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Thursday, 14 July 2016

Vitamins From A-Z


You may be in the habit of taking them everyday, but are you using them for the right reason? From A-Z learn what vitamins do and if you really need them.
Vitamin A
There are two main types of it. One comes from animal sources of food. You need it to help you see at night, make red blood cells, and fight off infections. The other is in plant foods and can help prevent an eye problem called age-related macular degeneration and to cells all over your body. Eat orange veggies and fruits (like sweet potato and cantaloupe), spinach and other greens, dairy products, and seafood such as shrimp and salmon. Too much vitamin A can hurt your liver, though
Vitamin B12
Rev up before hitting the gym with a snack like a hard-boiled egg or cereal with vitamins added. B12 helps your body break down food for energy. Some athletes and trainers take supplements before workouts, but these don’t really boost your success if you're getting enough in your meals.
Vitamin C
Despite claims made by some over-the-counter remedies, it doesn’t prevent colds. But once you have symptoms, drink orange or grapefruit juice to help yourself stay hydrated and feel better sooner. Your body must have vitamin C to help your bones, skin, and muscles grow. You'll get enough from bell peppers, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupe, leafy greens, and other fruits and veggies.
Calcium
This mineral, when mixed with sand, helps harden concrete harden. Its strength makes it the building block for your bones and teeth. It's also key to make muscles, including your heart, move. Get calcium from milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy foods, and from green vegetables like kale and broccoli. How much you need depends on your age and sex. Check with your doctor about whether you should take a supplement
Vitamin D
Like calcium, it keeps your bones strong and helps your nerves carry messages. It also plays a role in fighting germs. Careful time in the sun -- 10 to 15 minutes on a clear day, without sunscreen -- is the best source. Or you could eat fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. There's a little in egg yolks, too. You can also get milk and sometimes orange juice with added vitamin D.
Vitamin E
It's also called an antioxidant. They protect your cells from damage caused by cigarette smoke, pollution, sunlight, and more. Vitamin E also helps your cells talk to each other and keeps blood moving. Sunflower seeds and nuts including almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts are good sources. If you're allergic to those, vegetable oils (like safflower and sunflower), spinach, and broccoli have vitamin E, too
Folic Acid
For moms-to-be, it's a must. It helps make DNA and prevent spina bifida and other brain birth defects. Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens, oranges and orange juice, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are rich in folic acid. Your doctor may want you to take a supplement, too.
Vitamin K
You need it for blood clotting and healthy bones. People who take warfarin, a blood-thinner, have to be careful about what they eat, because vitamin K reacts badly with the drug. A serving of leafy greens -- like spinach, kale, or broccoli -- will give you more than enough K for the day. A Japanese dish called natto, made from fermented soybeans, has even more
Iron
When your levels are low, your body doesn’t make enough healthy red blood cells. And without them, you can’t get oxygen to your  tissues. Women who are pregnant or have heavy menstrual cycles are most likely to have anemia, the medical name for when you don’t have enough iron in your blood. Keep up your levels with beans and lentils, liver, oysters, and spinach. Many breakfast cereals have a day’s worth added in. Even dark chocolate with at least 45% cacao has some!
Magnesium
This mineral plays a role in making your muscles squeeze and keeping your heart beating. It helps control blood sugar and blood pressure, make proteins and DNA, and turn food into energy. You'll get magnesium from almonds, cashews, spinach, soybeans, avocado, and whole grains
Potassium
You may think of bananas, but green leafy veggies are a better source of this mineral. It helps keep your blood pressure in a normal range, and it helps your kidneys work. Levels that are too low or too high could make your heart and nervous system shut down. You should also watch your salt, because your body needs the right balance of sodium and potassium. Snack on raw cantaloupe, carrots, and tomatoes, too.
Zinc
Without it, you couldn't taste and smell. Your immune system needs it, and it helps cuts, scrapes, and sores heal. It may help you keep your sight as you get older. While you can get zinc from plant sources like sesame and pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, lentils, and cashews, it's easier for your body to absorb it from animal foods, such as oysters, beef, crab, lobster, and pork.

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