The 10 essential vitamins & minerals, your body needs
It’s tempting to reach for the multivitamins and hope it gives your body all the essential vitamins. But it doesn’t quite work like this. No vitamin supplement can replace a poor diet or unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Think of this as your nutrition 101 ‘class’. These are the 10 absolute non-negotiable vitamins and minerals that you need in your diet. With these (naturally) powering you, you’ll feel energetic, sharp and healthy.
From (vitamin) A to Zinc.
1. Vitamin A
This essential vitamin it great for overall development, including healthy teeth, skin, and eyes. Harness vitamin A from orange foods including carrots, sweet potatoes, and rock melon. As the old saying goes, ‘eat your carrots so you can see at night.’
2. B Vitamins
Feeling lethargic? Up your B vitamins, for increased energy production, immune function, and the absorption of iron. Source B vitamins from whole unprocessed foods such as whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, and beans.
3. Vitamin C
You already know this one! Yes, it’s oranges. Top up your fruit bowl with guava, kiwifruits, grapefruits, strawberries, and rock melon. These food sources are great for strengthening blood vessels, boosting skin elasticity, and amazing antioxidant functions.
4. Vitamin D
Yes, this is your ‘excuse’ for more midday walks in the sun. Vitamin D is required for healthy bones. Just don’t tell your boss you can also get it from eggs, fish, and mushrooms.
5. Vitamin E
If wrinkles worry you, up your vitamin E intake. It protects against (wrinkle-inducing) free radicals, as well as helps blood circulation. Make a trail mix of nuts and sunflower seeds. Tomatoes are another wonderful source.
6. Vitamin K
Are you on the kale bandwagon yet? Color your dishes in leafy greens for natural sources of vitamin K. Spinach, broccoli and brussels sprouts help with blood coagulation.
7. Folic Acid
Ladies, are you pregnant? Or trying to get pregnant? Folic acid is an absolute essential for you then, with its cell-renewing and birth-defect reduction qualities. Fill your plate with dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts, cauliflower, beets and corn. YUM!
Even with your soy lattes and almond milk smoothies, make sure you’re getting enough calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Vegan? Tofu is your new, best friend.
You’re probably thinking red meat, right? But clams, oysters, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, lentils and spinach are also iron-rich. We need iron in our bodies for healthy muscles and blood.
Seafood lovers, you’re in for another treat. Oysters are high in zinc, as are cashews, beans and, wait for it… dark chocolate. Scream it from the roof tops, ladies. (Dark) chocolate is healthy. And it’s great for immunity, growth, and fertility. Small, incremental changes to your diet can make a big change.
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