Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Did you take your vitamins?

Vitamins are promoted in an effort to ensure that we maintain a daily healthy nutritional balance. As with anything, it is important that you follow the advise of your physician who has an accurate medical history of your physical health.

Now on to the topic of vitamins. Vitamin products promote strong bones and teeth, good eye sight, growth, skin, nails, immune system, among other impressive claims. However, you can also find natural sources of vitamins through our fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin A - Dark green leafy vegetables and yellow, orange or red fruits and vegetables: sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, fish liver oils, liver, kale, turnip greens, squash, tomatoes, pumpkin, peaches, mangoes, apricots, milk and dairy products.

Vitamin B 1 - Grains, meats, sunflower seeds, pork, bran cereal, peas, fish, beef, liver, ham, peanuts, almonds, macaroni, rice, bread, lima beans, corn, broccoli, potato, orange juice, orange, avocado, dried beans, oatmeal, milk and dried yeast.

Other Vitamin B's

Vitamin C - Kiwi fruit, orange/orange juice, cantaloupe, grapefruit/ grapefruit juice, cranberry/cranberry juice, strawberries, grape juice, watermelon, raspberries, green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, potato, tomato, sweet potato and red peppers.

Vitamin D - Sunlight (the action of sunlight on the skin allows our bodies to manufacture vitamin D), cod-liver oil, sardines, herring, salmon, tuna, milk and milk products.

Vitamin E - Avocado, asparagus, nuts, soy beans, vegetable oil, broccoli, sprouts, spinach, whole grain products, eggs, wheat germ, seeds and milk.

Vitamins were made with popular characters from Sesame Street, Flinstones, etc. Everyday my children would remind me that they needed to take their vitamins and I marveled in their commitment to their health. Recently in one of our moments of laughing about the things they did when they were younger, the confession came - "Oh, remember when we would take our vitamins and then remind mommy so that we can have another one?" They all laughed. I was very surprised. I never thought that there was a way that they could open the vitamin container with the child safety features on the cap. They did not value the vitamins for its nutritious content but more so a treat - like candy.

Keep in mind that vitamins are often recommended for those who have deficiencies in their daily diet. Be cautious in selecting the vitamins as there are many companies that sell vitamins and you may be getting more than you bargained. An independent research was conducted on 21 brands of multivitamins that are sold in the United States and Canada. The test results shows that of the 21 tested, 10 met the stated claims on their labels or satisfied other quality standards. In fact, a popular brand The Vitamin Shoppe Multivitamins Especially for Women, was contaminated with lead. ConsumerLab

As with everything, you must create a sense of balance. We all want to improve our health and wellness. Seek the advice from your health care provider - doctor, nurse or nutritionist. You may find that vitamins may not be necessary for you.

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