NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR VITAMINS AND MINERALS

 

VITAMIN A-Carotene (fat-soluble)

Necessary for:  Health of the tissues which make up a protective covering on the outside and inside of the body, meaning skin and the mucous membranes which line the digestive, respiratory and eliminating systems.  It is essential for healthy skin and healthy organs that are protected by the mucous membranes, which act to prevent infection of these organs.  Also essential in giving eyes the ability to adapt to bright and dim light.  For growing children, vitamin A is needed for proper formation of tooth enamel, bones and other growth processes.

Food sources:  Any and all green leafy vegetables and yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, like winter squashes, yams, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, cantaloupe, apricots, nectarines, carrots, kale, turnip greens, spinach, broccoli, etc.  The Darker the colors means more vitamin A.

Deficiency symptoms:  Night blindness and drying up of mucus membranes in the eyes, which can result in blindness.  Organs can be very receptive to infection.  Excess Vitamin A, which is stored in fat cells, can also produce health issues like toxic buildup, which is indicated by headaches, blurry vision, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and loss of hair.

 

Vitamin B1-Thiamine (water-soluble)

Necessary for:  Releasing energy from carbohydrates (sugars and starches), proteins and fats, and keeps the brain and nervous system functioning in a proper manner and helps maintain stamina and endurance.  Helps to keep the digestive tract functioning and promotes a healthy appetite.

Food sources:  Nutritional yeast, all unrefined whole grains, sunflower and sesame seeds, legumes, oranges and avocados.

Deficiency symptoms:   Fatigue, depression, inability to concentrate, potential muscle cramps, loss of appetite, loss of weight and extreme deficiency develops into beriberi.

 

Vitamin B2-Riboflavin (water-soluble)

Necessary for:  Utilization of food energy, protein and fats.  Carries hydrogen through the body and helps the body use oxygen for energy from food.  It is important for healthy skin tissue and eyes.

Food sources:  Milk and milk products, nutritional yeast, collard greens, broccoli, millet and wheat germ.

Deficiency symptoms:  Soreness and cracking at the corners of the mouth, swollen mouth, purple tongue, bloodshot eyes and constant irritation.

 

Vitamin B3-Niacin (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Utilization of carbohydrates, protein and fat, along with other B vitamins.  It keeps nervous tissues, skin tissues, and digestive tract healthy.

Food Sources:  Soybeans, tofu, collard greens, dry legumes and nutritional yeast.

Deficiency symptoms:   Insomnia, headaches, irritability, digestive disturbances, and a reddish, sore, swollen tongue.

 

Vitamin B6-Pyridoxine (water-soluble)

Necessary for:  Metabolism of proteins in the body and is needed for the absorption and transport of

amino acids within the body.  B6 plays an important role in releasing energy to the cells.  Has a direct role in the production of red blood cells and the proper function of nervous tissue.

Food sources:  Whole grains, wheat germ, peanuts, corn, soybeans and other legumes, blackstrap molasses, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, raisins, avocados, bananas, spinach, kale and other green vegetables.

Deficiency symptoms: Convulsive seizures, cracks at the corners of the mouth, nervous disorders, sore tongue. Prolonged deficiency could lead to dizziness, nausea, vomiting, anemia and kidney stones.

 

Vitamin B12-Cobalamin (water-soluble)

Necessary for:  Formation and functioning of all body cells.  It is needed for the metabolism of all the major nutrients, proteins, fats and carbohydrates and especially important for red blood cell formation in the prevention of pernicious anemia.

Food Sources:  Organic sulfur crystals, soy milk, rice milk, seaweed, dairy products, miso and other naturally fermented foods.

Deficiency symptoms:  Sore tongue, back pain, indigestion, weakness, constipation or diarrhea, and loss of weight. Prolonged deficiency results in mental defects, damage to the central nervous system, delusions, psychosis, and eventual death.

 

Vitamin C-Ascorbic Acid (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Formation and repair of collagen in connective tissues. Used for metabolism of proteins and many amino acids, proper functioning of adrenal glands, absorption of iron from the intestine and storage of it in the liver. Also helps in combating infections since vitamin C in the tissues is depleted when infections occur.

Food Sources:  Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, green and sweet red peppers, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens, other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Deficiency symptoms:  Bleeding gums, joint pains, lack of energy and endurance.  Prolonged deficiency causes hemorrhaging of the small blood vessels underneath the skin causing small red spots to appear on the skin.

 

Vitamin E: alpha,beta, gamma and delta tocopherol  (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Preventing oxidation and consequent destruction of Vitamin A and red blood cells membranes.

Food Sources:  Oils and the germs of grains, such as wheat germ oil and wheat germ; sunflower, walnut,  and other oils, green leafy vegetables, alfalfa sprouts, legumes , wild blackberries, nuts (especially almonds, walnuts, filberts, and sunflower seeds.)

