Monday, June 3, 2013

Beauty Foods: Do I need to take vitamins?

healthy foods
There was a question recently on ABC World News: 
Do supplements improve health?

You would think that if you take a vitamin you are guaranteed that you are getting everything you need. Some people think they can skip their fruits and veggies because they took their vitamin in the morning. So do you need to take a vitamin to improve your health?

The doctors asked said no, with the exception of Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Calcium. 

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

The best way to get vitamins is by eating healthy foods, not by taking vitamin pills. Fruits and veggies not only contain vitamins,they contain beneficial plant chemicals called 
phytochemicals, such as antioxidants to protect against cancer and other diseases.  

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

Some phytochemicals that act as antioxidants are:
flavonoids, flavones, isoflavones,
catechins, anthocyanidins, isothiocyanates, carotenoids, allyl sulfides and polyphenols. 

There are anti oxidants available in pill form but according to The American Cancer Society, evidence suggests that the pills are not as beneficial as the the foods they are derived from. Anti oxidant foods are many times referred to as super foods due to their high anti oxidant content plus nutritional value.  3-5 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!  Be sure to add many of them your diet every day.

Acai Berries 
Brazil Nuts
Dark Chocolate
Peppers- red and orange
Sunflower Seeds
Sweet Potatoes
Tea- black, green and white
Yogurt- fat free with no added sugar  

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

Vitamin A 

helps to strengthen membranes and fight infections. It is also responsible for helping to provide better vision and with 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 
consists of 12 vitamins, including Folic Acid, that help in releasing energy from food, detoxify organs and helping to promote proper metabolism. It is also aids 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
helps in the healing of wounds, strengthening of blood vessels, building of collagen, fighting of 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
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. It is found in fish liver oils, seafood, egg yolks, shitake mushrooms and in fortified foods like cereals, milk, yogurt and orange juice.

Vitamin E 
strengthens capillary walls, rejuvenates blood, provides oxygen to all organs and 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.

is the main component of bones and teeth. It helps our heart, muscles and nerves work properly. It aids in efficient muscle contraction and blood clotting. It can also lower blood pressure. Calcium is found in dairy foods,  leafy green vegetables, oranges, tofu, peanuts, peas, baked beans, salmon, sardines, and almonds.

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Have a beautiful, healthy day!


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