Everyday Foods That are Power-Packed with Vitamins

Vitamins are important to your health – affecting multiple biological processes that help you see, build your blood and bones, and support natural hormone production. Many foods contain more than one vitamin and certain foods are the optimum choice for a particular vitamin. Here are the best choices to make sure you meet your daily vitamin needs.

vitamin rich foods

  • Vitamin A – important to maintain healthy immunity and vision. Best food sources: beef, carrots, sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin B6 – helps metabolize foods, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, make antibodies and promote red blood cell production. Best food sources: Chickpeas (garbanzo bean), fish, bananas.
  • Vitamin B12 – promotes healthy DNA and red blood cell formation and keeps the nervous system healthy. Best food sources: beef, poultry, cheese.
  • Vitamin C – supports healthy immunity and skin. Best food sources: sweet red peppers, potatoes, citrus fruit.
  • Vitamin D – helps promote bone and cell growth, and aids in calcium absorption. Your body makes it from sunlight. Best food sources: cod liver oil, milk, and fish.
  • Vitamin E – supports a healthy immune system and blood vessel function. Best food sources: wheat germ oil, leafy green vegetables, and nuts.
  • Folic Acid (Folate) (Vitamin B9) – folate promotes the healthy growth of new tissue and proteins. Best food sources: beef liver, asparagus, spinach.
  • Vitamin K – required to help the blood clot. Best food sources: kale, cabbage, eggs.
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) – helps convert food into energy. Best food sources: turkey, peanuts, beef.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – used to support natural energy creation and healthy blood cells. Best source: beef liver, lamb, milk.
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – necessary for energy from carbohydrates and helps promote nervous system function. Best source: soybeans, yeast extract, green peas.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Keep Your Food Vitamin C-Rich With These Cooking Tips

keep your foods vitamin c rich

Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is water-soluble. This means that many of the most common cooking methods, such as boiling, can cause the vitamin to leach out of food. While this does pose a few challenges for increasing your intake, it is possible to alter your cooking strategies to keep more vitamin C in your food, while also using supplements to make up for any of ascorbic acid that is lost in the process. Check out these strategies for keeping your food rich in this essential vitamin so your next meal delivers more nutrition.

Choose Foods That Do Not Require Cooking

Some of the best sources of vitamin C require little to no preparation. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that allow you to eat the food in its raw form so that no vitamins are lost through cooking.

For example, bell peppers, mango, kiwi, and berries can all be consumed raw during any meal.

Try Cooking Without Water

Pan-frying, roasting, and searing are all cooking strategies that do not involve using water to soften foods. Although the food may still lose some vitamins, it is typically less than you would lose with a method that uses water. These methods can also enhance the flavor of your food, depending upon which one you choose. For example, roasting vegetables tend to give them a sweeter taste while softening their skins. Stir-frying retains more of the crispness and imparts a flavor that more closely resembles what you enjoy from eating raw vegetables.

Consider Using Less Water

does heat destroy vitamin c

For recipes that require the use of water, you can try using a method that reduces the contact that the water has with the ingredients.

For instance, blanching requires the food to sit in the water for less time, and this method is ideal for softening ingredients such as bell peppers. Steaming is another strategy that allows the heated water to gradually soften the produce without removing all of the vitamin C.

The cooking methods you choose play a big role in how much nutrition you get out of fresh ingredients.

Give a few of these strategies a try during your next several cooking sessions to find the ones that fit your taste and texture preferences the best.

Which Vitamins are Water Soluble?

water soluble vitamins

Vitamins from the food you eat are digested and transported through the body. The description fat-soluble or water-soluble indicates whether the substance can dissolve in fat or water. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue, and excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins are excreted through the kidneys. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K.

water soluble vitamins

Here are the vitamins that are water-soluble:

  • Biotin – Vitamin B7, helps your body produce energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein.
  • Folate – Vitamin B9, used to create DNA and help keep red blood cells healthy.
  • Niacin – Vitamin B3, supports healthy digestion and skin.
  • Pantothenic Acid – Vitamin B5, supports cellular energy production and hormone secretion.
  • Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, helps you metabolize the foods you eat and improve the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.
  • Thiamine – Vitamin B1, critical for keeping nerves healthy and promoting proper nerve transmission.
  • Pyridoxine – Vitamin B6, promotes chemical reactions in the body by acting as a coenzyme; supports metabolism of nutrients and promotes a healthy nervous system and immune system.
  • Cobalamin – Vitamin B12, promotes metabolism, red blood cell health, and immune system and nervous system health.
  • Vitamin C – promotes immune system health and is required to make collagen, an important and plentiful protein used to keep blood vessels, bones, skin and teeth healthy.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Scurvy Symptoms: It’s 2018, But You Might Have Scurvy

