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Vitamins & Minerals

​Vitamins and minerals are supplements taken in addition to a healthy diet.  There is inconclusive evidience that supplements provide any health benefits.  Supplements are not regulated. Do your research before purchasing, to make sure you are buying a whole food dietary supplement.

Vitamin A is necessary for the body to grow and slow down cell damage. It keeps your skin and immune system healthy, and helps you see in dimmer lighting. Vitamin A comes in two forms, retinoids and carotenoids. Retinoids are mostly found in animal livers, kidneys, eggs, and dairy products.  Carotenoids are found in yellow, orange, and dark colored plants and have higher amounts of Vitamin A.  Beta-Carotene is a type of carotenoids. Food that are high in vitamin A include:  fresh and dried apricots, napa cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, peppers, mangos, collard greens, grapefruits, lettuce (leafs and romaine), spinach, sweet potatoes, tomato, dark leafy greens, liver, winter squash, fish and okra pods. Other sources of vitamin A are milk, green beans, plums, asparagus, celery, breakfast cereals, and kale. 


Vitamin B12 is an essential water soluble vitamin, often taken in combination with other B vitamins. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, neurological function and DNA synthesis.  It is stored in your liver, and low levels are rare,  but can be seen in the elderly and in vegetarians.  The inability to absorb vitamin B12 can cause an anemia known as pernicious anemia. Symptoms associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness and constipation, in addition to neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, poor balance and difficulty with memory.  Foods that are high in vitamin B12 are shell fish, fish, meat, eggs and dairy products.


Also known as pyroxidine, vitamin B6 plays an important role in the processing of serotonin and norepinephrine, and helps calm and maintain the nervous system.  It also helps the body convert glucose to energy. Deficiencies in vitamin B6 can affect the skin, mucous membranes, central nervous system and circulatory system.  Vitamin B6  can be found in legumes, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, liver, meat, flour, whole wheat, rice, and in vegetables like  spinach, peas, and carrots.


Calcium plays an important role in maintaining healthy bone structure, as well as improving the function of the heart, muscles and nervous system. The body does not produce calcium, so it must be consumed.  Most people do not get enough calcium in their diets.  Foods high in calcium are dark leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, milk, cheese, yogurt, and fish, like wild caught salmon or sardines. For the body to absorb calcium it needs Vitamin D.  There are many health benfits to calcium, but it is important not to take it in excess. There maybe side effects to taking calcium supplements, and they may interact with certain medications.  You should consult with your medical provider prior to starting calcium supplements.


Choline is a macronutrient that plays a key role in liver function, brain development, and muscle movement.  It also contributes to energy levels, and activates the neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine keeps the communication between nerves going and keeps muscles moving.  It contributes to active metabolism by transporting fats to proper places of the body. Foods that contain choline are eggs (mostly in the yolk) and egg based dishes, liver, beef, scallops, shrimp, chicken, brussel sprouts, broccoli, milk, peanuts (peanut butter), collard greens, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, turkey, tuna, sardines, green peas and beans, cabbages, shiitake and crimini mushrooms, tomatoes, and summer squash.


Vitamin C is water soluble vitamin and is vital for healing.  It supports your skin, blood vessels, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments on the cellular level. Vitamin C also helps maintain your bones and teeth. It is a beta carotene (plant based nutrient) and antioxidant that helps fight against free radicals. Free radicals cause cellular damage. Alot of foods contain Vitamin C:  apricots, beans, bell peppers, blackberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, cauliflower, collard greens, grapefruits, lemons, limes, honeydew, okra, oranges, pineapple,sweet/regular potatoes, radishes, raspberries, spinach, summer squash, strawberries, tangerines, watermelon, and tomatoes. Other sources of Vitamin C include artichokes, asparagus, bananas, blueberries, carrots, celery, cherries, corn, cucumbers, green beans, mangos, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums.


Vitamin D is fat soluble vitamin.  The easiest way to get vitamin D is via sunlight.  Of course, your skin has to be exposed to the sun without any sunscreen in order to absorb the Vitamin D from the sun.   Vitamin D gives your bone the ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus.  It keeps cell communication clear.  Vitamin D also improves nerve and muscle function, improves cell growth, decreases inflammation, and strengthens your immune system.  Foods that contain Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, fortified milk and orange juice, yogurt, margarine, sardines, liver, beef, egg yolk, and swiss cheese. ​​


​​Vitamin E (also known as tocopherol) is a fat soluble vitamin.  It is an antioxidant that fights against free radicals and stop them from damaging cells. Vitamin E also slows the aging process by preventing skin cells from becoming damaged and keeping elasticity and moisture in the skin. It also reduces skin inflammation.  Vitamin E helps boost your immune system by protecting cells membranes from the damage from oxidative stress.  Foods that contain Vitamin E:  sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, pumpkin, red peppers, asparagus, collard greens, mangos, avocados, beet greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, swiss chard, and peanut butter.​​


Vitamin B9 or Folate is a water soluble vitamin.  It plays a major role in brain function, and mental and emotional health (anxiety and depression).  Folate assists in cell synthesis by strengthening the cells, replacing old cells with new, formating red blood cells, and building or fixing skin cells. Folate helps control homocysteine, which, in turn, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Foods that are rich in folate include: lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, spinach, navy beans, black beans, kidney beans, turnips, and broccoli.


