Vitamin E

Today is Tuesday, February 11th

The topic today is:

Antioxidant # 3:  Vitamin E

     The last vitamin antioxidant I will talk about is vitamin E.  Of course there are many other mineral and phytochemical antioxidants found in foods such as chocolate, but will save that one for Friday the 14th.

Vitamin E is found mostly in unsaturated oils, nuts, seeds, and in whole grains such as wheat germ.  Eating salad dressings made with oil and vinegar or crushing nuts in your salads are easy ways to ensure your needs are met.  Vitamin E prevents the oxidation of the unsaturated fats and may help protect your cells from damage that lead to other problems such as cancer.  Remember, oxidation can produce free radicals and causes instability of a molecule.  For example, by preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the one that builds plaque in your arteries), vitamin E could reduce the risk for stroke and heart problems.    

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Food sources for vitamin E

Many studies have been nixed for the health claims of vitamin E touted in the past.  It is not a good idea, as I have said previously, to take supplements or eat an excess of anything in an effort to prevent such problems. Balance is the key and the recommended daily allowance 15 mg per day.

Tip of the Day:

“Too many kids (Vitamin E) on the bus, will not allow the other kids (other vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) to get a seat on the bus, therefore, not everyone gets to the destination needed for the body to work well.”  Do not load your bus with excess of one type of vitamin, mineral or phytochemical.

Take Action Today:

  • Eat a few nuts or seeds
  • Cook with small amounts of oils
  • Make a refreshing salad dressing for couscous or lettuce by whipping the juice of 1 lime or an orange into ½ cup of sunflower oil and add cracked pepper.
  • Sprinkle wheat germ into your cereal.

 

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Vitamin Antioxidant #2: Vitamin C

 

Today is February 10th

The topic or question of the day is:

Vitamin C:  Antioxidant #2

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2 cuties = 1 fruit serving

     Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is great for fighting infections, aids in wound healing (produces collagen), helps your body absorb iron and folic acid, and keeps your gums healthy.   Because vitamin C is water soluble, it attacks the free radicals found in bodily fluids.  Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so you should eat ‘real foods’ containing vitamin C daily.  Foods fortified in vitamin C are not the same as foods that contain vitamin C and it is best to get vitamin C from your fruits and vegetables.  Those especially high in vitamin C are citrus fruits, red peppers, green peppers, papaya and broccoli. 

      Too much vitamin C can be dangerous even though it is water- soluble.  Excess amounts can cause diarrhea and kidney stones.  The upper limit for adults is 2000 mg per day.  ½ cup of red bell pepper = 140 mg, a medium baked potato = 20 mg, and  ¼ c 100% orange juice = 75 mg.  As you  can see, it is not too difficult to get your recommended daily intake of vitamin C (75-120 mg daily).

Tip or quote of the day:

     Vitamin C helps iron be more readily absorbed.  If you need to boost  your iron, try eating lean beef with red peppers, potatoes and oranges.

Take Action Today:

  • Roast red peppers in your oven by slicing in strips, drizzling with olive oil and cooking them in your oven on 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
  • Eat red peppers raw
  • Fresh squeeze ½ cup orange juice
  • Eat 3-4 little cuties

 

 

Carotenoids

Today is Friday, February 7th

The topic or question of the day is:

What are orange, yellow, red and sometimes green?

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            Carotenoids!  These are the beautiful colors of fall found in many fruits and vegetables.  Red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables usually are loaded with carotenes with the exception of corn.  Carotene is found in foods such as apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, red and yellow peppers and sweet potatoes.  Beta-carotene is the most popular carotenoid and is a precursor for vitamin A.  Broccoli, kale, spinach and romaine lettuce also contain carotene only the yellow-orange color is masked by the chlorophyll in the leaves.  Fancy that!  There are 563 known carotenoids.

            No dietary RDA or reference has been established for carotenoids except as precursors to vitamin A, so once again be careful.  These carotenoids are anti-oxidants (see yesterday’s blog).  Eat yellow, orange, and red fruits and vegetables and you will acquire all the wonderful anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals (another topic for later) your body needs from the carotenoids.  It is always best to get them from food sources and not supplements. 

Tip of the day: 

Supplements of beta carotene can be dangerous, especially for smokers.  It is always best to stick to the real foods God created and eat intelligently.  Remember excess of food can be dangerous.  I have seen several people turn orange from overeating carrots!

Take Action Today:

Make pumpkin fluff with a can of pumpkin (full of Beta-carotene), mixed with 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. vanilla, and pumpkin pie spices to taste.  Chill and enjoy.

(Some people need more sugar and add some brown sugar, but try to change your taste buds and use only the small amount of maple syrup)