Scurvy isn’t something people typically think of unless they’re learning about pirates or watching an old film. The disease, which is caused by a severe deficiency in vitamin C, is typically associated with the 15th to 18th centuries. However, it may still be prevalent in our modern society.

Symptoms of scurvy include:

  • loss of teeth
  • bleeding sores
  • eroding gums
  • skin rashes
  • anemia
  • and more

These symptoms occur because vitamin C is a necessary component in making collagen, which is essential to connective tissues. Vitamin C is also needed for mood stabilization because it aids in synthesizing chemicals such as dopamine, which are needed for positive mood and energy.

You may be at risk for scurvy if you don’t eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, have an eating disorder, have a restrictive diet, or use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco excessively. The elderly are also at an increased risk of developing scurvy because of weakened immune systems.

In 2003 and 2004, researchers for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study collected data about vitamin C levels in the general population, and approximately 7 percent of people had deficiencies so low that they were considered at scurvy levels.1

The disease often affects people who are left out of typical studies, the poor and mentally ill. This may be because people in poverty often have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Produce tends to be more expensive than processed foods such as bread and rice, so people living in poverty may not be taking in the levels of vitamin C they need to remain healthy.

Scurvy is also found at higher numbers in people with mental illness because some mental illnesses lead to unhealthy eating habits.

For example, in 2010, doctors from Springfield Baystate Medical Center treated a man who came into a hospital with bleeding gums, bruises, and severe fatigue. He had a mental illness and had only eaten white bread and American cheese for years. This led to severe vitamin C deficiencies, which led to scurvy, according to Doctor Eric Churchill.2

The doctors who had studied that man’s case at Springfield Baystate Medical Center tested 120 patients with similar symptoms, and 29 of them turned out to have scurvy level deficiencies.2 Cases like these show the importance of having a balanced diet and intake of plenty of vitamins.

Another example is a different patient of Doctor Churchill’s, who ate mainly pizza, Chinese takeout, and burgers and fries. When he was diagnosed with scurvy he was surprised, because he didn’t feel that his diet was that out of the ordinary. But, as he learned, even getting some vegetables into your diet doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get scurvy.2

Everyone absorbs vitamins at different rates. Some people naturally absorb and retain less nutrients from their food than others. These people are at a particular risk of getting scurvy because even if they’re eating what would be enough vitamin C for one person, it may not be enough for them. This is why supplementation may be an important routine to adopt.

Even having vitamin C levels that are low, but not low enough to get scurvy, can be problematic. When you have low vitamin C levels it starts affecting your mood, energy, skin, and overall health. Some less noticeable and less severe warning signs of a vitamin C deficiency are:

  • easily bruising
  • dry scalp
  • frequent nosebleeds
  • inflamed or swollen joints
  • irritated gums
  • and more

To get an adequate intake of vitamin C on a daily basis, incorporate foods that are high in vitamin C in your diet, like oranges, kale, bell peppers, and kiwi. It is best to consume these raw and fresh for optimal vitamin absorption.

If you’re concerned about your vitamin C level, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test can help you understand the levels of many nutrients in your blood.

Understanding nutrition and balanced eating is one key to a healthy life. I bet you’ve heard the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an orange a day keeps the scurvy away.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  1. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/90/5/1252.abstract
  2. http://digital.nepr.net/news/2015/05/25/not-just-for-pirates-and-sailors-scurvy-diagnoses-mount-in-springfield-clinic/

The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

Whether you have recently experienced a change in your health or are dealing with a great deal of fatigue, it is possible your body’s stores of B vitamins have fallen below normal levels. Vitamin B complex supplements contain nutrients such as thiamine and riboflavin that help support a healthy lifestyle by giving your body what it needs for optimum functioning. Although these nutrients are commonly found in food, it is possible that your body runs through its stores too fast, especially when you are ill or under a lot of stress. As you explore ways to improve your health, keep the benefits of vitamin B complex in mind to determine if you need a supplement.

