|Vitamins for vitality
Vitamins have been referred to as "the spark plugs of life" because they support key processes that take place in your body. But they don't work alone. They work in close partnerships with other nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat to produce energy and keep the body functioning normally.
Vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble and this attribute determines how they are carried in the body. Vitamin C is an example of a water-soluble vitamin. It is carried through the blood stream and not stored in the body in significant amounts. Your body uses what it needs and excretes the extra through urine. That's why regular intake of Vitamin C is important.
Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. Your body is able to store fat-soluble vitamins in your body fat so getting a fresh supply every day isn't as essential as with water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C.
Fruits, vegetables and juice provide substantial amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. To get the maximum amount of vitamins possible from fruits and vegetables, here are a few nutrition tips:
- Eat vegetables and fruit raw.
- Cook vegetables in a small amount of water until just tender-crisp - or steam or microwave them.
- Cut vegetables in larger pieces if they need to be cooked. With fewer surfaces exposed, fewer vitamins are lost.
Good Sources of Vitamins...
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 900 micrograms/day for men and 700 micrograms/day for women.* Sources of Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes and broccoli.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women.* Sources of Vitamin C are oranges, grapefruit, red pepper, broccoli, green pepper, strawberries and Ocean Spray® Cocktails and 100% Juice Blends.
The Adequate Intake (AI) is 5 micrograms/day.* Sources of Vitamin D are milk and eggs.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 15 mg/day for both men and women.* Sources of Vitamin E are soybean oil, corn oil, nuts, seeds, wheat germ and leafy green vegetables.
The Adequate Intake (AI) is 90 micrograms/day.* Sources of Vitamin K are green leafy vegetables and eggs.
What about a multivitamin? Multivitamins are called supplements because that's what they are designed to do - supplement your diet, not replace good nutrition. The very best thing for your body is to eat in a healthy way by following Canada's Food Guide. You can find it on Health Canada's Web site: www.hc-sc.gc.ca
* The Recommended Allowances and Adequate Intake levels are established by the National Academy of Science's Food and Nutrition Board with active input from Health Canada.