Episode #26 A Brief Primer On Vitamins And Where To Find Them in Food

January 8, 2015

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Show Notes:

  • Vitamins were discovered in the early 1900s’ and began the era of modern interest in diet and nutrition.
  • Early chemists found that certain “unknown substances” in foods were essential to life.
  • Vitamins such as vitamin D and B were necessary to prevent diseases such as rickets, beriberi, and pellagra and that vitamin C, a factor present in many fresh foods, prevented scurvy.

Why we need vitamins:

  • Consumption of sugar, refined flour and hydrogenated fats, and of alcohol, tobacco, and many drugs, depletes the body of nutrients, resulting in higher vitamin and mineral requirements for users.
  • Stress of any sort (food, chemical, emotional, physical, etc) causes the body to use up available nutrients at a faster than normal rate.
  • Food science is much more complicated and nuanced than we first imagined- it is an ongoing and emerging field (even after 100 years!)
  • US RDA has set minimum daily requirements for a frew vitamins and minerals, but for the vast majority of people, the minimum requirements might support average health while individual needs keep folks taking the minimum RDA from optimal health.
  • Athletes need more- sometimes vastly more.
  • Vitamin A – Vitamin A is needed so that certain nutrients, including protein, minerals, and water-soluble vitamins, can be utilized by the body and also helps protect the body against unwanted pollutants by acting as an antioxidant. The proper consumption of Vitamin A can lead help improve bone structure, wide handsome faces with plenty of room for the teeth, and ample protection against stress of all types.
  • Vitamin B – Vitamin helps promote healthy nerves, skin, eyes, hair, liver, muscle tone, and cardiovascular function. This vitamin can also help fight against mental disorders, depression and anxiety. Vitamin B can be found in a variety of foods including whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seafood, and organ meats. Vitamin B is also important because it helps in the process of cell metabolism and cholesterol production.
  • Vitamin C – While Vitamin C is mostly popularly known as a vitamin used to treat a common cold, it also aids in tissue growth and repair, strength of capillary walls, lactation, and adrenal gland function. It helps wounds heal more quickly and, similarly to Vitamin A, is an important antioxidant.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D helps build strong bones, healthy teeth, and allows for normal growth as it helps encourage calcium and phosphorus absorption, which are both essential for building strength. Vitamin D has also helped fight against cancer and multiple sclerosis. While spending time in the sun can help your body absorb Vitamin D, you can also find this vitamin in butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils, and seafood, specifically shrimp and crab.
  • Vitamin E – Vitamin E has been shown to help slow down the aging process, aid in circulation, tissue repair, and healing, and also strengthen the treatment of fibrocystic conditions, sterility, PMS, and muscular dystrophy. Vitamin E can be found in unrefined vegetables oils, butter, organ meats, grain, nuts, seeds, legumes, and dark leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin K – Vitamin K is found in liver, egg yolks, butter, grains, dark leafy vegetables, vegetables of the cabbage family, and fermented soy foods like miso. It is needed for blood clotting, is vital for the process of bone formation, and helps postmenopausal women to prevent bone loss.
  • Vitamin P – Vitamin P supports Vitamin C and allows for it to be absorbed more quickly which in turn helps promote healing and protect the structure of blood capillaries. It also helps stimulate bile production, lower cholesterol levels, regulate menstrual flow, help prevent cataracts, and have antibacterial effects. Vitamin P can be found in foods including peppers, grapes, buckwheat, and the white peel of citrus fruits.
  • CoQ10 – CoQ10 is vital for the process of producing energy and can also be used as an antioxidant. It has been known to help treat cardiovascular disease and periodontal problems and it can be found in all animal products, specifically heart meat.
  • Activator X – Activator X can be found in organ meats, fish, shellfish, fish eggs, and butter from grass fed cows.


Source: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

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