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Nutrition



Nutrient What You Need It For Where You Get It Nutrition Notes
Vitamin A
(Retinol)
Helps form and maintain skin and membranes lining respiratory and digestive tracts; promotes normal growth of bone and tissues, aids night vision. Under study for immunity. Directly from liver, eggs, whole milk, cream, cheese; indirectly from green leafy and yellow vegetables, including kale, broccoli, spinach, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes. Because Vitamin A is decomposed by light, store milk and bread in opaque containers.
Vitamin B1
(Thiamine)
For utilization of energy from carbohydrates; normal heart function and nerve-cell activity. Helps maintain digestive function. May be required for appetite control. Whole-grain and enriched flours, breads, cereals; liver, lean pork, fresh green vegetables, nuts, potatoes, brewer’s yeast. Soaking of vegetables or cooking with baking soda washes away or destroys thiamine, as does toasting bread.
Vitamin B2
(Riboflavin)
For body processing of proteins, fats, carbohydrates; energy for cells; maintaining mucous membranes. Milk, other dairy products, eggs, meats, poultry, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts. May be destroyed by baking soda used in cooking and exposure to light.
Vitamin B3
(Niacin)
For utilization of carbohydrates and for many biochemical reactions in body. Aids nervous system, skin and mucous membranes, digestive and appetite. Fish, organ meats, wholegrain and enriched breads and cereals, eggs, milk, poultry, lima beans, legumes, peanuts, brewer’s yeast.  
Vitamin B6
(Pyridoxine)
For metabolism of proteins and fats, red blood cell formation, cell function. May sometimes be helpful for infertility in women, premenstrual acne. Beef Liver, kidney, pork loin, ham, leg of veal, fresh fish, bananas, cabbage, avocados, peanuts, walnuts, raisins, prunes, cereal grains. Vegetable freezing causes some loss of B6 and high temperature of sterilization for canning destroys it.
Vitamin B12
(Cobalamin)
For building of the genetic material DNA, red blood cell formation, nerve cell growth and function. Milk and milk products, eggs, liver, meats (especially beef, pork, organ meats).  
Folic Acid
(Folacin)
For red blood and other cell replacement; many metabolic activities; formation of body proteins. Fresh, green leafy vegetables, fruits, organ meats, whole-grain cereals, nuts, brewer’s yeast. Cooking destroys folic acid, as do storage and exposure to air.
Biotin Aids in formation and use of fatty acids, promotes release of energy from carbohydrates. Liver, kidney, meat, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables. Also produced by bacteria normally present in intestine.  
Pantothenic
Acid
Aids metabolism and use of carbohydrate fats, proteins for energy; hormone formation. Liver, kidney, egg yolk, meat, milk, legumes, wholegrain cereals.  
Vitamin C
(Ascorbic
Acid)
For development of blood vessels, teeth, bones, other tissues; speeding wound healing, increasing resistance to infection. May also help reduce high cholesterol levels, lessens severity of common cold, increases absorption of dietary iron. Also under study for combating arthritis, cancer. Many fruits and vegetables, including orange, grapefruit, papaya, mango, melon, strawberries, tomato, dark green vegetables, potato, green pepper, cabbage. Most volatile of vitamins, is destroyed rapidly in response to heat, air, water. Soaking, cooking with baking soda, overcooking, canning, holding prepared foods further cuts C.
Vitamin D Essential for use of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone. Naturally in fish-liver oil and livers of animals feeding on fish. Often added to milk, other foods. The body makes its own D, provided skin is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin E
Aids formation of red blood cells, muscles, other tissues; protects Vitamin A and unsaturated fats. May help relieve leg cramps, prevent formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines. Beef liver, wheat germ, fruits, green leafy vegetables, margarine, mayonnaise, nuts, vegetable oils (including corn, peanut, soya), whole-grains. Cooking in copper pots may destroy Vitamin E.
Vitamin K Needed for normal blood clotting. Leafy vegetables, milk, pork, liver, vegetable oils.  
Phosphorus Acts as partner with calcium in bone and tooth formation. Also for functioning of B vitamins, release of energy from carbohydrates and as a vital component of cells. Milk, cheese, meat, poultry, fish, whole-grain cereals, nuts, legumes, eggs.  
Calcium Helps provide structure and strength for bones and teeth. Also needed for maintenance of cell membranes, normal nerve and muscle functioning, blood clotting, heart-muscle activity, working of many enzyme systems. Milk and dairy products, including yogurt, hard cheeses; meat, fish (especially sardines and salmon with bones), eggs, cereal products, beans, fruits, vegetables (collard, kale, mustard and turnip greens).  
Potassium For contraction of muscle, including the heart; transmission of nerve impulses. Also promotes release of energy from nutrients; helps regulate water content of cells. Milk, bananas, orange juice, dried fruits, meat, peanut butter, potatoes, coffee.  
Sodium For transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, regulation of body’s vital fluid and acid-base balance. Widely distributed naturally in beef, pork, sardines, cheese, green olives. Common component of corn bread, sauerkraut, pickles, potato chips, soups, many packaged foods. Although vital in moderation, excessive sodium may be a significant factor in high blood pressure.
Magnesium Acts along with calcium and phosphorus in bone and tooth formation. Also functions in nerve conduction, muscle contraction, energy release from foods. Activates many body enzyme systems and is component of nucleic acid in all cells. Seafood, meats, nuts, whole-grains, leafy green vegetables, fruits, dairy foods.  
Iron Forms hemoglobin, the red oxygen-carrying pigment in red blood cells. Also essential constituent of some enzymes. Beef, kidney, liver, beans, clams, peaches, dried beans and peas, prune juice. Iron from animal food is better absorbed than from plants. Vitamin C aids absorption.
Iodine Needed by thyroid gland for making hormones that regulate use of energy and are essential for heat production, muscle health, nerve sensitivity. Seafood, iodized salt, dairy products. In variable amounts in water; in fruits and vegetables, depending upon iodine content of soil.  
Flourine Needed for bone and tooth formation. Helps reduce dental decay. May help prevent osteoporosis. Naturally fluoridated water. Also water with sodium fluoride added. Tea, coffee, soups made with such water.  
Zinc In formation of insulin, enzyme systems. Also forms collagen for binding cells together as tissues. May also be essential for wound healing, normal growth and sexual maturation; also taste and smell. Widely distributed. Beans, nuts, whole-grain cereals, fruits, muscle and organ meats, eggs, oysters. Zinc from plant sources is thought to be less available for body use than zinc from animal sources.
Copper Serves as component of enzymes, aids formation of red blood cells. May also be required for normal bone and muscle development, nervous-system functioning. Organ meats, seafoods, whole-grain cereals, nuts, raisins, legumes.  
Cobalt Forms part of Vitamin B12 molecule. Green leafy vegetables.  
Chromium Promotes normal body handling of blood sugar. May also be required for normal growth and longevity. Whole-grains, meats.  
Selenium May protect cell membranes from damage by oxygen. May also be required for growth and fertility. Meats, seafoods, wholegrains grown in seleniumrich soil.  
Manganese Needed for normal bone structure and to serve as component of enzyme systems. Whole-grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts.  

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