Support a Health Energy Level
Fatigue is a common sign that your vitamin B levels are deficient, and taking a supplement may be a better option than using caffeine or sugar to give you a quick boost. Unlike caffeine, B vitamins do not cause you to “crash” later. Especially if you choose a vitamin B complex source that does not contain sugar.

Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Each component of a vitamin B supplement plays an important role in how your body functions. For instance, thiamine helps to convert food into energy, and it is essential to have enough of this vitamin in your system to ensure this process occurs correctly. When your blood sugar levels are already healthy, B vitamins help you maintain healthy levels by supporting proper digestion of food and transporting nutrients where they are needed the most.

Support Your Weight Loss Efforts
When your body is running optimally, it is easier to maintain a healthy weight. The symptoms of vitamin B deficiency such as fatigue may cause you to skip workouts or give into food cravings in an attempt to feel better. Replenishing these stores of vitamins help to increase your ability to lose weight and keep it off as you begin to feel more energized.

When you know that something is off with your energy levels, don’t turn to temporary methods such as caffeine to lift you up. Instead, have your doctor check your B vitamin levels and choose a long-term solution that benefits your overall health.

How Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C Helps Support a Healthy Immune System

Lypo-Spheric-Vitamin-C-LivOn-Labs

Vitamin C supplements are well known for providing a boost in immunity and helping your body stay healthy. But our bodies don’t store Vitamin C indefinitely, and we have to continually “re-stock” our supply. So how do you ensure the Vitamin C gets where it needs to go?

What is Lypo-Spheric™ Technology?

Lypo-Spheric™ technology uses liposomes, which are tiny spherical containers that protect nutrients and allow them to travel to the bloodstream and into the cells. By maximizing the absorption of Vitamin C into the bloodstream and cells, your body is better able to support your immune system.
Because Vitamin C is water soluble, a healthy body can only absorb and retain a limited amount of Vitamin C. Lypo-Spheric™ technology allows the protected Vitamin C to bypass absorption barriers and deliver more Vitamin C into the bloodstream than previously thought possible. With Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C, less Vitamin C is passed as waste, which reduces the risk of upset stomach, including bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Try Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C supplements to get the benefits of improved absorption and immune system support.

Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?

Vitamin-C-Intake-LivOn-Labs

Vitamin C is a natural nutrient that is essential to your overall health. It helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, supports the immune system and aids in iron absorption. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C for adults is 65mg to 90mg per day, with the upper end of tolerance hovering around 2,000mg. However, megadoses are often used without side effects.

While the general medical consensus is that megadoses of Vitamin C do not cause harm, there are possible negative side effects. Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means it does not accumulate in the body. Instead, any unabsorbed vitamin C passes through the body as waste. As a result, some people experience digestive issues when they consume large amounts of it, such as loose stools, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bloating and cramps.

Taking higher doses may also inhibit the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy treatments and prescription drugs, including medications used to lower cholesterol, slow blood clotting and treat HIV/AIDS.

For most people, the risks associated with high doses of Vitamin C are very low. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including oranges and other citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Vitamin C supplements are also an excellent way to get the recommended daily dose.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin-B12-Deficiency-LivOn-Labs

Vitamin B12, otherwise known as cobalamin, is an essential water-soluble vitamin. It plays a vital role in DNA and red blood cell production and also supports the nervous system. It is typically found in fish, poultry, meats, dairy, eggs, and fortified products. Unfortunately, Vitamin B12 deficiency is still common, particularly among the elderly population.

Following are 9 signs and symptoms that may indicate a B12 deficiency.

1. Jaundiced or Pale Skin

Individuals with Vitamin B12 deficiency often appear pale or have a subtle yellow tinge to their skin and the white of their eyes, a result of jaundice.

2. Fatigue and Weakness

Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect your body’s ability to produce adequate amounts of red blood cells. Without enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body, you can feel weak and tired.

3. “Pins and Needles” Sensation

Nerve damage, a more serious side effect, can result from long-term Vitamin B12 deficiency. This is because B12 plays a crucial role in the production of myelin, a substance that insulates and protects nerves. A common symptom of possible nerve damage due to Vitamin B12 deficiency is having a sensation of “pins and needles”.