Deficiency symptoms:  None noted

 

Biotin (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Metabolism of fat and protein, releasing energy from glucose sugar, synthesis of certain amino and other acids.

Food Sources:  Nutritional yeast, cauliflower, nuts, legumes, biotin is also made by good bacteria in the intestines.

Deficiency symptoms:  Eczema of face and body, hair loss, paralysis. (because biotin is made in the body, deficiencies are rare).

 

Choline (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Transport and metabolism of fats in the body

Food sources:  Organic lecithin, yeast, whole grains, legumes, wheat germ, vegetables.

Deficiency symptoms:  None

 

Folic acid (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Blood cell formation, metabolism of proteins and nucleic acids (substances formed by each cell transfer of hereditary characteristics from one generation of cells to another as the body grows.)

Food sources:  Leafy green vegetables, potatoes, beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, legumes, whole grains, fruits, avocados, bananas.

Deficiency symptoms:  Smooth red tongue, gastrointestinal disturbances, diarrhea, reduction in red blood cells.

 

Pantothenic  Acid (water soluble)

Necessary for:  Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, syntheses of cholesterol, hormones and hemoglobin.  Found in every cell of living tissues.

Food sources:  Nutritional yeast, peanuts, whole grains, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, legumes, sweet potatoes, organic corn.

Deficiency symptoms:  None noted except for extreme nutritional deficiencies.

 

Calcium

Necessary for:  Formation of bones and teeth;  also works with vitamin K in blood clotting; helps keep muscle tone healthy and nerves functioning properly;  work’s with other minerals so muscles, like the heart can contract and relax.

Food sources:  Leafy green vegetables, water, almonds, legumes, dairy products, tofu, blackstrap molasses, alfalfa sprouts.

Deficiency symptoms:  Can retard growth of bones and teeth if the deficiency is in early life.  It is important that infants and growing children get an adequate supply.  Soft bones in children (rickets) and brittle bones in adults (osteomalacia) may result if there is either a calcium deficiency or a lack of vitamin D in the diet to enable the calcium to be absorbed by the body.

 

Sodium and Potassium

Necessary for:  Maintaining a balance inside and outside the body cells so that nerves and muscles can function properly.  Sodium is also needed for the body to be able to absorb various nutrients; potassium is needed for releasing energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Food sources:  Soy sauce, water, dairy products, miso, olives.

Deficiency symptoms:  Sodium is almost never deficient in our bodies.  In fact we usually have a high excess of sodium because of our modern diets.  Excess sodium can be harmful and result in high blood pressure, hypertension and strokes.  However, in fever or excessive sweating, sodium and body fluids may be depleted which can cause muscle cramping.  Potassium deficiency can cause muscular weakness, heart muscle irregularities, respiratory and kidney failures.  Use of diuretics may cause abnormal loss of potassium.

 

Magnesium

Necessary for:  Bones and teeth, release of energy from carbohydrates, synthesis of proteins, regulation of body temperature, proper contraction of nerves and muscles, neutralizing acid in the stomach, flushing the intestinal system plus several hundred other bodily functions.  Magnesium is a very important mineral.

Food sources:  Whole grains, legumes, nuts, leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, alfalfa sprouts, dates, figs, dairy products and nutritional yeast.

Deficiency symptoms:  Muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, irritability of nerves and muscles, spasms and convulsions.  Most deficiencies are due to highly refined and processed food diets or use of diuretics for long periods.

 

Phosphorus

Necessary for:  Metabolism and release of energy from carbohydrates, formation of protein and transfer heredity characteristics from one generation of cells to another, works with calcium for bone formation and teeth structure.

Food sources:  Legumes, whole grains, dairy, nuts bran, lima beans, peas, pumpkin seeds, almond meal.

Deficiency symptoms:  None noted

 

Iodine

Necessary for:  Regulates various body functions, especially “basal metabolic rate.”

Food sources:  Seaweed, water, vegetables grown close to the seashore.

Deficiency symptoms:  Enlargement of thyroid gland, weight gain, dry skin, feeling cold in warm weather.

 

Iron

Necessary for:  Carrying oxygen to the muscles to release energy needed to work.

Food sources:  Leafy green vegetables, fruits, sprouts, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, bran, organic soy milk, whole grains.

Deficiency symptoms:  Weakened, tired, lower resistance to infection, reduced size of red blood cells.

 

Zinc

Necessary for:  Formation of hormones, insulin and enzymes to regulate metabolism, transporting carbon dioxide in the blood, growth and repair of tissues, syntheses of proteins and nucleic acids.

Food sources:  Wheat germ, legumes, whole grains, nutritional yeast, dairy products.

Deficiency symptoms:  Slow healing of wounds and anemia.

 

Dennis Shollenburg

Cornerstone of Life