About Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin C is an obvious one, but there are lots of others that play important roles in our bodies and we don’t always get enough of them in our diet. Let's talk a little bit more about 6 essential vitamins and minerals that will help us to stay healthy...
There are two types of vitamin A: retinoids and carotenoids. Both are important for keeping skin, eyes, cells and tissues healthy and increasing immunity. The main difference is where we get them from. Retinoids are more readily found in animal products while carotenoids are usually plant based.
As a general rule of thumb, vitamin A can be found in lots of orange foods, including carrots, sweet potato and cantaloupe melon. Some of the less obvious sources include kale, spinach, liver, eggs, red peppers and mangoes.
Most of us will get enough vitamin A in our diet if we eat the right foods but be wary of supplementing, as too much vitamin A can be dangerous, especially if when pregnant. Our body stores it rather than flushing out any excess and if the level gets too high, it can be toxic. If we stick to getting our vitamin A intake from foods, we won't have anything to worry about.
Almonds are a great natural source of vitamin E. We can also eat sunflower seeds, spinach, kale, asparagus, celery, cucumber and tomato to boost our vitamin E intake.
Liver is a really good source of iron, but if you don’t eat meat, there are still plenty of other options. Spinach, beans, lentils, chickpeas, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds can also give us an iron boost. Bonus points when we can team these with a vitamin C rich food, so that the iron is absorbed more easily.
A good example of this combination is this sweet potato curry recipe. It is full of iron boosting chickpeas and spinach, plus vitamin C to help with absorption.
If we want to make sure we are getting enough magnesium, we can get more of it through bananas, dark chocolate, leafy greens and pumpkin seeds.
Good sources of potassium include avocado, bananas, potato, sweet potato, prunes and raisins. We can also drink coconut water, which often also contains other minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
These Banana and Sweet Potato Muffins are a great way to combine two potassium rich ingredients and are totally delicious.
We don’t need to eat very differently to get enough chromium, as whole grains, meat, most vegetables and some herbs all contain it.
This chicken curry recipe offers a healthy dose of meat and veggies and is super easy to make too!
All In All...
The more natural colours we see on our plates, the better! Eating the rainbow and loading up our plates with lots of different colors every day will go a long way towards ensuring we don’t become deficient in key nutrients.
Make Sure You're Getting Your Vitamins!
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