Why Is Complete Nutrition Important? – Pg 3
Foods High in B Vitamins
Did you know that there are eight B vitamins? They often work together but each one has a few specific jobs. For example, thiamin or B1 is necessary to make energy for your cells from the food that you eat.
It’s also an important part of making DNA and RNA. You really cannot do without this vitamin. So let’s take a look at each of the eight and provide a short description about what it does and what foods provide that specific B vitamin.
You can find this B vitamin in beans and lentils. You can also find it in many meat products, including read meat and pork. Vegetarians will be happy to know that it’s in many nuts and seeds as well as spinach, cauliflower and cruciferous vegetables.
B3 is also an important part of creating energy for the cells. In addition, it synthesizes fatty acids and is important for your cardiovascular health. You can find niacin in fish, beef, and chicken as well as peanuts and beans and lentils. It’s also in whole grains.
Very important for children and their development, B2 is required for energy production, growth, and controlling free radicals in the body. Salmon, beef, eggs, and green leafy and cruciferous veggies contain riboflavin. Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin is a basic building block for normal growth and development.
B5 aka pantothenic acid, supports your body to produce energy. It’s found in lots of different sources, including both meat and vegetables. Avocados, organ meats, nuts and seeds, are all great sources of B5.
This is a vitamin that your body simply cannot do without. It’s essential for just about every cellular function in your body, including your hormones, your nervous system and your metabolism. If you eat meat, you won’t have a problem getting this nutrient. Don’t eat meat and you’ll have to look for fortified foods and dark leafy greens for B6.
B7 is also known as biotin. It’s found in yeast, dairy products and strawberries. It’s important for hair, skin, and nail health, as well as metabolism.
Folic acid, or B9, is needed for the formation of red blood cells. It’s important in the development of fetuses, and you can find it in fortified foods and dark leafy greens.
This vitamin helps produce cellular energy and DNA synthesis as well as the formation of your red blood cells. It’s important. You can find it in animal products almost exclusively, including milk and eggs. If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, look for fortified foods to get your B12.
B vitamins are important for optimal health and there are many B vitamins that you just cannot live without. Also, there are minerals that are essential for survival. We’ll explore those next and talk about how you can embrace mineral-rich foods into your daily diet.
Tips to Consume More Foods That Are High in Minerals
When you think about complete health and a well-rounded diet, you probably think about vitamins first. After all, we often hear words like “antioxidants” and “plant sterols” and “phytochemicals” before we hear words like “electrolytes” and “minerals.” Yet minerals are just as essential to your health and vitality as vitamins.
What Do Minerals Do?
Minerals actually play a very large role in a number of metabolic processes. At the cellular level they are an integral part of the energy production process. Your body cannot make energy from your food without minerals.
Minerals are also required for carrying nutrients to your body, as well as the hydration and elimination process. You probably already know that minerals are required for bone health, but did you know that minerals impact your hormones and your immune system too?
The bottom line is that minerals are equally important to your health and this is often overlooked. Let’s list the most important minerals first and then talk about adding them to your diet. The top three were mentioned earlier.
Getting Minerals into Your Diet
1. Dairy or fortified dairy alternatives
We’ve already discussed how dairy provides calcium for a healthy diet. If you cannot have dairy products, try dairy alternatives that have been fortified with calcium. They may also have some additional mineral fortification.
2. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are one of the most powerful superfoods that you can add to your daily diet. This includes kale, spinach, and collards. Add them to smoothies, enjoy salads, and you can also sauté and even bake some greens. They’re packed with minerals and vitamins.
3. Bone broth
Bone broth has become all the rage and if it hasn’t hit your community yet, just wait. Bone broth is made from boiling bones for long periods of time, up to 12 hours. It releases the minerals and an abundance of flavor. You can make soup from it or drink it as is. It’s super healthy and a great source of minerals.
Finally, don’t forget that sea salt, kelp and fortified cereals can also provide an abundance of minerals. While you don’t need a large amount of minerals on a daily basis, it is important to make sure that you’re eating foods that give you the mineral nutrition that your body needs.
We’ve talked about minerals and a few vitamins specifically. Now let’s take a look at a broader category, antioxidants, and talk about what they are, why they’re important, and how to make sure you’re getting them into your diet.