Why Vitamins Are the Secret to Better Health

vitamins, vitamin shoppe, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin C

We have always been told to take vitamins and minerals but why?  And how do we know what we need? How do we know that we are getting quality products?  Theses are all important questions, and we are going to take a look at these questions and try to answer them.

Why do we need vitamins and minerals?

This is the simple part of the puzzle. We need vitamins and minerals for the health functioning of our mind and body.  Every system of our body: skin, bones, muscles, blood, nerves, brain and so many more requires these raw materials because the body can’t produce sufficient amounts on its own.  So, we get these raw materials from our food.

A healthy balanced diet should supply us with the nutrients our body and mind need.  But there are a few things that could prevent us from getting all the nutrients we need.  Let’s look at a few,

Cooking Methods

Cooking can improve the absorption of some foods while other foods lose their nutrients if they are cooked.  But it also depends on how the food is cooked.  For example, the protein in cooked eggs is 180% more digestible than that of raw eggs.  Nutrients reduced from cooking:

  • water-soluble vitamins: vitamin C and the B vitamins — thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12)
  • fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • minerals: primarily potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium

Boiling, simmering or poaching reduces water-soluble vitamins C and B.  However, if the water is consumed then the vitamins are retained.   Grilling or broiling causes a loss of B vitamins because the nutrient rich juice drips off the meat. Roasting and baking result in less of a loss of vitamin C but because of the high heat and longer cooking times, vitamin B is reduced by %40.  Sautéing and stir-frying improve the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and some plant compounds, but they decrease the amount of vitamin C in vegetables. Frying makes food taste delicious, and it can provide some benefits when healthy oils are used. It’s best to avoid frying fatty fish and minimize the frying time of other foods. Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins. Here are some cooking tips to maximize nutrient retention cited from healtline.com:

  1. Use as little water as possible when poaching or boiling.
  2. Consume the liquid left in the pan after cooking vegetables.
  3. Add back juices from meat that drip into the pan.
  4. Don’t peel vegetables until after cooking them. Better yet, don’t peel at all to maximize their fiber and nutrient density.
  5. Cook vegetables in smaller amounts of water to reduce the loss of vitamin C and B vitamins.
  6. Try to eat any cooked vegetables within a day or two, as their vitamin C content may continue to decline when the cooked food is exposed to air.
  7. Cut food after — rather than before — cooking, if possible. When food is cooked whole, less of it is exposed to heat and water.
  8. Cook vegetables for only a few minutes whenever possible.
  9. When cooking meat, poultry, and fish, use the shortest cooking time needed for safe consumption.
  10. Don’t use baking soda when cooking vegetables. Although it helps maintain color, vitamin C will be lost in the alkaline environment produced by baking soda.

Can we absorb the nutrients?

There are some conditions or diseases that could cause malabsorption of nutrients.  Here’s what CentreSpringMD had to say “Having a weak gut lining, food allergies, microbiome imbalances such as bacterial overgrowth, damage to the intestines from infection, surgery, pancreatic insufficiency, autoimmune disease–all of these are possible causes that lead to poor nutrient absorption. Pair that with the possibilities of our foods not having optimal nutrient levels due poor soil quality, other environmental factors, and it is not difficult to see how nutrient deficiencies are pervasive in today’s world.

Often people go years with subclinical deficiencies that lead to an array of symptoms. Hair loss, brain fog, chronic fatigue, these are just a few! Prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics can alter the terrain of the gut in a way that leads to nutrient malabsorption.

And of course, our infamous friend named stress is well known to slow digestion and significantly alter the microbiome… thereby negatively impacting digestion and immunity (remember how the gut houses a huge percentage of your immune system?!)”

Growing conditions of our food

According to one article sited “fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion: Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.” And according to several studies this decline in nutrients is measurable

What can be done? The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. Alternating fields between growing seasons to give land time to restore would be one important step. Also, foregoing pesticides and fertilizers in favor of organic growing methods is good for the soil, the produce and its consumers. Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers.

What to look for when buying vitamins

Now that we’ve taken a look at the reasons why we might need to take supplemental vitamins and minerals, perhaps we should learn a little about shopping for them since the market is vast so how do we know what to buy?

Vitamin and mineral supplements are subject to fairly limited regulation by the FDA. To ensure the safety and accuracy of a product, look for supplements that have been certified by a third-party testing organization

Taking supplements should be done under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner. Depending on the type and level of ingredients, there are risks of side effects, toxicity, and interactions with drugs, foods, and alcohol. Additionally, supplements are not guaranteed to be effective.

You’ll want to look for supplements that adhere to any dietary restrictions you may have. How often you need to take the supplement, as well as its form, such as capsules or chewable gummies, should also be considered.

 

https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.html

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6049644/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cooking-nutrient-content#cooking-amp-nutrients

https://centrespringmd.com/what-causes-poor-absorption-of-nutrients/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-choose-high-quality-vitamins-and-supplements#regulation

 

Healthy Summer Recipes

Healthy Summer Recipes

Summer is on its way – can you feel it? I certainly can. That warm breeze pouring in my windows has me on the edge of my seat for summer salsas, delicious salads and refreshing mocktails.

These are my favourite recipes right now!! I’ve personally created them and tested them with many family members, and they’re all a huge hit!

