Have you ever thought about all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and super foods one must keep track of in order to maintain a healthy diet? It can be overwhelming, especially because most have little to no idea about what exactly is in their food.
Why are spinach and other leafy greens good for us?
What does Vitamin A do for us?
In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, here is a little guide detailing important nutrients, their basic functions, and food examples that our bodies would appreciate:
Vitamin A -- Essential for good vision and eye health (Carrots, Pumpkin, Tomato)
Biotin -- Supports the health of the skin and nerves (Eggs)
Vitamin C -- Protect against our immune systems and is a powerful antioxidant (Oranges, Pineapple, Kiwi)
Calcium -- Helps maintain healthy blood pressure (dairy)
Vitamin D -- Regulates blood pressure and also aids in calcium absorption (ideally sunlight; also fatty fish e.g., salmon)
Vitamin E -- Promotes wound healing and cellular repair (Nuts, Plant Oils)
Folate a.k.a Folic Acid -- Aids in Red Blood Cell production as well as being essential for new cell and DNA synthesis (lentils, beans, leafy greens)
Genestein -- Reduction in osteoporosis symptoms (Soybeans, legumes)
Hesperetin -- Reduction in risk of heart disease (Citrus peel, Citrus fruits)
Iron -- Essential for blood clotting and red blood cell production (Meat sources, Eggs, Prunes)
Vitamin K -- Essential for blood clotting and Strengthens bones (Leafy greens e.g., Spinach and Kale)
Lycopene -- Reduction in risk of macular degeneration e.g., eyesight (tomatoes, mango, yams)
Magnesium -- Helps regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm (Nuts, Seeds, Beans)
Niacin -- Aids in energy metabolism (Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Meat sources)
Omega-3 -- Reduces inflammation in the body as well as hydrates skin and hair (fatty fish, walnuts, flax seed)
Phosphorus -- Aids in energy metabolism (Pumpkin Seeds, Salmon, Cottage Cheese)
Potassium -- Regulates blood pressure and fluid balance in the body (Bananas)
Quercetin -- Anti-inflammatory effects (Onions, Grapes)
Riboflavin -- Key role in red blood cell production (Yogurt, Mushrooms)
Selenium -- Antioxidant support (Seafood, Poultry)
Thiamin -- Promotes a healthy operating nervous system (Nuts, Seeds, Whole Grains)
Valine -- An essential amino acid that aids in protein metabolism (Meat sources, Eggs)
Zinc -- Plays an important role in wound healing and cellular repair (Seafood, Poultry)
Unfortunately, not all of the alphabet was used, but as you can see, this list is quite extensive and there are so many ways to simply eat your vitamins and minerals!
Note: All content was taken from Krause's Food & Nutrition Care Process.
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