When many people think of vitamins, they think of the multi-vitamin bottle found at the drug store. However there another better more efficient multi-vitamin out there that’s way better than any pill you can take, it’s the vitamins found in our food. For those that need a refreshers on what exactly are vitamins, here is a little crash course.
What vitamins are not:
- Not be manufactured by our bodies (exception some vitamin B’s)
- Not sources of energy
- Not part of our body tissue
- Not building blocks
What vitamins are:
- Organic compounds that contain elements needed to sustain life
- Found in both plants and animals
- Essential for growth, vitality, and health
- Helpful in digestion, elimination, and resistance to disease
Two different kinds of vitamins; Water-soluble (Vitamins B & C) and fat-soluble (Vitamins, A, D, E, K). Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and pass through us quickly. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in our fat and body releases it when we don’t have it in our food. I’ll be focusing on the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E,K so you know which foods have them and the benefits it has on your body.
Food sources: liver, egg yolks, yellow and orange colored vegetables & fruits.
Benefits: Eyesight and formation of rhodopsin which allows you to see at night. Growth and tissue healing, this vitamin lays down new cells, including bone cells, and helps protect the tissue from infection. Healthy skin, it gives your base layer of skin cells structural integrity.
Food sources: The Sun, egg yolks, butter, liver
Benefits: Regulate calcium metabolism and normal calcification of the bones. Prevents and cures rickets. Reduce the incidence of colds. Helps with muscles spasms, especially when related to heightened anxiety states.
Food sources: Wheat germ oil, cold-pressed oils, Safflower-oils
Benefits: Key function is to modify and stabilize blood fats so that the blood vessels, the heart, and the entire body are more protected from free-radical-induced injury.
Food sources: Dark leafy greens, most green plants, alfalfa, liver, milk, egg yolks, and polyunsaturated oils.
Benefits: Necessary for normal blood clotting.
Jay Vilar is a nutritional therapist and foodie. He teaches farm-to-table cooking classes, educating people on how to create nutrient-dense dishes at home. He also works with his mom (a retired nurse practitioner), helping his clients get off their chronic disease medications using food. Jay and his mom also produce a podcast called, "Listen To Your Mothers, A Health Professionals Guide on Using Food to Heal Your Body."