Vitamins & Minerals

Iron

Everyone needs iron. Teenage girls and women especially need iron to replace monthly blood loss due to the menstual cycle.

Sources of iron

  • Shellfish
    (including shrimp, clams, mussels and oysters)
  • Lean red meats
    (especially beef. Liver is also a good source of iron but should be eaten in moderation due to its high cholesterol content.)
  • Cold cereal with added iron
  • Turkey dark meat
    (Skinless recommended)
  • Sardines
    (These pack a lot of salt, so eat them in moderation.)
  • Spinach
  • Cooked dry beans
    (including kidney beans, pinto beans)
  • Peas
    (including black-eyed peas)
  • Lentils
  • Enriched and whole grain breads

Vitamin D

People who receive little sunlight exposure may need to take a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin A (carotenoids)

Vitamin A is an important nutrient. However, too much vitamin A can be bad for you. To consume the right amount, we suggest getting your vitmain A from the suggested daily servings of fruits and vegetables, instead of taking a vitamin A supplement.

Healthy sources of vitamin A

  • Orange vegetables
    (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins)
  • Dark-green leafy vegetables
    (spinach, collards, turnip greens)
  • Orange fruits
    (mango, canteloupe, apricots)
  • Tomatoes

Vitmain C

Vitamin C helps boost your immune system.

Healthy sources of vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits and juices (oranges, grape fruit)
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Canteloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Leafy greens (romaine lettuce, turnip greens, spinach)
  • Green peas

Folate

Folate is associated with the prevention of colon, rectal, cervical, lung, stomach and esophageal cancers. Folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 reduce your risk of heart disease, and may reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease, miscarriages, birth defects, osteoporosis, strokes and aging of the eyes. Increasing your intake of folate decreases the homocysteine levels in your blood. High homocysteine levels are associated with heart disease, and suspected to increase your risk of all the other ailments we listed above.

It is especially important for pregnant women, as it reduces the risk of birth defects.

Healthy sources of folate

  • Cooked dry beans and peas
  • Peanuts
  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Dark-green leafy vegetables
    (spinach, mustard greens, romain lettuce)
  • Green peas

Potassium

Potasium is an important nutrient.

Healthy sources of potassium

  • Baked white or sweet potatoes
  • Cooked greens (spinach)
  • winter squash (orange squash)
  • Bananas
  • Plantains
  • dried fruits (apricots, prunes)
  • Orange juice
  • Cooked dry beans (baked beans)
  • Lentils

Note to Vegetarians

Vegetarians may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Vegetarian athletes may need to take a creatine supplement.

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