Vitamins found in food
You may already know this, but I’m here to remind you that everything B vitamins convert food into energy. All of these vitamins can be found in a whole diet of unprocessed foods. However, you may not be getting the recommended daily ‘dose’. Therefore, a supplement may be something to discuss with your doctor and consider.
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
This vitamin is important for energy regeneration and energy metabolism. Thiamine is a vitamin found in meats, legumes and nuts. It can also be found in grains, but the processing that most grains go through tends to remove this vitamin. The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) has given the recommended amount for men and women 19 and older: 1.2 mg/day for men and 1.1 mg/day for women. Here are some foods you can include in your diet to help you get vitamin B1: 1/2tsp cooked brown rice has 0.1mg, 3oz bone-in pork chop has 0.4mg, and 1tsp milk 2% includes 0.1 mg. Certain foods cause thiaminase. These are enzymes that destroy thiamine. Foods like tea, coffee, raw fish, shellfish, and alcohol can decrease the thiamin you get from your diet.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
B2 is important for energy production. Riboflavin can be found in meats, dairy products (like milk), eggs, and green vegetables. It is also found in fortified cereals. The FNB recommends that men 19-50 get 1.3 mg/day and women 19-50 1.1 mg/day. Here are some foods that contain B2: 1 large whole egg contains 0.2 mg, 1 c of raw spinach contains 0.1 mg and 1 c of 2% milk contains 0.5 mg.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Niacin takes energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates and transfers it to the body’s currency. It is the “transport” one could say. B3 is found in meats, nuts and seeds, legumes and bananas. The recommended amounts of B3 for men and women 19 years and older are 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women. Some foods containing vitamin B3 are: 3 oz grilled chicken has 10.3 mg, 1 medium banana has 0.8 mg, 1 oz dry roasted peanut has 4.2 mg, and 3 oz roasted turkey breast includes 10mg. Tryptophan is a major dietary source of niacin and can be found in turkey. Tryptophan promotes better sleep, relieves anxiety and depression, and provides a better overall sense of well-being. If you don’t get enough vitamin B3, you may experience headaches, fatigue, and possibly memory loss.
B6 is the most versatile of the B vitamins, which means it plays many different roles in the body. B6 is found in foods such as meats, starchy vegetables (like potatoes), and non-citrus fruits. The FBN recommends that men and women between the ages of 14 and 50 both get 1.3 mg/day. A few foods that provide B6 are: 1c of chickpeas has 1.1mg, 3oz of chicken breast has 0.5mg, 1c of potatoes has 0.4mg, 1c of marinara sauce has 0.4mg, and 1c of watermelon has only 0, 1mg. If your immunity is weaker or you even notice cognitive decline, you may not be getting enough vitamin B6.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
Folate aids in amino acid metabolism, which means it helps your body convert amino acids from protein into energy. Folate can be found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, peanuts, sunflower seeds, fruits, whole grains, eggs, and seafood. FNB recommends that men and women ages 19 and older get 400 mcg (micrograms) per day. Here are some foods that will help you get folate: 4 spears of asparagus has 89 mcg, 1 c of raw spinach has 58 mcg, 3/4 c of orange juice has 35 mcg, 1 oz of dry roasted peanuts has 27 mcg, and 1 medium banana has 24 mcg. If you don’t get enough vitamin B9 in your diet, you may experience fatigue, irritability, headaches, and trouble concentrating.
B12 is important for the formation of red blood cells and a healthy nervous system. You can find this vitamin in foods such as meats, fish and shellfish, eggs and dairy products. Fortified cereals will also contain B12. The FNB recommends that men and women 14 years and older take 2.4 mcg per day. Some foods that contain vitamin B12 are: 3 oz of Atlantic salmon has 2.6 mcg, 1 tsp of 2% milk has 1.3 mcg, 1 large whole egg has 0.5 mcg. Bananas contain 0 mcg of vitamin B12. Fatigue and weakness, memory loss and confusion are some side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Who loves the sun? It’s the best and most effective way to get the vitamin D your body needs. Very few foods provide vitamin D, so exposure to sunlight or taking a vitamin D supplement will help promote calcium absorption in your small intestine, help with anti-inflammatories, and promote digestion. mineralization and bone growth. The few foods that provide vitamin D are: oily fish, cheese, egg yolks and fortified milk. It is recommended to enjoy 5 to 30 minutes of direct sun exposure each day. If you decide to take a supplement, you’ll want to get 600 IU for men and women ages 19-69 and 700 IU for anyone over 70. You may also consider taking a vitamin D supplement in conjunction with vitamin K for better absorption. Be aware that there is excess vitamin D which can cause toxins in the digestive tract due to excessive absorption.
Vitamin C positively affects neurotransmitters and collagen synthesis, while reducing and controlling infections, healing wounds, and it is a powerful antioxidant. Citrus fruits as well as tomatoes and potatoes contain vitamin C. The FNB recommends that people 19 and older get 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women. You can find vitamin C in the following foods: 1/2tsp raw bell pepper has 95mg, 3/4tsp orange juice has 93mg, 1 medium orange has 70mg, and 1/2tsp raw broccoli has 39mg . If you suffer from fatigue or iron deficiency, you may need to include more vitamin C in your diet.
It is a mineral naturally present in our body and which participates in more than 300 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium helps with muscle and nerve function and also regulates blood sugar and blood pressure. Foods such as nuts and seeds, legumes, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, meats and fruits all contain magnesium. It is recommended that anyone 19 years of age or older receive 400-420 mg per day for men and 350-360 mg per day for women. The following foods contain magnesium: 1 oz of chia seeds has 111 mg, 1 oz of almonds has 80 mg, 1/2 c of black beans has 60 mg, and 1/2 c of shelled cooked edamame has 50 mg. If you don’t get enough magnesium in your diet, you may experience fatigue and weakness, muscle cramps, or nausea.
If you find yourself checking nutrition information and ingredients for vitamins and minerals in foods you buy at the store, remember that “refined” foods have been stripped of most nutrients (including vitamins and/or minerals). “Enriched” means that some vitamins and/or minerals have been reintroduced into foods, but they are not of natural origin. You’ll want to get whole grain foods for better nutrition. Most fortified cereals contain the vitamins mentioned in this article, but any time you can get vitamins from whole foods, your body will thank you.
You might agree that the average person doesn’t get all the vitamins they need from their diet every day. Take time to reflect and pay attention to how you feel throughout the day. Could this be your diet? Should you consider having a conversation with your doctor about supplements to get the most out of each day?