Beta Carotene is an important source of vitamin A. It is believed to be a superior source of vitamin A because it is readily converted into a more active form of the substance. Good sources of beta carotene include: red, yellow, orange and many dark green leafy vegetables.
Biotin is important for cell growth and the metabolism of fats, sugar and some amino acids. It helps to release energy from carbohydrates. Good sources of biotin include: eggs, liver, yeast breads and cereals.
Boron is a mineral present in the diet and in the human body in trace amounts. Boron may promote bone and joint health, particularly in women. Sources of boron include: raisins, peanuts, juices, fruits (other than citrus), leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts.
Calcium builds strong bones and teeth and is essential for muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve impulses. Good sources of calcium include: milk, yogurt and most cheeses. Also dark green leafy vegetables (like kale, broccoli, bok choy) and fish with edible bones.
Copper is important for the formation of bone, hemoglobin and red blood cells. Copper also helps keeps nerves healthy, and is involved in hair and skin coloring and sensitivity to taste as well as aiding in the healing process. Good sources of copper include: organ meats, especially liver, seafood, nuts and seeds.
Daily Value is used on labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving of a food or vitamin/ mineral supplement provides. The term DV has replaced the use of US RDA (United States recommended daily allowance) for labeling purposes.
Folic acid is essential for the manufacture of DNA, the substances necessary for cell reproduction. It also promotes normal red-blood cell formation. An adequate intake of folic acid is important to reduce the risk of certain birth defects. Good sources of folic acid include: leafy vegetables, some fruits, legumes, liver, yeast breads, wheat germ, and vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and safflower.
As blood passes through the tiny air sacs in the lungs, oxygen attaches itself to the iron in the blood and is carried to all parts of the body. In general, pre-menopausal women need more iron than men do, because menstruation depletes the body of iron. Good sources of iron include: meat, raisins, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
Magnesium is necessary for glucose metabolism, the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids, muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses and the delicate electrical balance of cells. Good sources of magnesium include: legumes, nuts, whole grains and green vegetables.
Manganese helps to metabolize protein and fat. It maintains the health of the immune and nervous systems. It is important for bone growth and reproduction. Manganese makes it possible for the body to use thiamin and vitamin E. Good sources of manganese include: whole-grain products, along with some fruits and vegetables.
Molybdenum promotes normal cell function. It enables the body to use nitrogen and is important for enzymes needed in metabolism. Molybdenum helps regulate iron stores in the body. Good sources of molybdenum include: milk, legumes, breads and grain products.
Another name for vitamin B3, niacin is found in every cell of the body and is necessary for energy production. It is also needed for DNA formation and to maintain normal function of skin, nerves and the digestive system. Good sources of niacin include: poultry, fish, beef, peanut butter and legumes.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can't make them -- you have to get them through food and dietary supplements.
There are three omega-3s: EPA, DHA and ALA:
– Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) come mainly from fish, so they are sometimes called marine omega-3s.
– Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most Western diets, is found in vegetable oils and nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds and flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, and some animal fat, especially in grass-fed animals.
The body mostly uses EPA and DHA. ALA needs to be converted in the body to EPA and DHA.
Phosphorus teams with calcium to aid in cell growth, bone and tooth formation, kidney function and the contraction of the heart. Good sources of phosphorus include: milk, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts
Potassium is essential for making all muscles (including the heart) function properly. It is vital for the transmission of nerve impulses, digestion, and the release of insulin. It helps to maintain the fluid level inside and outside cells. Good source of potassium include: fruits, many vegetables, fresh meat, poultry and fish.
RDAs are published by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Science, that establishes goals rather than requirements for healthy persons. Different guidelines are established for 16 different age and gender groups.
Another name for vitamin B2, riboflavin is found in every cell of the body and is necessary for energy production. It is also needed to maintain metabolism and the function of skin and nerves. Good sources of riboflavin include: milk and other dairy foods, enriched bread and other grain products, eggs, meat, green leafy vegetables and nuts.
In combination with vitamin E, selenium works as an antioxidant to help maintain a healthy heart. It also aids in the function of the pancreas, provides elasticity to tissues and helps cells defend themselves against damage from oxidation. Good sources of selenium include: seafood, liver and kidney, as well as other meats.
Also known as vitamin B1, thiamin participates in the body's ability to use protein and carbohydrates to produce energy. It also aids metabolism, especially of carbohydrates. It is important for normal functioning of the nervous system. Good sources of thiamin include: whole-grain and enriched grain products, such as beans, rice, pasta and fortified cereals.
Vitamin A is important for the growth of and development of bones, teeth and gums. It is also essential for night vision, healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. Good sources of vitamin A include: liver, fish, oil, eggs, and vitamin A fortified foods.
Vitamin B6 influences many body functions including regulating blood glucose levels, manufacturing hemoglobin and aiding the utilization of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also aids in the function of the nervous system. Good sources of vitamin B6 include: chicken, fish, pork, liver and kidney. It may also be found in whole grain, nuts and legumes.
Vitamin B12 is essential for normal growth, healthy nerve tissue and blood formation. It is also a crucial element in the reproduction of every cell of the body. Good sources of vitamin B12 include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy foods.
Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant and plays a role in collagen formation, neurotransmission and tissue repair. Good sources of vitamin C include: oranges, grapefruits and tangerines, many other fruits and vegetables including berries, melons, peppers, dark green leafy vegetables, potatoes and tomatoes.
Vitamin D helps the body properly utilize calcium and phosphorus necessary to build strong bones and teeth. Good sources of vitamin D include: fortified milk, cheese, eggs and some fish (sardines and salmon).
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can prevent a chemical reaction called oxidation, which can sometimes result in harmful effects in your body. It is also important for the proper function of nerves and muscles. Good sources of vitamin E include: vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and safflower, as well as nuts, seeds and wheat germ.
Vitamin K plays a role in the production of bone-supporting proteins. Vitamin K also plays a role in blood clotting. Dietary sources of vitamin K are green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and asparagus.
Zinc is needed for cell growth, reproduction and repair. It helps regulate the body's immune response and insulin metabolism, and aids the healing of wounds. Good sources of zinc include: meat, seafood and liver.