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Vitamins - What you need to know!

Vitamins are organic compounds made by plants or animals that can be broken down by heat, air or acid.

Necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting, some macronutrient metabolism (carbs, fat, and proteins), teeth, skin, hair and bone growth, as well as digestive and nervous system function.

So which ones do what and where do you get them? First there are 2 types, your water soluble and your fat soluble...we’ll look at water soluble first.

Water Soluble Vitamins: Dissolve in water and are not easily stored in the body, we can remove excess through urine.

Thiamine (B1)

Used to help convert nutrients to produce energy.

Balanced levels of thiamine also allow for feelings of composure, clear-headedness, and energy.

Helps to metabolize glucose. *Women “addicted” to carbohydrates are often thiamine deficient.

Food sources: vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, seaweed

RDA Adults >19: 1.1-1.2 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

Necessary for energy production, cellular function and fat metabolism

B2 is involved in proper thyroid function and many essential enzymatic reactions in the body.

Food sources: whole grains, oats, legumes, green leafy vegetables, poultry, fish, seaweed, plain yogurt, beef liver, and fortified foods.

RDA Adults >19: 1.1-1.3 mg

Niacin (B3)

Helps to drive energy production from foods and is involved in over 400 enzymatic reactions in the body.

Helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

Promotes the release of growth hormone.

Food sources: beef liver, chicken, turkey, salmons, marinara sauce, peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grains, barley, seaweed

RDA Adults >19: 14-16 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

Necessary for fatty acid synthesis

It plays an important role in production of adrenal hormones and is vital for coping with extreme stress.

All steroid hormones, like oestrogen and progesterone, will only be produced with ample B5 in the system.

Food sources: avocado, mushrooms, liver, soybeans, bananas, collard greens, sunflower seeds, lentils, broccoli, brown rice, eggs.

RDA Adults >19: 5 mg

Pyridoxine (B6)

Helps the body release stored sugar from carbohydrates for energy and creates red blood cells.

*Also of note is that Pyridoxine has one of the most dramatic mood-elevating effects of all the B vitamins.

It can help to correct brain metabolism dysfunctions that cause depression and heightens serotonin production.

Food sources: spinach, walnuts, eggs, fish, beef liver, organ meats, poultry, potatoes, beans, and fruit.

RDA Adults >19: 1.3 mg

Biotin (B7)

Is involved in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose.

It plays a key role in gene regulation and cell signalling.

Involved in skin, nail and hair health.

Food Sources: organ meats, eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and sweet potatoes.

RDA Adults >19: 30 mcg

Folic Acid or Folate (B9)

Folate is needed for cellular division and is an inducer of several of the detoxification pathways.

It breaks down homocysteine, a toxic and inflammatory agent produced by the liver if not properly converted.

Help to prevent neural tube defects in pregnancy and the resulting brain and nervous system damage that could incur.

Food sources: dark leafy greens, spinach boiled, beef liver, rice, fortified cereals and grains, asparagus, bananas, cantaloupes, beans (black eyes beans especially).

RDA Adults >19: 400 mg

Cobalamin (B12)

Necessary for nervous system and brain function, along with the formation of red blood cells.

B12 is an important factor for the activation of the liver detox pathway that detoxes the heavy metals and histamines.

Cobalamin has important effects on mood and allows for a free flow of neurotransmitters, and also helps the body to secrete melatonin.

Food sources: animal protein (especially liver), trout, salmon, eggs, some cheeses, tempeh, sea vegetables, brewer’s yeast, blue & green algae, chlorella, seaweed, bee pollen.

RDA Adults >19: 2.4mcg

In Summary: B vitamins are involved as coenzymes in the breakdown of nutrients and in the building of macromolecules, such as protein, RNA, and DNA.

L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Needed for the production of collagen which is a component of connection tissue and essential in wound healing.

Involved in the formation of certain neurotransmitters, and protein metabolism.

Important antioxidant that plays a vital role in our immune system function along with health and maintenance of teeth, gums and bones.

Food Sources: tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, brussell sprouts, alfalfa, spinach, peas

RDA Adults >19: 70-90 g

Fat Soluble Vitamins: You guessed it they are better dissolved when there is fat involved and do not dissolve in water, so best taken with a meal containing a bit of fat.

Beta Carotene (Vitamin A)

Important for vision, healthy formation of bones, teeth, and skin, as well as organ function.

Aids in the growth and repair of the body from tissues to organs.

Essential in pregnancy and lactation as it can help with postpartum tissue repair, fat metabolism, and immune support.

Food Sources: Eggs, colourful fruit and veg, spinach and sweet potato, fish liver oil, dairy products, beef, liver, milk

RDA Adults >19: 700 - 900 mcg

Vitamin D (Calciferol)

Very beneficial in immune support function, assists in calcium absorption and healthy growth of bones.

Provides essential maintenance for nervous system support.

Important for brain function, insufficient amounts may play a role in depression and other mental health related illnesses

Food Sources: fats, butter, egg yolks, milk, salmon, tuna, fish oil, organ meats *sunlight is best*

RDA Adults >19: 600-800 IU

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

Powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage and therefore assists in immune function.

Slows the aging process, prevents blood clots, protects red blood cells, and improves male potency.

Maintains healthy muscles and nerves, along with hair, skin and mucous membranes (body's defence system).

Food Sources: cold pressed oils (olive), whole wheat, sweet potatoes, nuts (almonds), dark green veg, eggs, organ meats, oatmeal, and seeds

RDA Adults >19: 15 mg

Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)

Required for blood clotting, bone formation, and normal liver function.

Food Sources: dark green leafy veg (spinach), soybeans, sunflower oil, nuts & seeds, egg yolks, milk, yogurt, fish oil.

RDA Adults >19: 90 mcg

**Remember, health doesn’t have to be hard. It’s about small changes that can lead to lasting results. For more info please get in contact and as always share with those who you think may benefit**

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