B: Clifford Sonnie, M.D.
Last week we started to list a number of vitamins needed in the body and where you find them in your diet. This week I am going to continue to list vitamins and several minerals. Remember this list is by no means complete and if a vitamin or mineral has been omitted or forgotten I in no way meant to trivialize it or insult it. Just didn’t have enough space.
I will try to keep the science to a minimum! Well, let’s begin!
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): It is essential for healthy teeth bones, and gums. It helps heal wounds and prevents scar formation, and it helps heal fractures, and prevents scurvy. Vitamin C is vital in the immune system and can help treat many viruses and infections. It is required in the synthesis of collagen which essentially is the cement that holds tissue and cells together. As a result, it can strengthen blood vessels, muscles, cells etc. It has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of certain cancers. Ascorbic acid is found in citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, rose hips, spinach, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, aloe vera, buckwheat and cabbage.
Vitamin D (calciferol): Vitamin D improves the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus. It is required for bone and tooth foundation, and helps to maintain a healthy nervous system. It is used to stabilize emotional mood swings, and is necessary for normal heart action. It is also avital part of an effective immune system. Calciferols can be found in cod liver oil, eggs, herring, halibut, meats, milk, salmon, sardines and of course is synthesized with exposure to the sun.
Vitamin E (tocopheranol): Vitamin E is a major antioxidant and actually slows cellular aging, due to oxidation. It supplies oxygen to the blood which the supplies all the tissues. It, along with vitamin C, strengthens vessel walls and prevents and dissolves blood clots. It is vital in normal, healthy heart function and is used to treat fatigue. Tocopherol is found in almonds, apricots, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, milk, various seeds, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds.
Vitamin K (phytomentadione): Vitamin K is essential for the formation of blood clots to prevent excess bleeding. It is needed in the process by which a clot is formed, and it is also vital in the utilization of calcium and vitamin d for the formation of health bones and structure. Phytomentadione is found in broccoli, spinach, cabbage, liver, egg yolks, butter, asparagus, tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables.
Calcium: Calcium is needed for nearly every function of the body, from bone formation, blood formation, muscle formation to muscle growth. It is also vital for normal transmission of nerve impulses and assists the immune system. Calcium is found in all nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, cheese, dairy foods, molasses, salmon, sardines, shrimp, and yogurt.
Chromium: Chromium stimulates the enzymes involved with glucose metabolism, helps insulin to control blood sugar levels, and it also helps RNA and DNA to withstand structural changes and defects. It is found in bananas, apples, molasses, brewers’ yeast, butter, liver, chicken, dairy products, legumes, eggs, oysters, other seafood, whole grains and stevia. Yes, it is also found in beer, but ONLY the good kind!!
Copper: Copper is important in the formation of bone and the manufacturing of hemoglobin. It also is vital in the productions of elastin, which is the elastic portion of tissues. It is also necessary in the production of RNA and the production of ATP, which is the production of the body’s energy source. It is also involved ion the healing of wounds, and the formation of collagen the formation of our taste buds, and maintains skin and hair color. Copper is found in most nuts, avocados, baker’s yeast, legumes, beets peppers molasses dark green cruciferous vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, olives herring liver oranges, wheat germ, wheat bran, and honey.
Iodine: Iodine is important for the function and proper development of the thyroid. It mobilizes fats and promotes growth. It also helps regulate the production of energy, and it is essential for hair, nails, skin, and tooth health. It is found in asparagus, cod liver oil, herring, haddock, kelp, lima beans, lobsters, mushrooms, salomn, seafoods, sesame seeds, spinach, squash, sunflower seeds, and turnip greens.
Iron: Iron plays an important role in the production of hemoglobin. It is also used to carry oxygen by the red blood cells. Iron is also used by the body to efficiently use all the B vitamins. It is found in almonds, beans, avocados, bran, brewers’ yeast, dark cruciferous vegetables, cocoa, fruit, garbanzo beans, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, molasses, peaches, pears, potatoes, poultry, raisins, sesame and sunflower seeds, walnuts, wheat bran, wheat germ and whole grains.
Magnesium: Magnesium is vital for regulating the muscle activity to the heart. It maintains a normal rhythm in the heart and helps to convert blood sugar into energy. It is a major constituent of bones and teeth, and is vital in the balance of calcium in the bone. It is essential for nerve transmission and bone growth, regulating body temperature and DNA and RNA production. It is also utilized to prevent muscle spasm. It is found in almonds, barley, brewer’s yeast, buckwheat molasses ,fish, dark green leafy vegetable, herring, kelp, licorice, lima beans, oats, legumes, peas, seafood, shrimp, sunflower seeds, wheat bran, wheat germ and whole grains.
Manganese: Manganese is involved in bone formation, energy production and the body’s utilization of protein, carbohydrate and fats. It is found in avocados, beans barley, molasses, blueberries, buckwheat, cloves, coffee, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, pineapples, rice and seaweed.
Zinc: Zinc is vital for the action of all B vitamins. It is also necessary for protein formation and collagen. It is vital for a healthy immune system and is necessary for the body to heal wounds. It can increase testosterone and is vital for sperm formation. It is also involed in muscle contraction and insulin formation and brain formation. Zinc is found in beans beef, molasses, brewer’s yeast, poultry, herring, crab, lamb, milk, legumes, peanuts, pumpkins, sunflower seeds and whole grain yeast.
Now, don’t go shoveling handfuls of supplements down your throat. As I said before the reason for this article was to show you how to get these vitamins within your diet. But if you can’t get them all, and you need supplements, stop in and we can talk about it. Remember the smart health care consumer is informed and aware. Clifford M. Sonnie, M.D., M.P.H can be found at the Balance of Life Clinic.