Ask the Nutritionist: Nutrient knowledge

 Q: I take a multivitamin, but I’d like to make a bigger effort in getting the nutrients I need from whole foods as well. What should I be eating?
 
A: Optimally, it would be great if you could get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need from the whole foods you consume every day, but sometimes a multivitamin is a necessity as well. With that being said, here’s a little rundown of the key nutrients, what they do for you, and what whole food sources you can find them in:
 
Vitamin A: Promotes good vision; maintains healthy skin, cells and tissues 
Orange or yellow vegetables and fruits and dark green leafy vegetables
Vitamin C: Promotes healthy gums and teeth; necessary for the production of collagen; is a potent antioxidant
Citrus, berries, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, 
Vitamin E: An antioxidant which keeps cells and tissues healthy 
Vegetable oil, nuts, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables
Vitamin K: Essential for normal blood clotting 
Dark green leafy vegetables, dairy products
Vitamin B1: Necessary for heart function and healthy nervous system 
Whole grains, legumes, pork, seeds/nuts
Vitamin B2: Essential for growth and production of red blood cells 
Dairy products, meat, poultry, fish, enriched grain products, dark green leafy vegetables
Vitamin B3: Helps to maintain healthy skin, nerves and digestive system 
Meat, poultry, fish, nuts, dairy products; peanut butter
Vitamin B6: Aids in protein metabolism and helps to maintain brain and nervous system functions 
Whole grains, legumes (beans), meat, poultry, fish, nuts
Vitamin B12: Necessary for development of red blood cells and normal nervous system function  Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs
Phosphorus: Necessary for energy metabolism and for healthy bones and teeth 
Fish, meat, poultry, milk, cereal products
Chromium: Maintains normal metabolism and is important in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats 
Liver, yeast, cheese, wheat germ, mushrooms, seafood 
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Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this Site is intended to provide health care advice. Should you have any health care-related questions, please call or see your physician or other health care provider. Consult your physician or health care provider before beginning the Atkins Diet as you would any other weight loss or weight maintenance program. The weight loss phases of the Atkins Diet should not be used by persons on dialysis or by pregnant or nursing women.