Wednesday, February 3, 2010

[FAO] Important Vitamins : Sources & Benefits

ESSENTIAL VITAMINS : Sources & Benefits

The body requires 13 vitamins and 15 minerals to function properly.

Those nutrients are readily available in a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, but millions of people take supplements despite conflicting evidence of their benefits.

Here's a list of the essential vitamins according to the National Institutes of Health, and where you can find them in the grocery store.

Vitamin A

What it does: Helps in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth, bones, soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin.

Where to get it: Eggs, milk, cheese, liver, cod, carrots, kale, spinach, cantaloupe, peas.

Vitamin B6

What it does: Helps the body use protein, form red blood cells and maintain brain function, among other things.

Where to get it: Fortified cereal, baked potatoes, bananas, chicken breast, garbanzo beans, avocado, salmon, tuna, peanut butter.

Vitamin B12

What it does: Integral to metabolism and helps form red blood cells and maintain the central nervous system.

Where to get it: Clams, beef liver, fortified cereal, rainbow trout, top sirloin beef, yogurt, tuna.

Vitamin C

What it does: An antioxidant also known as ascorbic acid that promotes healthy teeth and gums,
helps the body absorb iron and maintain healthy tissue, and assists in wound healing.

Where to get it: Broccoli, sweet and white potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, kale, citrus fruits and juices.

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