While most of us gorge ourselves on our favourite meals because of the oral orgasms it provides, our bodies need the vitamins and minerals to perform at peak levels. It’s well agreed upon that apples keep doctors away, but what about apples (or any other food source) protects us from the white coats?
Vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients are vital to life and despite our eating food for its taste more often than not, the human body places more value on the amount of nutrition gained from our diet than whether or not your pizza has extra cheese.
Various vitamins and minerals have varying benefits. Our fabled doctor repellent – apples – contains a horde of the micronutrients making it a nutritional goldmine. Each of the molecules has certain benefits and may be more prevalent in some foods while not present in others.
Here are the essential vitamins and minerals along with the foods in which they can be found.
Zinc is an essential mineral that works as an antioxidant, immune booster, and aphrodisiac. A study done by the Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, USA found that zinc plays an important role in balancing the testosterone levels in men. Because the mineral supports the production of testosterone it also contributes towards puberty and fertility. Testosterone is necessary because it supplements:
- Increased muscle bulk
- Higher bone mass
- Physical strength
- Body hair
Zinc rich foods include:
- Beef patty
- Breakfast cereal, fortified with 25% of the DV for zinc
Related: How Top Docs Avoid Cancer
2. Vitamin D.
This naturally supplied vitamin is produced by the sun but can also be found in eggs and fish. The vitamin is linked to variety of benefits ranging from bone health to mood and well-being. A clinical trial by Bischoff-Ferrari showed that supplementing the vitamin is associated with falling and fracturing bones as a result. Other research shows that people with a lower vitamin D status showed less muscle strength and anaerobic power. The vitamin, when not absorbed from the sun for whatever reason, should be taken in daily doses with meals.
Foods that hand out the D:
- Cod liver oil
- Orange juice fortified with vitamin D (varies)
- Dairy products fortified with vitamin D
3. Vitamin E
Popping an E (the legal one) contributes towards a cancer-free body since the vitamin works as an antioxidant and immune booster. A study done by the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation, however, showed consuming vitamin E via a supplement increased the possibility of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarct, and non-fatal strokes. While vitamin E supplements do not have a strong case for heart-related conditions, the antioxidants provided by a natural intake of the micronutrient help fight free radicals, hindering the development of cardiovascular disease and various cancers.
Pop the E with these food sources:
- Wheat germ oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Sunflower and safflower oil
- Peanut Butter
4. Vitamin C
A fair candidate for the most popular vitamin, ascorbic acid is usually the most sought after micro nutrient when supplementing any of these tiny molecules. Vitamin C has had a steady rise to fame after it was discovered as the preventive nutritional substance for scurvy in the early 1930s. While many of us aren’t battling with the disease that ravaged sailors short of ascorbic acid, we do need the essential vitamin to help maintain our immunity.
The popular nutrient boosts immunity, assists in building cells, and acts as an antioxidant while also regenerating other antioxidants, making it a formidable combination when taken with Vitamin E (or on its own). Seyeon Park from the Department of Applied Chemistry, Dongduk Women’s University conducted a study that found vitamin C improved the efficacy of certain cancer therapies.
Vitamin C filled foods:
- Red pepper
- Oranges & orange juice
- Grapefruit juice
- Green pepper
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that contributes towards healthy coagulation (blood clotting) while also ensuring calcium is processed properly by sending it to the bones instead of the arteries. This lowers the chance for cardiovascular-related death, which we all undoubtedly want. A study done by the University of Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands showed that vitamin K assisted in maintaining bone strength at the femur in postmenstrual women. The micronutrient is found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables.
These foods bleed vitamin K:
- Natto (Japanese food made from fermented soybeans)
- Turnip greens
6. Vitamin A
If vitamin A is a regular component of your diet you’ll find it easier to read between the lines (literally) since this essential vitamin is critical for vision. It helps keep the conjunctival membranes and cornea operational and is also a component for a protein that absorbs light in the retinal receptors. Vitamin A is involved in immune function and reproduction too. A study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg at the Department of International Health, Baltimore found that along with measles vaccines, Vitamin A assisted in effective treatment to prevent measles mortality in children. While most of us aren’t children, all of us could do with an immune boost.
Make sure you can tell the difference between a striation and a stretch mark with these Vitamin A-based foods:
- Sweet potato
- Beef liver
- Red peppers
Not to be confused with manganese, this essential mineral is a cofactor of over 300 enzymes. The micronutrient plays an important role in many bodily functions such as protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation and energy production. It also works. Magnesium is primarily found inside our bones and soft tissue. As with all things, too much of a good thing is bad – excessive magnesium levels sometimes causes gastrointestinal distress and diarrhoea. Humans being an innovative species found that magnesium can be used as a laxative. A study by The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities showed that people with a healthy level of magnesium had a 38% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death compared to people with lower magnesium levels.
Keep those bowl movements healthy with these foods:
- Cereal (shredded wheat)
- Black beans