Vitamins are micronutrients (very small nutritious particles) required by the body in order to carry out a wide range of functions.
These micronutrients are not made by the body and must be derived from the food we eat.
Vitamins support normal growth and development.
They help the cells and organs do their jobs.
They boost the immune system to help protect us against infection.
They are needed for the processing of energy in the cells.
They are needed for the proper functioning of metabolism (converting food into energy).
Plant and animal foods (including fish).
VIT. A is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it can be dissolved in fats and oils and can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue and in the liver.
It is an essential nutrient for humans.
…. It is needed for vision/eye health. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigment in the retina of the eye.
…. It is needed for immune function and helps the body’s natural defense against illness and infection.
…. It helps form and maintain healthy teeth.
…. It is needed for healthy mucous membranes.
…. It is needed for healthy skin.
…. It contributes to a healthy skeletal system.
…. It also stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells.
…. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, arugula, broccoli, etc.
…. Yellow vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin and squash.
…. Red peppers and tomatoes.
…. Orange cantaloupe and mangos.
…. Beef liver, fish oils, milk and eggs.
…. Cod liver oil.
VIT. B: There are 8 different types of Vit. B and they are all water soluble (able to dissolve in water). They are not stored in the body.
B1 (thiamine) B2 (riboflavin) B3 (niacin) Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B6. B7 (biotin) Folate & Folic Acid B12
Together these are called B-Complex.
Although these 8 B Vitamins do work together in the body, they also each have their own individual function.
…. B vitamins are the building blocks of a healthy body.
…. They are important for making sure the body’s cells are functioning properly.
…. They help the body convert food into energy known as metabolism.
…. They create new blood cells plus maintain healthy brain, skin & tissue cells.
…. B vitamins often occur together in the same foods.
…. Most people can get enough B vitamins by eating a variety of nutrient dense, high vitamin foods such as:
Leafy greens Meat (esp. liver) Poultry Dairy Products Legumes
Seafood Whole grains Seeds Fortified Foods Nuts .
Citrus fruits such as oranges, clementines and lemons check off at least six of the B Vitamins.
Bananas and avocados also provide B Vitamins.
VIT C has been called the Godfather of vitamins.
It is also a water-soluble vitamin so your body does not store it. You have to get it from food.
When individuals are not getting enough Vit. C in their diets, they often have to take Vit. C supplements.
The problem is, nearly all vitamin C supplements on the market are made from ascorbic acid. This ascorbic Vit. C is usually synthetic Vit. C and is most likely derived from GMO corn.
There is a growing body of evidence showing that those consuming high doses of ascorbic acid may have reason to be concerned.
Studies have shown that synthetic Vit. C may contribute to the formation of genotoxins (a chemical or agent that can cause DNA or chromosomal damage).
These genotoxins can also lead to cancer.
Another study by the American Heart Association showed a link between large doses of synthetic Vit. C and a greater risk for thickening of the arteries.
Studies have also shown reduced endurance capacity from interference with antioxidant enzymes.
For supplementation with Vit. C, it is recommended to take non-synthetic Vit. C.
…. Vit. C is needed for the growth & repair of all tissues in all parts of the body.
…. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
…. It is an anti-toxin (it helps protect us against poisonous substances in the body).
…. It is an anti-viral (it helps protect us against viruses).
…. It is an anti-histamine (it helps protect us against substances that can cause an allergic reaction in the body.)
…. It is an anti-pyretic (it helps reduce fever).
…. It also helps the function of antibiotics.
…. It is an antioxidant that fuels our immune system and is imperative in order to stay healthy and cure chronic illnesses. With a weakened immune system, bacteria and viruses can enter our body and we then become ill.
…. It helps people with low energy. It pushes electrons around thereby producing energy. When you have movement of electrons you have energy.
…. It is necessary for healing wounds.
…. It is necessary for repairing healthy bones and teeth.
…. It helps the body absorb iron.
A very important function of Vit. C is fighting off cancer cells. The chemical structure of Vit. C is similar to that of sugar. Cancer cell have many glucose receptors. So, when you cut out the sugar and feed the body Vit. C, the cancer cells think the Vit. C is sugar and they bring it into the cell. This Vit. C then, through a chemical change with the oxygen, forms H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) inside the cancer cell. This H2O2 then kills off the cancer cells.
Vit. C is found in many plant based nutrients and natural foods.
…. Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower.
…. Citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, grapefruit.
…. Strawberries White potatoes Bell Peppers Tomatoes
…. Cantaloupe Black currants Green Peas Spinach Kiwi
Approximately 80 to 90% of individuals are deficient in Vit. D
Vit. D is both a nutrient we eat and a hormone our bodies make.
It is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it is absorbed along with fats in the diet and it is stored in the body’s fatty tissue and liver.
…. It is involved in almost every cell function in the body.
…. It controls over 200 genes and over 1/3 of the DNA in your body.
…. It regulates numerous genes just like a conductor.
…. It strengthens the immune system.
…. It strengthens the muscles & joints, thus reduces the potential for falls.
…. It can help relieve muscle and joint aches & pains.
…. It can boost your energy.
…. It can reduce anxiety and sharpen your focus.
…. It can improve leaky gut.
…. It can help produce radiant skin and hair luster.
…. It helps protect against chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, metabolic syndrome and cancer.
…. It increases calcium absorption from the gut and is critical for keeping the levels of calcium & phosphorus as they should be in the blood, muscles & bones.
…. It is crucial for bone health. Take Vit. D3 with calcium so that the calcium can get into the bones more easily and effectively.
The combination of Vit. D3 & Vit. K2 is the way to go when rebuilding bones.
The best form of Vit. D comes from the sun and lasts longest in the body.
Few foods are naturally rich in Vit. D.
Some food sources are: cod liver oil, wild salmon, swordfish, sardines, tuna fish and beef liver.
Vitamin E is a group of powerful antioxidants that is necessary for the normal functioning of the body.
These antioxidants are substances that protect the cells from cell damage by free radicals (see below).
It is also a fat soluble vitamin; it does not dissolve in water and is stored in the body.
…. It protects your cells from oxidative stress thus, premature aging.
Oxidative stress is the damage caused by free radicals / unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation (a chemical reaction that takes place when a substance comes into contact with oxygen) during normal food metabolism (the process of converting food into energy).
These free radicals are also produced when we are exposed to toxins like tobacco smoke, pollution, radiation and also many medications.
When these free radicals outnumber the antioxidants (substances that protect the cells from cell damage by fighting these free radicals), it can lead to oxidative stress. This can cause much damage not only to the body, but also to your DNA plus the proteins in the body.
…. It keeps the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria.
…. It helps form red blood cells.
…. It helps widen blood vessels to keep blood clotting inside them.
…. It helps the body use Vit. K.
…. It is used by cells to enable them to interact with each other.
…. It is important in our vision.
…. It is important in the health of our brain.
…. It is important in the health of our skin.
You should be able to get plenty of Vit. E from your diet & not need a supplement.
It is found mainly in foods that contain fats like:
Almonds & almond butter White tuna canned in oil Sunflower seeds & oil
Sockeye salmon Avocado Cooked spinach & chard
We should be able to get most of vitamins our body requires from the food we eat.
However, when this is not possible, we may require supplementation.
Always read labels to make sure you are buying a quality vitamin without any additives that are unhealthy for the body.