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Top 5 Vitamins for Healthy Living

Updated on September 3, 2018
Ken Burgess profile image

Originally from Cape Cod. Army Vet., Fmr. Director of Energy Conservation programs, RE Agent, current residence the Space Coast, FL

The best way to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs is through a healthy balanced diet. The more raw fruits, berries and vegetables in your diet the better, over cooked and processed foods can loose more than 70% of their nutritional value.

Many raw fruits and vegetables are naturally abundant in digestive enzymes. Many enzymes are destroyed when heated above 115 degrees, so it's better to eat raw fruits and vegetables for the maximum benefit.

Raw foods are often related to better physical and mental health such as bananas, apples, dark leafy greens such as spinach, citrus fruits, fresh berries, and cucumber.

Iron

Iron is the element in hemoglobin that allows oxygen to be transported from the lungs to the muscles. Lack of sufficient Iron in one's diet may lead to you experiencing weakness, fatigue and irritability. I wrote an entire article on Iron HERE.

Where to Get it: Some sources of iron include dark leafy greens, tofu and legumes.

ZINC

Zinc is a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain hormone levels, zinc is found in every tissue in the body and is directly involved in cell division.

Zinc aids the production of testosterone, a key hormone for an athlete's recovery. But the nutrient is most well known for its immune-boosting perks. It helps balance your body’s response to infection, preventing out-of-control inflammation, and may even help treat a common cold.

Where to get it: Food sources include oysters, crab, lobster, beans, nuts

CALCIUM

Calcium is especially important for growing children and teenagers, who require calcium for bone health.

Where to get it: Great sources of calcium include cottage cheese, yogurt, leafy greens, fortified orange juice and canned sardines.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is widely recognized for its role in helping fight off colds. It does this due to its antioxidant properties that will also help to keep your immune system safe from free radicals you encounter.

Vitamin C is also important for maintaining proper connective tissues throughout the cartilage and tendons in the body.

Vitamin C also protects against cell damage, and aids in the absorption of iron and folate.

Where To Get It: Many individuals commonly think of oranges when it comes to vitamin C, however strawberries, brussel sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi and potatoes all have similar or even a greater percentage of vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a major role in growing and maintaining bones. Your body can make its own vitamin D with enough sun exposure, which is why it is often referred to as the 'sunshine vitamin' since our bodies can manufacture it . Vitamin D is critical to the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, ensuring bones grow strong and healthy.

Where To Get It: Apart from the natural source of sunlight, vitamin D is primarily found in salmon, shrimp, and whole eggs.

Bonus Vitamin - the B group

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 helps your body make use of the carbohydrates you eat on a daily basis, utilizing the nutrient for energy.

Another main purpose for B1 is to promote a healthy nervous system, it helps maintain proper nerve transmission throughout the cells.

Where To Get It: One of the best sources of vitamin B1 in the diet comes from sunflower seeds, other good sources include yellowfin tuna, black beans, and lentils.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

B2 helps the body break down and process the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats), as well as promotes a healthy skin complexion.

Where To Get It: Good sources are spinach, eggs, almonds and a variety of fish.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is a third B vitamin and also plays a key role in energy production and maintaining the nervous system, it also promotes a healthy digestive system.

Where To Get It: Good sources are yellowfin tuna, halibut, broccoli and beans.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin is critical for athletic energy, as it is responsible for getting oxygen to tissues.

Where to get it: Good sources are eggs, nuts and almost all seafood



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    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      I like the way you adressed the most important vitamins, and looking at some of the food made me hungry! I love fresh vegetables and fruit, and I like them raw. Thanks for spelling it out in a very understandable format.

    • Ken Burgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Burgess 

      5 weeks ago from Florida

      Yves,

      However you get it in you, so long as your body receives it, that's what matters.

      Uncooked fruits, nuts, seeds, veggies, have more enzymes and nutrients in them than scientists can quantify, the difference between 'live' and 'cooked/processed' is significant.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 

      5 weeks ago

      This is a good go-to article on what foods to eat and for which reasons. Personally, I don't much like uncooked veggies on my dinner plate; however, I've found a way to get past that by making smoothies. I load them with spinach, kale, banana and other fruits, along with Greek yogurt, rice milk and raw honey. It's the easiest way to get some nutrients and still enjoy the taste!

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