4. Mobility Changes

If left untreated, damage to your nervous system caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect the way you move and walk.

5. Glossitis

One of the early signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency is glossitis, a swollen, red tongue.

6. Breathlessness and Dizziness

Anemia that results from B12 deficiency can cause some individuals to feel dizzy and breathless. This happens because the body is unable to provide adequate oxygen to all its cells.

7. Disturbed or Blurred Vision

Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause disturbed or blurred vision in some individuals.

8. Changes in Behavior or Mood

Individuals with Vitamin B12 deficiency have reported significant and sudden changes in their mood.

9. High Temperature

Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in a high body temperature, although this is a rare symptom.

The Negative Effects of Sugar on Vitamin C Intake

Negative-Effects-Sugar-Vitamin-C

From an early age, we learn that Vitamin C helps support the body’s immune system by supporting the activities of antimicrobial and natural killer cells and protecting those cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress. Although many people reach for fruit juices rich in Vitamin C, this can be counterproductive because they also contain large amounts of sugar.

Studies have found that excessive amounts of sugar, or glucose, in the body can inhibit the absorption of Vitamin C. In the 1970s, researchers established that sugar and Vitamin C have a similar structure and enter cells using the same pathway. This makes sense because most animals use glucose to manufacture Vitamin C in their bodies. However, humans do not have the L-gulonolactone oxidase enzyme needed to synthesize Vitamin C. Instead, we must get the nutrient through foods or Vitamin C supplements.

Both Vitamin C and glucose can enter cells using a critical protein known as the Glut-1 receptor.  The Glut-1 receptor has a preference for glucose, which means it will choose sugar over Vitamin C when given the opportunity. This poses a particular challenge for white blood cells, which need as much as 50 times more Vitamin C within their cell walls than in the surrounding blood plasma to effectively combat the effects of oxidative stress.

So, instead of reaching for fruit juice or other high-sugar drinks as your source of Vitamin C, try eating vegetables that contain high amounts of Vitamin C, such as spinach, peas and broccoli. It could also be helpful to take Vitamin C supplements.

The Role of Vitamin C in Copper and Iron Absorption

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is considered the most common and widespread nutritional issue in the world. More iron is absorbed when iron stores are low, while less is absorbed if the body’s stores are appropriate. Dietary iron is in the form of either heme iron or nonheme iron. Although the iron found in meat (heme iron) is easily absorbed, the iron in plant-based foods and eggs (non-heme iron) is absorbed differently, as it  depends on the presence of other nutrients.

The non-heme iron in vegetables, egg yolks, fruits, grains, iron-fortified products, nuts, and seeds is absorbed less efficiently than the heme iron found in poultry, fish, and meat. Fortunately, Vitamin C assists the body in absorbing more non-heme iron from these sources, thereby improving the body’s ability to utilize more iron from these sources than it could otherwise. Vitamin C can also help overcome some of the negative effects of phytonutrients such as phytic acid, tannins, polyphenols, and oxalic acid, which can interfere with non-heme iron absorption. Vitamin C can be obtained from supplements or from dietary sources such as broccoli, oranges, kiwi, tomatoes, bell peppers, mangoes, and strawberries.

Copper is essential to several processes within the body, including iron metabolism.  There are four copper-containing enzymes – called multi-copper oxidases (MCO) – that can change ferrous iron to ferric iron, the form or iron needed for red blood cell formation.  These enzymes make up the ceruloplasmin levels in the body.

Although Vitamin C supplements have been found to contribute to copper deficiency in animals, Vitamin C’s effect on the nutritional status of copper in humans is still being studied. Two minor studies on healthy young men indicated the oxidase activity of ceruloplasmin may be lowered by higher doses of Vitamin C supplements. One of the studies found that a total of 1,500mg of Vitamin C taken each day for two months resulted in lower ceruloplasmin activity. The other study indicated that 605 mg of Vitamin C supplements per day for 3 weeks created a decline in ceruloplasmin oxidase activity but did not cause copper absorption to decline. Neither of the studies determined supplementing with Vitamin C negatively affects copper nutritional status.

  1. Hickey S., Roberts H, Miller N, (2008), “Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C” Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine July 31.