When I think of good nutrition I hearken back to the days of old. When I was just an adorable little tot not wanting to eat my vegetables. Unfortunately what the boss lady says, goes, and I’d be sitting at the dinner table while everyone else was having a raucous good time. Simply because I refused to eat my vegetables.
Looking back I was missing out on a lot. To be honest when it comes to nutrition we may know what is good for us, but many of us aren’t too clear on the why, and well sometimes that makes all the difference.
You see vegetables are chalked full of vitamins and minerals, all of which support vital functions for the body. From performance to even just looking good. Paraphrasing the wise philosopher - Mr. T, “I pity the fool who does not eat his vegetables”. Don’t worry though, there are other solid food sources too.
In order to help you better understand vitamins and minerals I am going to make this a four part series. Making easy to understand and digestible lists (see what I did there?). Today we’re going to focus on Water Soluble Vitamins.
I'm not going to discuss all the main functions and food sources, but I hope what I provide helps.
Water Soluble Vitamins - Vitamins that dissolve in… you guessed it, water.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - Helps your body in producing energy from food
- Popular Food Sources Include; spinach, tuna, and whole grains
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - Involved in red blood cell production, and iron metabolism
- Popular Food Sources include; spinach, eggs, yogurt, and almonds
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - Helps to control cholesterol
- Popular Food Sources include; asparagus, salmon, and whole grains
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - Helps with the formation of acetyl-CoA, a very important molecule for metabolism
- Popular Food Sources include; broccoli, tomatoes, berries, eggs, avocado, and sweet potatoes
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) - Helps with red blood cell metabolism, supports nervous and immune system function
- Popular Food Sources include; bananas, spinach, avocado, tuna, and salmon
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) - Formation of four vital enzymes responsible for chemical processes in the body ranging from energy production to the useof fats
- Popular Food Sources include; green leafy vegetables, salmon, avocado, tomatoes, carrots, almonds, eggs, cucumber, and berries
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Assists in the formation of new proteins, and red blood cell formation/circulation
- Popular Food Sources include; citrus fruits, lettuce and asparagus.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) - Assists in maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells
- Popular Food Sources include; Beef, Tuna, and Eggs
Vitamin C - Protects cells from dangerous chemicals by acting as an antioxidant, develops collagen, an important structural protein
- Food Sources include; broccoli, citrus fruits, strawberries, and asparagus
There you have it. I know this is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but in order to live a healthier life and optimize your performance you need to consider not just carbs, fats, and proteins, but also vitamins and minerals.
Stay tuned for next time when we discuss fat soluble vitamins.