Food Sources of Nutrients
is the building up of body tissues and
liberation of energy through metabolism of food by living plants and animals.
is lack of food or adequate diet, but
nutrient depletion, due to disease states and drug therapies.
of today's malnutrition and the exponential epidemic of many chronic diseases
can be attributed to poor quality nutrient depleted foods.
FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS
Plant foods do not contain preformed Vitamin A, but do contain
beta-carotene, which can be converted into Vitamin A within the small intestine
and other tissues of the body. The beta-carotene molecule is split in half by
an enzyme to form two Vitamin A molecules.
What it does: Vitamin A is especially important in the formation of
skin cells – all mucus membranes, the cornea of the eye, and all organs that
have a high cellular turnover rate. Beta-carotene primarily functions as an
Good sources: Beta-carotene is found in leafy green vegetables, as well
as yellow and orange vegetables. Carrots, dandelion greens, apricots, collard
greens, kale, spinach, parsley, mustard greens, butternut squash, mangoes,
The active form of Vitamin D is D3, also known as calcitriol or 1,25
What it does: The primary roles of D3 are regulation of calcium and
phosphorus absorption, regulation of calcium balance and stimulation of bone
mineralization. It is also needed for healthy immune system function and cell
formation and growth.
Good sources: Sunflower seeds and mushrooms contain a very small amount
of Vitamin D. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. 10 to 15 minutes of sun
exposure on as much of the body as possible on a daily basis will take care of
your Vitamin D needs. (Studies have shown that application of sunscreen with
SPF factor of 8 reduces production of Vitamin D by as much as 95%)
Is a family of compounds consisting of 8 different vitamers; of which four
are tocopherols and four are tocotrienols which all have similar functions.
What it does: The primary function of Vitamin E is to prevent free
radical damage of unsaturated fatty acids that form the structural component of
cell membranes. Cells with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids have a
high requirement for Vitamin E and are particularly susceptible to free radical
Example: red blood cells and neurons. Immune system cells must also
have high stores of Vitamin E to protect against free radical damage from inflammation.
Good sources: Sunflower seeds, leafy greens, almonds, sesame seeds,
olives, avocadoes, spinach, pecans, carrots, walnuts, bananas, dulse, and
What it does: Is
involved in blood clot formation.
Good sources: Turnip greens, broccoli, lettuce,
kale, other leafy greens, cabbage, parsley, spinach, watercress, and asparagus.