I have been asked by clients which vitamins I take on a daily basis. I have listed the following cocktail of vitamins and an explanation of the benefits of each of them.
- Vitamin C in absorbic acid form or natural camu camu powder (2-3000mg)
- Vitamin D in oil base 1-4000iu
- Cod liver oil 3000mg
- Psyllium husk
- Progressive Vege Greens
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and has several important functions:
It is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs
The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal
It improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease
It acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultra violet light from the sun
Camu camu is loaded with vitamin C, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and other nutrients. It’s one of the healthiest superfoods available, and has more vitamin C than any other food in the world. One serving of camu camu has 60 times the amount of vitamin C found in a single orange; this translates to 3,575% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C for every 100 grams of camu camu. Even just a tablespoon of camu camu powder can give you way more vitamin C you need for the day. Many of the health benefits of camu camu come from this extraordinarily high amount of vitamin C. Strengthening your immune system, fighting ageing, and reducing inflammation are just some of its potential health benefits.
Vitamin D which is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” since it is made by the body after being in the sun and 10-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D for most people. Those who do not live in sunny places may not make enough vitamin D and it is hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is required for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
I take my vitamin D3 in liquid drops in a base of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as a fat soluble vitamin, Vitamin D3 is best absorbed in a natural food oil base.
Probiotics is the name given to living micro-organisms – often referred to as “friendly” bacteria – that may have health benefits in the body. Many probiotic bacteria are similar to those found naturally found in the body, especially in the digestive tract.
Probiotics have become popular in supplements and as food ingredients, mostly used to promote healthy digestion. They are found naturally in fermented foods (such as saurkraut), yoghurt and kefir, fermented soy products, and in probiotic ‘shot’ drinks where their numbers are far, far higher than the levels found in fermented foods. They are also available as freeze-dried powders, capsules, and tablets. All probiotics must contain viable bacteria that are ‘alive’ when consumed.
Cod liver oil is the essential oil extracted from the livers of cod. The oil is commonly taken as a dietary supplement. It is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and contains relatively high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D. The exact concentration of nutrients in cod liver oil depends on the species of cod the oil comes from.
Fat is essential for every single cell in your body and by eating the right kinds of fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil, your skin will glow, you will have increased vitamin and mineral absorption and a boost to your immune system. Eating healthy fats with a meal helps slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, which helps to keep blood sugars levels in your blood stable.
The list of benefits of taking cod liver oil are:
- Maintains joint mobility and flexibility
- Could also be beneficial for your heart as they have beneficial effects on blood pressure, blood stickiness, inflammation and are prescribed to lower abnormally high blood fat levels
- Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D3, which is essential for absorbing dietary calcium and maintaining strong, healthy bones. Low intakes increase risk of rickets in children and, in adults, of osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and osteoporosis (brittle bones)
- Omega-3 fish oils, especially DHA, may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration
- DHA plays an important structural role within brain cell membranes, improving their fluidity so that messages are passed on more rapidly from one cell to another. EPA is involved in cell signalling and also improves communication between brain cells
Psyllium is a form of fibre made from the Plantago ovata plant, a native of India and Pakistan, specifically from the husks of the plant’s seed. It’s most commonly known as a laxative. Research shows that psyllium has many benefits to the human body, from your heart to your pancreas.
Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative, which means it soaks up water in your gut and makes bowel movements much easier. Results are still mixed when it comes to psyllium and whether it is beneficial to irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.
Research has also shown that soluble fibre can help manage cholesterol levels.
Psyllium is used in weight control and for general intestinal health. It contains a spongy fibre that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. It can provide the fibre that is missing on low carbohydrate diets. Studies and clinical reports suggest that psyllium may enhance the sensation of fullness and reduce hunger cravings.
VegeGreens is a comprehensive combination of over 60 land, sea and cruciferous vegetables, as well as super green foods, plant oils, phytonutrients, herbs & extracts and botanicals. With its eight distinctive blends of green foods and plant extracts, it supplies a spectrum of nutrients ranging from the rare trace minerals found in sea vegetables to the health-enhancing compounds exclusive to cruciferous vegetables. It is said to
- Increase energy & renew mental clarity
- Help to cleanse your body, strengthen immunity & balance pH
- Support your heart, liver and digestive health
How to get enough vitamins
The best way to get your vitamins is through the food you eat and if you are eating a healthy and varied diet, you probably are getting all the vitamins your body needs. Talk your diet over with your personal trainer and maybe make a few tweaks here and there to make it even healthier.