Iron is a mineral which is part of the oxygen transfer process in the body. Iron helps make red blood cells which carry oxygen via the lungs to the body tissues. The brain relies on oxygen to function. Without iron, neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine would not be able to connect to neurons, your immune system would be impaired and you would be cold and tired. You can get iron through food, animal protein sources of iron are absorped better than plant sources.  Iron can be found in beef, poultry and seafood as well as spinach, turnips, broccoli, sprouts, soy beans, lentils, legumes, cereals and breads.  Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron. 


Iodine is essential for healthy thyroid function, and, in turn, effective metabolism.  It improves brain function, dry skin, dry mouth and muscular pain.  Many people  are deficient in Iodine. It is recommended that you get iodine from nontoxic healthy foods such as iodized table salt, organic sea vegetables and spirulina.  There are controversies as to whether too much Iodine can be unhealthy and may be linked to cancer.


Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it stays in the body longer. it is stored in your fat tissues and is used by the liver to make blood clotting proteins. There are three forms of vitamin K,  K1 (phylloquinone), K2 (menaquinone) and K3 (menadione). Vitamin K1 is found in plants, mostly green vegetables.   Vitamin K2 is found in organ meats, egg yolks, dairy products and fermented soy products.  In addition to its role in coagulation, vitamin K plays a large role in bone health, and may improve osteoporosis and arthritis symptoms.  Vitamin K is found in: kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, scallions, cabbage, dairy, prunes, cucumbers, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, beets, swiss chard, turnips, parsley, and dried basil.


Magnesium assists in muscle function, nerve function, blood sugar regulation and protein and DNA synthesis. Low levels of magnesium can lead to nausea, appetite loss, and fatigue. In more extreme cases, low magnesium can cause numbing, muscle cramps, seizures, a difference in personality, and an abnormal heart rhythm. By increasing your magnesium, you can lower your risk of type two diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  Magnesium also improves high blood pressure, osteoporosis, insomnia and migraines.  Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens, fish, nuts, avocadoes, yogurt, bananas and dark chocolate.


Multivitamin supplements are mired in controversy.  A recent  John Hopkins study shows no evidence that multivitamin supplements provide any health benefits.  The only benefit they found was that supplementation with folic acid in pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects.  Multivitamins should not be a subsitute for a healthy meal.  Unfortunately, most people do not get the required amount of vitamins and minerals from their diets. Make sure your are taking a whole food multivitamin and mineral like  Garden of Life or MegaFood.  Adding a multivitamin along with consuming fresh fruits and vegetables daily, may have a small nutritional value.


Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is a water soluble vitamin, which doesn’t stay in the body as long as fat soluble vitamins. It is an antioxidant that fights against free radicals (a contributing factor towards the aging process, heart disease, and cancer via cell damage.) Riboflavin improves skin health and increases red blood cell production. Vitamin B2 also helps convert food to energy and improves vision. Examples of food that contain Riboflavin are:  soybeans, spinach, beets, yogurt, mushrooms, eggs, asparagus, almonds, liver, legumes, milk, and turkey.


Selenium plays a large part in healthy metabolism.  Selenium is an antioxidant which helps fight against free radical damage and inflammation. If the body has enough naturally occurring selenium, it lowers the risk of cancer and thyroid disease and increases fertility.   Selenium also improves blood flow and may help fight heart disease. If someone has a hard time absorbing nutrients, they may have low levels of Selenium. You can find this vitamin in the following foods: eggs, liver, tuna, cod, sunflower seeds, and poultry.


Thiamin or B-1 is one of the eight forms of Vitamin B. It regulates electrolytes (important chemicals and nutrients that help your body function) through cells that are in nerves and muscles. Thiamin helps nerves and muscle function by helping create myelin sheath (it creates the protective layers that keeps nerve signals circulating). Thiamin helps energize the body by converting carbohydrates from glucose to energy. Examples of food that contain thiamin are: sunflower seeds, navy beans, black beans, barley, dried peas, green peas, lentils, pinto beans, lima beans, and oats. Chronic alcohol consumption can cause thiamin deficiency.


Zinc is an important part of immune system function. It helps fight bacteria, takes part in creating protein and DNA and helps wounds heal. It affects our ability to properly taste and smell.  Zinc helps skin stay healthy, and even slows age related macular degeneration. Zinc is a component of our multivitamins and dietary supplements. It can be found in oysters, red meat, poultry, seafood, lobsters, fortified breakfast cereals, beans, nuts, whole grains, and some dairy products. If the body has inadequate amounts of Zinc, it can slow infant growth, delay sexual development in adolescents, cause hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin sores, loss of appetite, weight loss and healing issues.  Zinc deficiency also impacts our body's ability to taste and smell, and it decreases alertness.


Vitamin B3, or NIacin, is a water soluable vitamin.  It keeps your cardiovascular system, metabolism and skin healthy.  It can help lower your cholesterol and keeps the brain functioning properly.  Niacin can fight inflammation and may reduce allergy symptoms.  Foods that contain Niacin include: tuna, chicken, turkey, salmon, lamb, beef, sardines, peanuts, shrimp and brown rice.