Understanding Vitamins

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How To Prepare Foods For Maximum Nutrient Retention.

Fruits and Vegetables- Serve as raw as possible.

Vegetables- Steam, boil or simmer in a minimal amount of water and the less cooked the better.

Meats- Bake or broil and avoid overcooking and frying.

Pasta- Do not rinse before or after boiling.



Vitamin A is important for the formation and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and mucous membranes. It enables you to see in dim light and is necessary for proper bone growth, tooth development and reproduction.
Sources- Dark green And yellow vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and diary products. Vitamin A Deficiencies can cause blindness.


Thiamine helps the body release energy from carbohydrates during metabolism. Thus, people who expend more energy and consume more calories need more Thiamine. It also is vital in the functioning of the nervous system, cell reproduction and carbohydrate metabolism. Sources- Grain products, wheat germ, pork, pasta, and most breads. People who consume alcoholic beverages are at risk for a Thiamine deficiency.


Riboflavin aids the body in releasing energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism. Sources- Dairy products, organ meats, green leafy vegetables, pasta and most breads. If you don't consume milk or diary products, your Riboflavin intake may be at risk.


 Niacin helps the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism. Sources- Liver, lean meats, poultry, fish, Brewer's yeast, and peanuts. Niacin was used to treat schizophrenia, but isn't currently recommended by the American Psychiatric Association.


 Vitamin B6 helps in the breakdown of proteins for use in the body. The more intake of protein, the more B6 is needed. Sources- Yeast, wheat germ, potatoes, bananas, and whole grain cereals. Over 250 mg per day of B6 can lead to irreversible nerve damage.


Folic Acid aids in the formation of red blood cells and in the formation of genetic material within every body cell. Sources- Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, soy and grain products. Deficiencies in Folic Acid can lead to anemia, weakness, and poor growth.


Vitamin B12 helps form red blood cells and build genetic material. It also helps the nervous system to function properly. Sources- Is found in only meat, fish, and dairy products. Roast or broil meat and fish to prevent the excessive loss of this supplement during cooking.


 Vitamin C Helps in the forming of collagen which gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. Also maintains capillaries, bones, and teeth and aids in the absorption of iron. Sources- Citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and cauliflower. Nutrition Scientists claim that there are no benefits to excessive consumption of  Vitamin C.


 Vitamin D deficiencies can cause Rickets which hinders the development of cartilage and bone in children. Osteoporosis which is the softening of bone in the elderly, and severe tooth decay. Sources- Fish liver oils, tuna, salmon, sardines, and milk and dairy products. Known as the "Sunshine Vitamin", is needed mostly in the youthful growing years and the elderly.


 Vitamin E protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the cells. Sources- Vegetable oils, enriched flour, whole grain cereals, eggs, beef liver, butter, and leafy vegetables. Although an essential vitamin, it is the most mysterious nutrient to date.


Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. Deficiencies can cause nosebleeds, bleeding from the gums, intestines,and the urinary tract. Sources- Cauliflower and green leafy vegetables. Doctors give pregnant women Vitamin K before childbirth to prevent excessive bleeding in the newborn.

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