The Best Foods for Every Vitamin and Mineral

The Best Foods for Every Vitamin and Mineral

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The Best Foods for Every Vitamin and Mineral

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Vitamins and minerals play an important role in bodily functions. Without them our bodies would have a difficult time growing and developing; we would end up suffering from a variety of health complications.

*Related: 25 Foods With Surprising Health Benefits

One of the best and most effective ways to get your essential vitamins is from the food that you eat. Liver and eggs are just a couple of foods that are very high in vitamins and minerals, says Jordan Pie, a nutritionist at Changing Habits.

Vitamin A

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Many people believe that eating a carrot along with other orange vegetables will provide their body with Vitamin A. The truth is that “they actually provide beta-carotene, an antioxidant – it is not true Vitamin A, it’s the precursor as it has to be converted first to be useful for the body,” Jordan Pie, a nutritionist at Changing Habits, says. “However when we have digestive or hormonal issues + other health issues, this conversion is easily compromised.” It is best to get bioavailable Vitamin A through foods, such as liver, cod liver oil, egg yolks, grass-fed butter, cream from grass-fed cows, she adds.

Vitamin D

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Believe it or not, our body is very intelligent; we can make this nutrient in the sun, and we can also get it from our food,” Pie says. “Vitamin D is critical for mineral metabolism, bone growth, a healthy nervous system, hormone production and more.” High levels of Vitamin D rich foods include: liver, quality cod liver oil, grass-fed butter, cheese, pastured eggs, and fatty fish such as wild salmon and tuna, she says.

Vitamin E

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“Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant and a fat-soluble vitamin, so it needs to be eaten with some type of fat to be utilised in the body,” Pie says. “Vitamin E rich foods include pasteurised egg yolks, almonds, avocado, sunflower seeds, grass-fed ghee or butter and leafy green vegetables.”

Vitamin C

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“We all know that citrus fruit, berries and tropical fruits are naturally rich in Vitamin C which will help to improve our immune function,” Pie says. “However, Camu Camu fruit/powder provides an even more potent and bioavailable form of Vitamin C and can easily be added to smoothies.”

B Vitamins

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“B Vitamins are essential for energy levels, mood, memory, heart, skin, hair, digestion, hormones, enzyme production, DNA synthesis, and more,” Pie says. “Deficiency in B Vitamins is very common and symptoms can include constant lethargy, joint pain, aches, weakness, poor memory, inability to concentrate well, mood changes, digestive issues, poor appetite, hormonal irregularities and more.” The richest food sources of B Vitamins include: liver, pastured egg yolks, fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and trout, grass-fed meats and pasture raised turkey.

Omega 3’s

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“Omega 3’s are good for you because of their anti-inflammatory properties,” Pie says. “The best sources of Omega-3 are wild-caught fish including salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel and oysters, pastured eggs and grass-fed dairy such as butter and ghee as well as Inca Inchi Oil – which is especially good for vegans and vegetarians.”

Potassium

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“Potassium is essential in maintaining the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body,” Pie says. “It’s the third most abundant mineral in the body and is actually required for healthy heart, kidney, brain, and muscle function.” Potassium rich foods include: avocado, spinach, coconut water, sweet potato, banana, mushrooms, and apricots.

Selenium

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“Selenium is an extremely vital mineral as it increases immunity, protects us from free radical damage and inflammation, contains anti-viral effects, assists with hormonal balance and is important for autoimmune conditions such as thyroid disease,” Pie says. Naturally rich selenium food sources include: brazil nuts, eggs, liver, tuna, cod and sunflower seeds.

Magnesium

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Magnesium is crucial to our health as over 300 biochemical functions in the body rely on it,” Pie says. “Magnesium deficiency has been linked to restless leg syndrome, mood swings, trouble sleeping, headaches, muscle weakness and cramps, low energy, depressed immune system and more.” Magnesium rich foods include: spinach, almonds, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, avocado, broccoli, cashews, and brussel sprouts.

Iron

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“Iron deficiency is very common – it’s often labelled as iron deficiency anaemia,” Pie explains. “Symptoms include, but are not limited to fatigue, weakness, pale skin, dizziness, cold hands and feet, gut issues, hormonal issues, brittle nails, and headaches.” Naturally iron rich foods include: spirulina, grass-fed liver, beef and lamb, dark chocolate, and dark leafy greens.

Zinc

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“Zinc is an essential trace mineral responsible for over 100 enzymatic reactions in our body,” Pie says. “It helps with wound healing, DNA synthesis, formulation of haemoglobin and more.” Foods high in zinc include: grass-fed beef and lamb, pumpkin seeds, cashews, chicken, mushrooms, chickpeas, and spinach.