The Best Source of Vitamins – Natural Products
Is it possible to get all the vitamins from food without any additives in jars? Scientists from the World Health Organization believe that yes – if your diet is varied and balanced. The manual “The need for vitamins and minerals in food” says that healthy people can fully satisfy it due to the recommended groups:
- dairy products;
- animal sources of protein (lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood);
- vegetable sources of protein (legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu);
- healthy fats.
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There are only 13 vitamins. Products of animal origin contain everything except ascorbic acid. In plants – everything except B12, D and A. Although orange vegetables and fruits (carrots, sweet peppers and apricots) accumulate a precursor of the latter, beta-carotene.
You have no vitamin deficiency
If you had it, you would be horrified by the reflection in the mirror. With pellagra (vitamin B3 deficiency) blisters appear, the skin is clinging to the hands. This is accompanied by diarrhea and impaired brain function.
With scurvy, teeth fall out, with acute forms of beriberi (when there is no B1), the legs swell, paralyzes the hands.
Vitamin deficiency, which is associated with frequent colds and fatigue, does not exist. There is a lack of specific nutrients – usually it occurs with a uniform diet and a number of diseases.
For example, with problems with the biliary tract and liver, vitamins A, D, E and K are not adequately absorbed. For their absorption, the digestive system needs to break down and absorb fats. Bile is involved in this, but with various disorders this process may be impaired. Often people themselves prevent vitamins from being absorbed when they go on low-fat diets or take lipase inhibitors (drugs that interfere with the absorption of fats in the digestive tract – Note ed.)
Mineral deficiency is much more common.
WHO considers iron deficiency rather than vitamins to be the most common nutritional deficiency.
If it comes to anemia, you need a doctor’s control and special medications. This micromineral is vital for the delivery of oxygen to cells.
Women of childbearing age are at risk: they lose iron during menstruation. If it is not enough during pregnancy, the child develops mental disorders. Food sources of iron are meat, poultry, fish, offal and seafood.
Additives are needed in several cases.
However, studies show that in our country a lack of vitamins is a common problem. The doctor prescribes a course with clinical signs of vitamin deficiency for people with poor nutrition – those who lived in poor countries, regions of hostilities, where there is no access to quality products.
Lack of certain vitamins is found in pregnant and lactating women. It is important for them to take folic acid – B9 in order to minimize the risk of defects in the nervous system in a child. Taking medications should be continued during lactation.
Vitamin D is prescribed for children to prevent rickets; people with osteoporosis (it keeps the balance of calcium and phosphates in the blood); residents of the north (the climate does not allow them to get enough ultraviolet light).
Vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed in every second overweight patient – it is used to reduce weight.
The rest take vitamin D makes no sense. Recent studies show that it does not improve bone health.
Supplements are prescribed for vegetarians – without this, they quickly develop a lack of B12 (there is a lot of it in liver, seafood, fish). The intake of B1 in alcoholics is justified, since they impair the absorption of this vitamin in the intestines.
Overdoses are dangerous
More than 2 grams of ascorbic acid per day can cause diarrhea and the formation of kidney stones. Smokers have an increased risk of lung and stomach cancer when taking beta-carotene as supplements.
The assimilation of vitamins is affected by gender, age, heredity, current diseases, individual characteristics of the stomach, intestines and other factors.
Vitamins and minerals can block each other. Only a doctor can understand what is wrong with you and calculate the dosage.
Vitamins Preserve When Cooking
Of course, their concentration is reduced compared to fresh vegetables and fruits. They are destroyed in the light during prolonged storage and improper cooking.
The concentration of vitamins naturally decreases in plants by spring. To preserve them, steam or grill; when boiling – immediately throw in boiling water. Do not leave vegetables and cereals for long in water.
Do not store vegetable oils in the light.
Some vitamins are stable – you will get group B from meat, liver, and legumes no matter what. B3 is stored in coffee beans even after roasting – so feel free to drink a cup of coffee in the morning if you have no contraindications. Choose natural products – there are no vitamins in processed foods and fast food.
Vitamins do not treat all diseases
Ascorbic acid does not protect against colds, no matter how advertised, although it alleviates symptoms. Vitamins help against diseases that develop due to their diagnosed deficiency: scurvy, rickets, pellagra.
As far back as the beginning of the 19th century, pellagra was often found in Italy, Spain and France (a consequence of the meager diet of Europeans), and in Japan thousands of people died due to beriberi – the epidemic began due to the transition to white rice without a shell.
To get both vitamins and minerals, eat different healthy foods. If you are concerned about health problems, a specialist consultation is required before taking vitamins.
Thank you for your help in preparing the material of Mail.ru Health consultant, nutritionist Nuria Dianova.
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