Unless you’re Michael Kors or the late Steve Jobs, you probably don’t wear the same clothes every day.
But it can be easy, given the convenience of the standard American diet, to find the same food on our plates day after day.
Our bodies need a variety of foods from all food groups in order to function. Part of the variety we should be considering includes a daily dose of vitamins.
What Are Vitamins?
Vitamins are one of the groups of nutrients that our bodies need in order to grow, develop and stay healthy. Different vitamins play different roles—they help us fight off infections, keep our nerves healthy, and help with blood clots. They also help our bodies turn food into energy and protect us when we are feeling stressed or sleep-deprived.
There are 13 vitamins that we need a healthy dose of every day:
Needed for vision, healthy skin and mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth, and immune system health
Sources: Fortified milk, cheese, cream, butter, fortified margarine, eggs, liver, leafy, dark green vegetables, dark orange fruits (apricots, cantaloupe), and vegetables (carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin)
Antioxidant; needed to support immune system health; aids in iron absorption.
Sources: Found only in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, vegetables in the cabbage family, cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, papayas, mangoes, and kiwifruit.
Needed for proper absorption of calcium; benefits muscle function; supports immune function.
Sources: Egg yolks, liver, fatty fish, fortified milk, fortified margarine; and when exposed to sunlight our skin can make vitamin D.
Antioxidant; protects cell walls.
Sources: Polyunsaturated plant oils, leafy green vegetables, liver, egg yolks, nuts and seeds.
Needed for proper blood clotting
Sources: Leafy green vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and spinach; green vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and asparagus; also produced in the intestinal tract by bacteria.
Acts with enzymes needed for energy metabolism; important to nerve function.
Sources: Moderate amounts are found in all nutritious foods.
Acts with enzymes needed for energy metabolism; important for normal vision and skin health.
Sources: Milk and milk products, leafy green vegetables, whole-grain enriched breads and cereals.
Acts with enzymes needed for energy metabolism; important for the nervous system, digestive system, and skin health.
Sources: Meat, poultry, fish, whole-grain or enriched breads and cereals, vegetables (especially mushrooms, asparagus, and leafy green vegetables), and peanut butter.
Acts with enzymes needed for energy metabolism.
Sources: Widespread in foods.
Acts with enzymes needed for energy metabolism.
Sources: Widespread in foods; also produced in the intestinal tract by bacteria.
Part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; helps make red blood cells.
Sources: Meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, and fruits.
Acts with enzymes needed for making new cells; important to nerve function.
Sources: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, milk and milk products; not found in plant foods.
Acts with enzymes needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells.
Sources: Leafy green vegetables, legumes, seeds, orange juice, and liver.
For Optimal Health, Eat the Rainbow
Once you’ve received your DNA personalized nutrition report and shopping list, you’ll know which vitamins your body needs more or less of. You’ll also know which foods are the best sources of these vitamins for your body.
It’s important to eat a variety of foods from different food groups which are composed of similar nutrients. For example:
· Animal meats fuel the body with protein, B12, iron, and zinc.
· Different colors of fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients.
· Colorful produce typically contains Vitamin C.
· Dark greens provide Vitamin K and Vitamin A.
Ideally, we should get all the vitamins we need from our food. But in some cases, supplements can help when we aren’t getting enough, or when we have a certain condition.
You’ll want to consult your doctor, nutritionist, or health coach for advice. A simple blood test can determine which supplements you’ll want to take, how much to take, and which brands are best.
Try a Genetic Diet Plan
When we are eating the right foods for our genes and getting the right amounts of vitamins, we can feel it. Our energy levels hold steady, we find ourselves sleeping well, and our moods tend to be more positive.
On the other hand, when we stray from our genetic diet plan, our bodies let us know. There are a series of subtle symptoms that appear when we aren’t getting the vitamins we need, or when we aren’t finding the right sources of certain vitamins.
You may develop brittle nails. Cracks in the corners of your mouth may appear and your gums may bleed. You may also notice changes in your vision, especially when you drive at night.
Your hair might become brittle or start to fall out, or you may find dandruff flakes on your shirt collar. Your skin may develop a goosebump-like rash. By increasing your vitamin and mineral intake, you can reverse or prevent these symptoms.
By eating for our genes, we can take control of our health, and protect the health of our loved ones.
On your next trip to the grocery store, toss a few foods into your cart that are vitamin-rich. You can download our “Ultimate Vitamin Shopping List” here.