Hi everyone--yes, I know I missed the last blog post--time just "got away from me"!!!
This past week a new patient asked me how to get certain vital vitamins from their diet. They take a multi vitamin/mineral supplement but would like to get more vitamins from the foods they eat!
Good question! First of all we need to eat protein, carbohydrates and fat (good fats) as part of the macro-nutrients of our every day diet. Most of the time I see that people are not eating enough proteins (meat, eggs, poultry, seafood etc) and veggies in their diet. There are alot of vegetarians out there that never eat a vegetable!!! (But that is another topic). So, lets delve into dietary sources of some necessary vitamins!
Vit. A(bone and cell growth,vision and eye health) Sweet potatoes,pumpkin,eggs,carrots
Vit. B12 (brain/nervous system function, healthy blood cells) Fish, meat,poultry,egg, dairy
Vit. B6 (healthy immune system, protects against heart disease,anemia,arthritis, MS) Beans, red meat, poultry, fish, walnuts, bananas, cauliflower, spinach
Vit. D (strong immune system, decreases inflammation, bone building, decreases risk of chronic diseases) Fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks and sunshine without sunscreens
Vit. C (antioxidant, promotes immune system function) Fruits and veggies, especially broccoli, bell peppers, kale, cauliflower, berries, spinach, oranges, grapefurit, tomatoes, winter squash
Vit. E (antioxidant protective for cardiovascular disease, anti-inflamatory agent to protect liver) Almonds, walnuts, seeds, green leafy veggies
Vit. K ((heart and bone health, blood vessel elasticity, blood coagulation) Eggs, meat, spinach, asparagus, brocolli, strawberries, beans
"I Am a Vegetarian-What nutrients are not in my diet?"
Well, if you are a vegetarian and have taken classes in proper food combining and you take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement you may be OK. However, potential nutrient deficiencies may still exist:
Vegetarian (ovo-lacto: does not eat meat, fish, poultry) may be lacking: Iron, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, Vit. A & D and protein
Vegetarian(lacto: does not eat meat, seafood, poultry and eggs) may lack: Iron, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, Vit. A &D and protein
Vegetarian(ovo: does not eat meat,poultry fish, dairy) Calcium, Iron, Zinc, B-vitamins, Vit. A&D, Omega 3 fatty acids and protein
Vegan (no animal products including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy) Calcium, iron, zinc, B-viamins, Vit. A & D, omega 3 fatty acids and protein
Gluten Free (wheat, rye, barley, GF oats) B-vitamins, iron and fiber
As you can see, any restricted diet puts you at risk for nutritional deficiencies !
So, they best way to get all the vitamins, minerals and macro-nutrition your body needs is to take a good multi vitamin/mineral supplement(and I don't mean One- A -Day Multi either-I did say GOOD), an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement, a good probiotic and eat a wide variety of proteins, veggies and fruits in your diet. Also, keep any bodily inflammation down by staying away from gluten containing grains, sugar and dairy products. Have your Vitamin D levels tested and if they are low, take an extra Vit. D supplement!