Vitamin A which is essential for growth and cell development, vision and immune function, healthy skin and hair and protects against infections and disease as it is a powerful antioxidant. Make sure your diet includes some of these
- Raw carrots
- Oily fish
- Egg yolk
- Fortified milk and dairy products – cheese, butter, yoghurt, cream
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Sweet red peppers
- Cantaloupe melons
Vitamin D essential for healthy bones is manufactured mainly by the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. Other good sources include
- Fish (fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and tuna)
- Fish liver oils (cod liver oil)
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified milk and dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream)
Vitamin E is an antioxidant needed for healthy skin, a good strong immune system and a healthy heart, so make sure you include some of the following in your diet
- Dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and turnip greens)
- Oils (safflower, corn, and sunflower)
- Tuna and salmon
- Wholegrains including oats, rye and brown rice
- Papaya and mango
- Sunflower seeds and nuts, almonds are good
- Wheat germ and wheat germ oil
Vitamin K which is great for building and maintaining healthy, strong bones and essential for helping blood to clot properly can be got from eating these
- Egg yolk
- Fish oils
- Dairy produce
- Green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower,
- asparagus, parsley
- Avocado, kiwi, grapes
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) is needed for energy production, carbohydrate digestion, a healthy nervous system and heart function can be sourced in
- Enriched bread and flour
- Lean meats
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains, rye, oats, millet, quinoa
Niacin (Vitamin B3) among other things is good for hormone synthesis, such as insulin the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body and also for thyroxine, serotonin and other mood and brain hormones. It is found in foods that are high in protein and includes
- Enriched breads and fortified cereals
- Fish (tuna and salt-water fish)
- Lean meats and poultry
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) is needed for conversion of fats and carbohydrates into energy and the best sources are
- Broccoli, kale, and other vegetables in the cabbage family
- Egg yolks
- Legumes and lentils
- White and sweet potatoes
- Whole-grain cereals rye, millet, barley
Pyroxidine (Vitamin B6) is involved in more bodily processes than any other vitamin, one being it helps form haemoglobin – the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body and maintain brain function. This found in the following
- Lean red meat
- Egg yolks
- Dairy produce
- Oily fish
- Wheat germ
Biotin (Vitamin B7) also know as Vitamin H, is needed for healthy hair, nails, skin and energy production and is best found in
- Brewer’s yeast
- Soy products
- Brown rice
- Egg yolk
Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is most famous for its role in helping to prevent neural defects during pregnancy but it is also good for the immune system, energy production and in preventing anaemia. This can be found in
- Asparagus, broccoli, sprouts, carrots, kale, spinach
- Brewer’s yeast
- Dried beans (cooked pinto, navy, kidney, and lima)
- Fortified cereals
- Wholewheat and rye
- Oranges and orange juice, apricots
- Pumpkins, squashes and melons
- Peanut butter
- Wheat germ
Vitamin B12 is needed for growth, the digestive and nervous system, as well as the production of energy and healthy blood cells. It is also worth noting that after the age of 50, the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food declines and animal sources of this vitamin are better absorbed by the body than that from plant sources. So source your vitamin from
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified foods such as soy-milk
- Vegetarian can also consider seaweed and spirulina
- Milk and milk products
- Liver and kidney)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is required for a strong immune system, a healthy heart, good skin and gums, and helping to preventing diseases like heart disease and cancer and helping wounds to heal properly.
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet peppers
- Strawberries, pomegranates, citrus fruits, kiwi, peaches
- Tomato juice
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly. Most people should get all the nutrients they need by eating a varied and balanced diet, your personal trainer can advise with healthy, balanced diet. Each of the vitamins has an important job in the body, a vitamin deficiency occurs when you do not get enough of a certain vitamin and this deficiency can cause health problems.
There are two types of vitamins, the first being fat soluble –
- Vitamin A which helps form and maintain healthy teeth, bones, soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin
- Vitamin D which is also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” since it is made by the body after being in the sun and 10-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D for most people. Those who do not live in sunny places may not make enough vitamin D and it is hard to get enough vitamin D from food sources alone. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is required for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus
- Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, which means it helps wounds to heal properly and there is some evidence that vitamin K is also needed to help keep bones healthy.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant also known as tocopherol, which protects cell membranes, this helps to maintain healthy skin, eyes and strengthens the immune system. It helps the body form red blood cells and use vitamin K.
These fat soluble vitamins are found mainly in fatty foods and animal products, such as vegetable oils, milk and dairy foods, eggs, liver, oily fish and butter. Although your body needs these vitamins every day to work properly, you don’t need to eat foods containing them every day. Your body stores these vitamins in your liver and fatty tissues for future use. However, if you have much more than you need, fat-soluble vitamins can be harmful.
The second kind are water soluble vitamins –
- Vitamin C also called ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums. It helps the body absorb iron and maintain healthy connective tissue which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs and promotes wound healing
The B vitamins
- Thiamin (vitamin B1) which works with other B-group vitamins to help break down and release energy from food. It is also essential for heart function and healthy nerve cells
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) which keeps skin, eyes and the nervous system healthy and helping the body release energy from the food we eat, and is important for body growth and the production of red blood cells
- Niacin (vitamin B3) helps to release energy from the foods we eat and helps to keep the nervous systems and skin healthy
- Pantothenic acid is essential for the metabolism of food (releasing the energy from the food we eat) and also plays a role in the production of hormones and cholesterol
- Vitamin B6 is also called pyridoxine, helps form haemoglobin – the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body and maintain brain function. This vitamin also plays an important role in the proteins that are part of many chemical reactions in the body, it allows the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food
- Biotin (vitamin B7) is essential for the metabolism of fat, very small amounts are needed. The bacteria that live naturally in your bowel are able to make biotin, so it’s not clear if you need any additional biotin from the diet
- Vitamin B12 is involved in making red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy
releasing energy from the food we eat and the processing of folic acid
- Folic acid works together with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells and helps to reduce the risk of central nervous system defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies
You need these vitamins more frequently as the body does not store them and if you have more than you need, your body gets rid of the extra vitamins when you urinate. Water-soluble vitamins are found in a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, potatoes, grains, milk and dairy foods. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they can be destroyed by heat or being exposed to the air and can also be lost in water used for cooking. The best way to keep as many of the water-soluble vitamins as possible is to steam or grill foods, rather than boil them, or to use the cooking water in soups or stews rather than pouring it away.