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Vitamins and Minerals

Two very important nutrients are vitamins and minerals, and both are needed for growth and good health. They boost our immune systems to keep us healthy. Vitamins convert food into energy, and minerals help to build strong bones and regulate heartbeats. Your body needs more of some minerals than others, and the best way to get enough vitamins and minerals is to eat a variety of foods. You should aim for 3 fruit servings per day, with at least 1 serving from a citrus fruit, which is a good source of vitamin C. You should eat 5 servings of vegetables per day, including dark-colored vegetables. Try to eat more beans, high-fiber breads, and cereals as they are loaded with iron and Vitamin B. Choose 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy products, which are a good source of calcium and Vitamin D.  

Vitamins:

 Vitamins  Health benefit  Food Sources
 Vitamin A (Beta-carotene or  retinal)  Vision, immune functions, healthy  skin, teeth.  Milk, Cheese, Eggs, Fatty fish
 Carrots, Pumpkin, Spinach,  Broccoli
 Mango, Apricots
 Vitamin B-1(Thiamine)  Energy, nerve, heart, muscle   Pork
 Legumes
 Nuts
 Whole grains, Enriched cereal
 Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)  Energy, nerves, digestion, skin.  Meat, Eggs, Poultry, Fish
 Whole grains, Enriched breads,  Cereals Nuts
 Milk
 Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)  Immune system, builds red blood  cells, nerves  Meat, Poultry, Fish
 Whole grains, Enriched breads ,  Cereals, Legumes, Green leafy  vegetables
 Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin)  Normal nerve and blood function  Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs
 Milk, Cheese
 Folic Acid (Folate, B Vitamin)  Tissues, heart, prevents neural tube defects in newborns.  Cereals
 Legumes, Beans
 Liver
 Dark-green leafy vegetables,  Broccoli
 Nuts
 Oranges
 Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)  Fights infection;  helps skin,  bones, helps absorb iron  Citrus fruits, Cantaloupe,  Strawberries,  Raspberries, Melons
 Broccoli, Cabbage
 Dark-green leafy vegetables,  Tomatoes
 Sweet peppers, Potatoes
 Vitamin D (Calciferols)  Blood calcium levels, healthy bones, muscles, immune system, kidneys.  Fortified milk
 Eggs, Liver,
 Salmon, Herring, Mackerel
 Fortified margarine
 Vitamin E (Tocopherol)  Antioxidant, healing, scarring, nerves, red blood cells.  Sunflower seeds
 Sunflower, Safflower, Peanut and  Olive oils Almonds
 Peanut butter
 Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)  Helps blood clot, builds bones  Spinach, Salad greens, Cauliflower,  Broccoli, Brussels sprouts,  Cabbage
 Soybean ,Canola oil
 Margarine
 Liver 
 Biotin  Energy, skin, hair, fat and protein  breakdown  Egg yolks, Organ meats
 Brewer’s yeast
 Legumes
 Nuts

 

Minerals

 Minerals  Health Benefits  Food Sources
 Calcium  Healthy bones and teeth, Helps heart,  muscles, and nerves  Milk
 Milk products
 Dark-green leafy vegetables
 Broccoli
 Shrimp, Salmon, Clams
 Orange juice
 Legumes
 Tofu
 Chromium  Helps insulin work better  Yeast 
 Meat, Cheese, Eggs 
 Whole grains, 
 Vegetable oil.
 Iodine  Growth of nervous system, builds  energy  Salt water fish, Seafood 
 Iodized salt
 Iron  Healthy bones and teeth, Helps heart,  muscles, and nerves  Red meat, Organ meat,  Egg  yolk, Legumes, Green-leafy  vegetables 
 Enriched cereals, Bread 
 Dried fruits
 Magnesium  Helps bones, metabolism, nerves and  muscles  Whole grains, Nuts
 Peas, Beans, Lentils,  Legumes
 Dark-green leafy vegetables
 Tea
 Phosphorous  Builds and maintains teeth and bones,  needed for  muscles and nerves  Meat, Fish, Eggs
 Dairy products
 Wheat Bran,   Cereals
 Seeds, Nuts
 Dried fruit
 Potassium  Maintains normal blood pressure, heart  beat and nerve impulses  Root and Leafy green vegetables
 Tomatoes
 Cucumbers,  Zucchini, Eggplant, Pumpkin.
 Milk
 Fruit
 Zinc  Needed for growth, immunity, digestion,  and skin, improves sense of taste and  wound healing  Meat, Poultry, Fish
 Whole grain cereals and  Breads
 Legumes
 Nuts


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Health and Wellness Tip

Laugh every day.  It can release endorphins, the healing hormones, and act as the body’s natural pain killer.  Rent a funny movie or call a friend that makes you laugh.  This can lower your blood pressure and boost your immune system.