Know your vitamins
Thursday 26 March 2009
In an ideal world, nearly all of us would be eating a healthy and balanced diet that would put Gillian McKeith’s poo-sniffing hounding into the shade.
Our favourite tipple, for instance, would be hot water and lemon, our guilty pleasures would be carrot sticks and hummus, and woe betide a chocolate bar ever passing our lips!
But sadly, not many of can claim to be so virtuous.
So we could all do with a little help in getting all the nutrients we need for a fit and healthy body - whether it be from food or in the form of vitamin supplements.
But how do we decide which ones we need? Here Closer Online presents the ultimate guide to vitamins.
Want bright eyes and glowing skin? Then dose up on Vitamin A which is essential for keeping your eyes and skin in good health. Drink plenty of milk and opt for dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collards and spinach.
Listen up dieters! B vitamins are important in metabolic activity — this means that they help make energy and set it free when your body needs it. Make sure you eat plenty of whole grains, such as wheat and oats, fish and seafood and leafy green vegetables.
Always ill? Then you’re probably lacking vitamin C. This vitamin is important for keeping body tissues, such as gums and muscles in good shape. It also helps your body resist infection and means that even though you can't always avoid getting sick, vitamin C makes it a little harder for your body to become infected with an illness. Citrus fruits, like oranges are rich in vitamin C and so are vegetables like cabbage and broccoli.
This vitamin strengthens your bones! It’s also great for forming strong teeth so if you fancy wowing with your grin, make sure you eat plenty of fish and fortified cereals.
This hard-working vitamin maintains a lot of your body's tissues, like the ones in your eyes, skin, and liver. It also protects your lungs from becoming damaged by polluted air. Munch on nuts, seeds and sardines which are rich in vitamin e.
Vitamin K enables your blood to clot. It sounds icky but clotting helps stop the bleeding if you get a cut. Dairy products, like milk and yogurt are have plenty of K vitamin.
Other vitamins you might need include:
Vital for protecting the body from the damaging effects of free radicals caused by pollution and smoke. Fresh fruit and vegetables such as blackberries, strawberries and artichokes are excellent sources.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
These promote friendly bacteria in the digestive tract for a healthy, regular digestive system but they are easily disrupted by stress, travel, illness, changes in diet and antibiotics.
Essential for healthy red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body to maintain health and vitality. Particularly good for women of menstruating age and can be found in red meat, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, pulses, apricots and breakfast cereals.
This is found in virtually every tissue in the body and is important for the immune system, growth and development, the antioxidant system and prostate health. Find them in red meat, chicken, cheese, nuts, tinned sardines, oysters, wholegrain foods and pulses.
This is important for the healthy development of your baby’s spinal cord during pregnancy. However, many mothers-to-be fail to get enough of this from their diet, Good sources include peanuts, green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread and oranges.
By Karenate Inyang-Songhonron