Here is your It’s-Almost-Summer-Let’s-Celebrate Recipe Compilation…

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I Feel Like I’m at the Beach Tropical Mocktail

To your high speed blender, add…

3 peeled oranges (leave them whole)
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
5 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1.5 cups water
6 ice cubes

Blend and serve!! Enjoy this kick of immune boosting vitamin C, fat busting bromelain and packed in nutrients from these superfoods!

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Sweet and Spicy Summer Salsa

To a medium sized bowl, add…

1 chopped mango
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 red onion chopped tiny
1 chopped avocado
1/2 chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt sprinkled over it
Then add juice of 1 lime (which will disperse the salt throughout)

Stir well and enjoy as a side to barbecued chicken, with as-healthy-as-you-can-find-or-make nacho chips or as a dip for vegetables.

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Summer Spinach Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

To a large bowl, add…

1 bunch shredded organic baby spinach
1/2 head of red leaf lettuce (or romaine – choose your favourite! This adds texture and different green nutrients)
1 sweet pepper – choose your colour and chop
1 roma tomato – chopped
1/2 cucumber – chopped
1 bunch of grapes – sliced in half

Raw Vegan Caesar Dressing

(Ditch the store bough chemicalized, food-like dressing and make your own!! This literally tastes IDENTICAL to Caesar dressing, it’s SO delicious!)

To a high speed blender, add…

1/3 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup water
2.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
10 shakes sea salt
6 shakes pepper

Let this soak for 15 minutes before blending to allow cashews to soften and make the recipe creamy. Pour over your salad bowl, mix and enjoy!

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I Can’t Believe I’m Sick AGAIN. 5 Things You Need to Do to Stop the Cycle

Annndddd…. you’re sick again. How many times has it been this winter? Oh? You’ve lost count.

Well, between your children bringing who-knows-what kind of germs home from school, your colleague sneezing down the hall and your mother in law stopping in on her way home from the mall, you’ve caught something again. Or it’s just continually circulated through your home for the last 2 weeks.

Either way, it’s time to boost up your immune system and arm yourself with some seriously powerful natural remedies to help heal your cold / flu / sore throat / as-of-yet unidentified virus.

Here are the basics:

Your body wants to be 100% healthy all the time!! You just need to provide it with the means to do so.

1. What are you eating?

Put down the bagel with cream cheese and reach for some fruit and vegetables. Specifically, oranges, grapefruit, apples, clementines, kiwi, cantaloupe and strawberries. And reach for dark leafy greens, bell peppers and and tomatoes!

For example, 1 medium orange has 70mg of Vitamin C, or 116% of your daily recommended intake. So load up. Every day!! Especially considering that the “daily recommended intake” suggestions for vitamin C tend to be just high enough to keep you from getting scurvy!

According to Dr. Andrew Saul, editor of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, if everyone were to take 500 mg of vitamin C per day — the dose required to reach a healthy level of 80 µmol/L — an estimated 216,000 lives could be spared of heart failure each year.

So, eat more fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C – and protect your heart while preventing another cold from circling back to you!

2. What are you popping?

Put down the antibiotics. Antibiotics are scientifically unable to help at all with killing viruses.
Put down the Robitussin. Put down the Advil Cold & Sinus.

Antibiotics destroy the very fragile bacterial ecosystem living in your gut, that actually functions as 90% of your immune system. So while you think you’re killing the virus, you are actually damaging your entire system for many years to come. Just one round of antibiotics kills many of your beneficial bacteria living in your intestines and makes you much more susceptible to getting sick more often.

Every time you take a pharmaceutical, you do damage to your body. Your body must first heal from the illness and then it must heal from the pharmaceutical you ingested.

(Yes there is a time and place for life-saving interventions that require pharmaceuticals, but that time and place, for the great majority of the population, is not from a cold or flu).

3. What should you pop instead?

Nature has created many natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal agents that we can use with much less side effects, if any at all. Colloidal silver can be sprayed under the tongue a few times a day and literally wipes out nasty germs in record time. Oregano oil can be taken as a capsule to kill bacteria and viruses. And you should also supplement with probiotics that have a count into the high billions to help rebalance the immune system promoting bacteria in your gut.

4. I need a miracle remedy now!

Essential oils are that miracle. Get your hands on some therapeutic grade peppermint oil, and mix a couple of drops with a carrier oil (coconut oil) and massage it into your throat, over your sinuses, your chest and under your nose. You will be breathing clearly in seconds!!

5. Sleep, tea and time

Yep, you’ve heard it before. Stay rested and drink a lot of warm liquids to stay hydrated. It takes time for your body to kick the virus and bounce back, but it will be much quicker if you follow these natural steps.

BONUS – Stay healthy!

What are you doing to stay healthy and prevent future illness? Try these tips:
1 – Eat a whole-foods, plant based diet with a great variety of colourful fruits and vegetables.
2 – Exercise every day. Even a little bit of joyful movement – your body was made to move!
3 – Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated and enjoy some fresh lemon in your water.
4 – Get enough sleep.
5 – Take a high quality probiotic every day.
6 – Get adjusted regularly! Your spine needs to be free of interference so that your body can heal and function at 100%!

With Sources From:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/vitamin-c-heart-health.aspx