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Health & Fitness

The Best Way To Take Your Vitamins

The best approach to “take your vitamins” is to eat nutrient-dense foods. Vitamins in their original form are more better absorbed by our bodies. Vitamins and minerals are critical for our health, but if we don’t take them in the correct amounts, they won’t help us. When we consume vitamins through food, they are frequently packed with other vitamins that aid in their absorption.

Here are a few of my favorite nutrient powerhouses!

CALCIUM

Growing up, we always learned that the best source of calcium was: milk. 100 grams of 2% milk provides 120 mg. of calcium (12% of the recommended daily consumption by the FDA. So how do I get enough calcium without the tummy ache that milk gives me? Calcium alone might not do the trick… we also need vitamin D and vitamin K to strengthen our bones. In addition, calcium alone might not do very much to improve bone density if we don’t have enough magnesium in our diet. 

Food (100 g portion) 2% Milk Sardines Beet Greens Rhubarb
Calcium: mgs 120 382 117 62
Other nutrients potassium
vitamin A
iron
phosphorus
selenium
vitamin D
vitamin B12
(among others)
iron
vitamin A
vitamin C
vitamin D
vitamin K
Betaine
(among others)
potassium
vitamin E
(among others)

As you can see, there are lots of foods rich in calcium that you can eat even while following the autoimmune protocol. Here are a few more: Arugula (160 g calcium), dandelion greens (187 g calcium), garlic (181 g calcium), kale (135 g calcium), turnip greens (190 g calcium), kumquat (62 g) and caviar (275 g calcium).

POTASSIUM

I remember my cross-country coach always told us to eat bananas to get potassium and avoid muscle cramping. I was shocked to see how many other fruits and vegetables have even more potassium!!!! Bananas are still great, but some of these other fruits and veggies have a lower glycemic load which is great for those of us who are following the autoimmune protocol.

Food 100 g portion Banana Dates (Deglet Noor/Medjool) Spinach Avocado
Potassium mgs. 358 656/696 558 485
Other nutrients vitamin C
vitamin K
vitamin C
(among others)
iron
manganese
vitamin C
vitamin K
vitamin B9
(among others)
vitamin B5
choline
(among others)
Glycemic Load 8 39 1 2

A few more notable potassium providers: guava (417 mg), rhubarb (288mg), raisins (749 mg), beet greens (762), plantain (499), purslane (494). Most leafy greens are more potassium rich than bananas.

Read also: Why You Need Vitamin L For Better Health

VITAMIN C

Whenever I got a cold or the flu I would load up on vitamin C in the form of orange juice and chewable vitamin C tablets. Turns out…. orange juice doesn’t have any natural vitamin C unless you or someone else actually squeezes it out of an orange right before you drink it. Whether or not the orange juice that you buy is “fresh squeezed” or  “not from concentrate” is still pasteurized which means all of the natural vitamin C (and anything else that might be alive and nutritious) is killed by extreme temperatures.

The vitamin C is then added back artificially (which renders it far more difficult for us to assimilate). To make things even creepier tons of chemicals are often used to “re-create” the real orange juice taste and when used in tiny amounts they aren’t even required to be listed on the ingredients. Needless to say, I no longer drink orange juice… but it turns out that not even real oranges are the best source of vitamin C!

Food (portion of 100 g) Orange Cantaloupe Melon Broccoli Kale
Vitamin C 59 mg 228 mg 89 mg 120 mg
Other nutrients potassium vitamin K
vitamin B12
calcium
vitamin A
vitamin C
vitamin K
copper
potassium
iron
manganese
phosphorus

Other significant sources of vitamin C are: kale (120 mg), banana (92 mg), strawberries (58 mg) and turnip greens (60 mg).

 

Summarizing: leafy greens are great sources of potassium, calcium and vitamin C; Bananas and cantaloupe dethrone the citrus fruits as vitamin C queens; and we would all be a lot better off without pasteurized juice!

Read also: Don’t Count Your Calories – Make Your Calories Count

There are many fruits and veggies with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that I didn’t list and the “other nutrients” that I listed only included those with 25% or more of the RDA, I left out many of the nutrients to save space. But even with just the nutrients that I included you can see that if you eat plenty of these foods there is no reason to take chalky chewable vitamins any more.

All of the nutrients we need are hidden in the produce section, your local farmers market, or even in your back yard….

 

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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