Vitamins and minerals are needed in the body in small amounts to enable it to grow, develop and function.
A diet that has plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed foods, should provide ample amount of vitamins and minerals.
A lot of the nutrients are lost through, processing, freezing, and canning.
Fruits and vegetables also lose some of their goodness through whilst left standing in the bowl
Below are a list of vitamins and their sources as well as the benefits attributable to them.
Source: Eggs, butter, fish, oils, green and yellow fruits and vegetables, liver
Essential for: strong bones, good eyesight, healthy skin, and healing
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Source: Plant and animal foods, especially wholegrain products, brown rice, seafood, and beans
Essential for: Nerve function, conversion of blood sugar into energy
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Source: Milk and dairy produce, green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney, yeast,
Essential for: Cell growth and reproduction and production of energy.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Source: Meat, fish and poultry, wholegrain peanuts and avocados
Essential for: Digestion, energy and the nervous system
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Source: Organ meats, fish, eggs, chicken, nuts and wholegrain cereals
Essential for: Strengthening immunity and fighting infection, healing wounds
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine acid)
Source: Meat, eggs, wholegrain, yeast, cabbage, melon, molasses
Essential for: healthy immune system, production of antibodies, white blood cells, new cells
Vitamin B 12
Source: Fish, dairy produce, beef, pork, lamb, organ meat, eggs, milk
Essential for: Energy and concentration, production of red blood cells, growth in children
Source: Fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, leafy green herbs and berries
Essential for: Healthy skin, bones, muscle, healing, eyesight, and protection from viruses
Source: Milk, and dairy produce, eggs, fatty fish
Essential for: Healthy teeth, bones, vital for growth.
Source: Nuts, seeds, eggs, milk, wholegrain, leafy vegetables, avocados, and soya
Essential; for absorption of iron, and essential fatty acids slowing the aging process.
Source: Green vegetables, milk products apricots, wholegrain, cod liver oils
Essential for: Blood clotting
Source: Dairy produce, leafy greens, vegetables, salmon, nuts, root vegetables, tofu
Essential for: strong bones and teeth, hormones, and muscles, blood clotting, regulation of blood process
Source: Liver, kidney, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, shellfish, pulses, dark green vegetables, egg yolk, red meat, beans, molasses
Essential for: supply of oxygen to the cells and immune system
Source: Brown rice, soya beans, nuts, wholegrain, bitter chocolate, legumes
Essential for: Transmission of nerve impulses, development of bones, growth, and repair of cells, development, and function of enzymes, and metabolism in general
Source: Avocados, leafy green vegetables, banana, fruit and vegetable juices, potatoes, and nuts
Essential for: maintaining water balance, and nerve and muscle function
As we get older, our organs function less efficiently, absorption of essential nutrients and minerals become less.
It is, therefore, necessary to take in supplements to make up for the loss.
A few tips on to retain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals during cooking.
So now the question is how we get the most out of the food we eat.
The way we cook determines to a large extent, whether we preserve the nutrients or destroy them.
Cooking certainly affects the calorie content and its nutrients.
If we steam our vegetables, stir-fry, or cook only briefly in a microwave, we would retain the nutrients.
On the hand when we cook the process would allow the nutrients to seep into the water.
Also when we add, oils, fats, lard or butter to whatever we are cooking, the result is that we add more calories.
Similarly adding sugar or honey to whatever we are cooking constitutes adding more calories and carbohydrate value.
Soups, stews, and casseroles tend to preserve more of their nutritional values, as vitamins and minerals are retained in the broth.
Grilling your meat on a tray would allow the fat in the meat to drip off.
Finally, the shorter the cooking time the more nutrients will be retained, and the less fat and sugars added the better.