Monday, June 3, 2013

Do we need to take vitamins?

healthy foods
We love to take our vitamin supplements! Many people think of supplements as magic pills that give us better health and more energy. 

We need vitamins for our health that's for sure. 

But, do we actually need to take vitamin supplements to be healthier or can we get the vitamins we need from the foods we eat?


So many questions! 

What do doctors say about taking vitamin supplements?


ABC News asked doctors if taking vitamin supplements is necessary. The doctors asked agreed that no supplements are needed, with the exception of Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Calcium for some people. 

Dr. Donald Hensrud, an associate professor of preventative medicine and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic said, "For most dietary supplements, there is not a lot of evidence they improve health, including multivitamins."

Not enough evidence. That's interesting.

Doctors recommend eating a healthy, balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables to get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

Can supplements replace food?

I know some people who think they can skip their fruits and veggies because they took their vitamin supplement in the morning. They think that if they take a multi vitamin everyday, they are guaranteed to get everything they need to be healthy. 

The best way to get your vitamins is by eating healthy foods, not by popping a vitamin supplement like the doctors say.

You get so much more than just vitamins by eating healthy foods!

Fruits and veggies not only contain vitamins, they contain beneficial plant chemicals called phytochemicals. Powerful antioxidant phytochemicals not only protect against cancer and other diseases, they help our skin stay younger looking and more beautiful.

Studies show that the phytochemicals in fruits and veggies have amazing anti aging properties, prevent and treat various health conditions and diseases. Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants. There are literally thousands of them. 

Sure, you can get some antioxidants, like resveratrol, by supplement, but you can't get those thousands of unique plant compounds via supplements. 

According to The American Cancer Society, evidence suggests that the supplements are not as beneficial as the the foods they are derived from. 
Some phytochemicals that act as antioxidants are

flavonoids
flavones 
isoflavones
catechins
anthocyanidins
isothiocyanates
carotenoids
allyl sulfides
polyphenols. 

Anti oxidant foods are many times referred to as super foods due to their high anti oxidant content plus their nutritional value.  

5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruits are recommended for each day.

The Super Foods 

The following foods are powerhouse super foods. These foods are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to help calm inflammation, fight aging and add beauty to the skin.  Add as many of them as you can your diet every day.

Acai Berries 
Almonds 
Avocados
Beans
Blueberries
Brazil Nuts
Broccoli
Carrots 
Coffee
Dark Chocolate
Eggs
Kiwi
Oats
Oranges
Peppers- red and orange
Pumpkin
Quinoa
Raspberries
Salmon
Soy 
Spinach
Sunflower Seeds
Sweet Potatoes
Tea- black, green and white
Tomatoes
Spinach
Walnuts 
Yogurt- fat free with no added sugar  


Here is a little more about vitamins, what they do and which foods to eat to get them:



Vitamin A 

Vitamin A helps to strengthen membranes and fight infections. It is also responsible for helping to provide better vision. It is necessary for jawbone and tooth formation. 

Vitamin A is found in egg yolks, liver, yellow vegetables, kale, beet and turnip greens, carrots, bell peppers,sweet potato and spinach.

Vitamin B 
Vitamin B consists of 12 vitamins, including Folic Acid. The B vitamins help in releasing energy from food, detoxify organs and helping to promote proper metabolism. They also aid nervous system functions. 

Vitamin B is found in dairy products, liver, nuts, fish, wheat germ, egg yolks and green, leafy vegetables, bananas and pears, brown rice and fermented soybean products such as tofu, miso and soy sauce.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps heal of wounds, strengthen the blood vessels, build collagen, fights infections and is an antioxidant. 

Vitamin C is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, sweet green peppers, strawberries and citrus fruits.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is made by the body from sunlight and helps utilize calcium and phosphorous for the formation of strong bones, teeth and healthy skin. Vitamin D is made when unprotected skin is exposed to the sunlight. About 15 minutes twice a week. 

Vitamin is found in fish liver oils, seafood, egg yolks, shitake mushrooms and in fortified foods like cereals, milk, yogurt and orange juice.

Vitamin E 
Vitamin E strengthens capillary walls which provide oxygen rich blood to all organs. Vitamin E helps in the internal and external healing of skin lesions. It is an antioxidant. 

Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, wheat germ oil, whole grain baked goods, nuts, bran, seeds, unrefined cereal, mango, turnip greens and broccoli.

So we need our vitamins for healthy bodies but we don't need to take vitamins. A big salad with a variety of yummy veggies provides a ton of vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants. Need some food inspiration? Visit my recipe page. It's full of recipes good for the body and recipes good for the soul!

Click here for my recipes page


Have a beautiful, healthy day!

xo
Jill









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