Essential Nutients and Their Impact on Our Body

Vitamins and How They Affect Our Bodies

Vitamin

Health Impact

Significant Food Sources

B1 (thiamin)

Supports energy metabolism and nerve function

spinach, green peas, tomato juice,watermelon, sunflower seeds, lean ham, lean pork chops, soy milk

B2 (riboflavin)

Supports energy metabolism, normal vision and skin health

spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, milk,liver, oysters, clams

B3 (niacin)

Supports energy metabolism, skin health,nervous system and digestive system

spinach, potatoes, tomato juice, lean ground beef, chicken breast, tuna (canned in water), liver, shrimp

Biotin

Energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, glycogen synthesis

widespread in foods

Pantothenic Acid

Supports energy metabolism

widespread in foods

B6 (pyridoxine)

Amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, red blood cell production

bananas, watermelon, tomato juice,broccoli, spinach, acorn squash, potatoes, white rice, chicken breast

Folate

Supports DNA synthesis and new cell formation,  helps prevent neural tube defects

tomato juice, green beans, broccoli,spinach, asparagus, okra, black-eyed peas, lentils, navy, pinto and garbanzo beans

B12

Used in new cell synthesis, helps breakdown fatty acids and amino acids, supports nerve cell maintenance

meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs

C (ascorbic acid)

Collagen synthesis, amino acid metabolism,, bone health, helps iron absorption, immunity, antioxidant, required for good cell health in the digestive tract

spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, snow peas, tomato juice, kiwi, mango, orange, grapefruit juice, strawberries

A (retinol)

Supports vision, skin, bone and tooth growth, immunity and reproduction, required for good cell health in the digestive tract

mango, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots,tomato juice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beef liver

D

Promotes bone mineralization, required for making some hormones

self-synthesis via sunlight( 15 to 20 minutes of sun 3 to 4 times per week provides most people with adequate Vitamin D), fortified milk,egg yolk, liver, fatty fish, cod liver oil

The best source of supplemental form is Vitamin D3

E

Antioxidant, regulation of oxidation reactions,  cellular membrane health, supports cell membrane stabilization

polyunsaturated plant oils (soybean, corn and canola oils), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, tofu, avocado, sweet potatoes,shrimp, cod

K

Synthesis of blood-clotting proteins,regulates blood calcium, bone health, immune function

Brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables,spinach, broccoli, cabbage, liver

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Minerals and How They Affect Our Bodies

Mineral

Health Impact

Significant Food Sources

Sodium

Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance,supports muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmissions

Processed foods, salt, soy sauce, bread, milk,meats

Chloride

Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance,aids in digestion

Processed foods, salt, soy sauce, milk,eggs, meats

Potassium

Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, cell integrity, muscle relaxation and nerve impulse transmission

potatoes, acorn squash, artichoke, spinach,broccoli, carrots, green beans, cantaloupe, tomato juice, avocado, grapefruit juice, watermelon, banana, strawberries, cod, milk

Calcium

Formation of bones and teeth, supports blood clotting, muscle contraction, maintains pH balance

milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese,tofu, sardines, green beans, spinach, broccoli, fortified foods

Phosphorus

Formation of cells, bones and teeth,maintains pH balance

all animal foods (meats, fish, poultry,eggs, milk)

Magnesium

Used in over 300 metabolic functions, supports bone mineralization, protein building, muscular contraction, nerve impulse transmission, immune function, helps regulate blood pressure

spinach, broccoli, artichokes, green beans,tomato juice, navy beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas,  sunflower seeds, tofu, cashews, halibut

Iron

Part of the protein hemoglobin (carries oxygen throughout body's cells) , necessary for healthy cellular function,  required for Neurotransmitters,dopamine, nor-epinephrine and serotonin

artichoke, parsley, spinach, broccoli,green beans, tomato juice, tofu, lentils, beans, whole grains, clams, shrimp,beef liver;  

iron in foods sources becomes more bio-available to the body when consumed with Vitamin c rich foods

Zinc

A part of many enzymes, involved in production of genetic material and proteins, transports vitamin A, taste perception, wound healing, sperm production and the normal development of the fetus , immune function

spinach, broccoli, green peas, green beans,tomato juice, lentils, oysters, shrimp, crab, turkey (dark meat), lean ham,lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt, Swiss cheese, tofu,ricotta cheese

If taken as a supplement always take copper with it. Copper and zinc compete for space on the same enzyme and the intake of too much of one may cause a deficiency of the other.

Selenium

Antioxidant.  Works with vitamin E to protect body from oxidation, studies have shown to provide protection against some cancers

Brazil nuts, crimini mushrooms, barley,oats, seafood, meats and grains

Iodine

Component of thyroid hormones that help regulate growth, development and metabolic rate

salt, kelp, algae, seafood, bread, milk,cheese

Copper

Necessary for the absorption and utilization of iron, supports formation of hemoglobin and several enzymes

Calf’s liver, cashews, cooked soybeans,crimini mushrooms, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, coked barley, garbanzo beans, pinto beans

If taken as a supplement always take zinc with it. Copper and zinc compete for space on the same enzyme and the intake of too much of one may cause a deficiency of the other.

Manganese

Facilitates many cell processes

widespread in foods

Fluoride

Involved in the formation of bones and teeth, helps to make teeth resistant to decay

fluoridated drinking water, tea, seafood

Chromium

Associated with insulin and is required fort he release of energy from glucose

vegetable oils, liver, brewer's yeast,whole grains, cheese, nuts

Molybdenum

Facilitates many cell processes

legumes, organ meats