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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vitamin Rich Foods

As a mom, you’re usually not only interested in vitamins for your own benefit – you’re also worried about your kids, such as if they’re getting enough nutrition from their daily diet. With little ones, it can be hard to convince them to eat anything not shaped like a nugget and older kids have greater independence and the ability to purchase unhealthy foods on their own. Cookbooks tend to focus on whether food tastes good, but not the effects that the food will have on your body. With this in mind, we’ve put together this list of vitamins and some vitamin-rich foods that you may actually convince your family to eat:

  • Vitamin DNutrition schools have long known the importance of vitamin d, but only recently has this vitamin been getting attention in the mainstream media. Vitamin D, as you may already know, is important for synthesizing calcium and for regulating cell health. This vitamin is fat soluble, so foods containing vitamin D are best prepared in ways that utilize a little fat. Salmon steaks, hamburgers or sandwiches are a great source of vitamin D; egg yolks also contain the vitamin and, luckily, scrambled eggs are always easy to make in a pinch. Fortified milk and juices also contain vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E – This vitamin is an antioxidant which keeps free radicals from attacking your cell membranes. It is speculated that antioxidants are key in fending off diseases of aging, such as cancer. Nuts, including sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, and fresh almonds, are all good sources of vitamin E and can make a great on-the-go snack when tossed in a resealable plastic bag. Sweet potatoes, baked with a little butter and brown sugar, are another easy way to incorporate vitamin E into your diet.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an all-around great vitamin to have in your body. It’s vital to the formation of muscle, acts as an antioxidant, and is speculated to boost the body’s immune system. Be aware that vitamin C is best consumed in foods that are fresh; the vitamin C content decreases the more you process or cook foods. All types of citrus and citrus juice, including orange, lemon, and grapefruit, are good sources of vitamin C. In fruits, peaches, cantaloupe, tangerines, bananas, and raspberries are also high in vitamin C.
  • Calcium – For bone development, calcium is key. It’s also important for muscle performance and for our nerves. While milk is the main source of calcium for many Americans, it’s certainly not the only source of this nutritional vitamin. Try incorporating a few dark, leafy greens into your routine; kale, collards and broccoli are all good choices. All are delicious in quick stir fries with a few other veggies, meat and a little light soy sauce.

Sources

Colorado State University (2012)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2006)

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