce
  • Hazelnuts
  • Spinach
  • Soymilk
  • Mixed nuts, dry roasted with salt
  • Papaya

VITAMIN D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s made in the body’s skin by a photosynthetic process. Here’s the scary part: Between 80% and 90% of North Americans are chronically deficient in it. The recommended daily intake is 400 International Units (IU) for adults under 50, and 800 IU for those over 50. It’s especially important to work vitamin D into the diet during the winter months.

WHAT IT DOES:

  • Enhances the body’s ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus, helping to build healthy bones and teeth
  • Can help prevent cancer, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and osteoporosis

WHERE TO GET IT (LIMITED AMOUNTS):

  • Oily fish
  • Liver
  • Milk
  • Orange juice
  • Egg yolks
  • Margarine
  • Soy drinks