Kate's Cuisine

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is part of the Vitamin B complex that although is thought to have no side effects. This makes it a much more desirable option as a supplement than the B6 vitamin in the same family. Vitamin B12 helps with much of the same things the B6 vitamin does such as extracting energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; and it also plays a role in the development and maintenance of the central nervous system. Vitamin B12 also releases the metabolically active form of folate and helps with bone metabolism as well as cell formation. Also similar to Vitamin B6, B12 can also help prevent anemia.

Perhaps because it’s not known to be as aggressive as Vitamin B6, the daily recommended requirements are also not as stringent. Men and women both over the age of 19 are advised to be sure to get 2.4ug/day. However, as we become older, our bodies can’t absorb Vitamin B12 as well and so it’s advised that we eat more Vitamin B12-enriched foods and supplements.

The best ways to get more Vitamin B12 into your diet are by eating meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk products. Breakfast cereals are also often enriched with Vitamin B12.

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is part of the Vitamin B complex and depending on what you’ve needed it for or taken it for, you may have heard varying things about it. Vitamin B6 is critical for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, and helping prevent heart disease by also ensuring that the body’s homocysteine levels are also on track but these really are just a few of the benefits that Vitamin B6 provides.

Vitamin B6 helps metabolize carbohydrates and proteins and it helps create niacin from amino acids. During metabolism, Vitamin B6 also transports iron thereby preventing anemia. Also, both the immune system the central nervous system benefit from Vitamin B6.

Because Vitamin B6 plays such an important role in so many bodily functions, it’s essential that your body has proper amounts of it at all time. A deficiency can cause great problems but so can excess levels of the vitamin. Those who have an excess of Vitamin B6, or are just becoming accustomed to raising their levels to normal through a supplement, may find that they are jittery, have digestion problems, and you could also experience more serious neurological problems. These side effects are generally only present if there’s a severe deficiency or excess but it’s still always important to talk to a doctor before taking these supplements.

Men between the ages of 19-50 should be getting 1.3mg/day and over the age of 50, that amount should be increased to 1.7mg/day. Women who are 19-50 should make sure they have 1.3mg/day and once over the age of 50, that amount goes up to 1.5mg/day.

The best food sources of Vitamin B6 are meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and potatoes. Fruits and vegetables are not usually good sources of Vitamin B6 but watermelon and bananas are a couple of exceptions to that rule.

Jun 12 2009

Niacin

Niacin is an interesting vitamin that the body creates on its own. Because the body is able to produce niacin, the recommended daily intake for men and women is assuming that the body is also making up for some of its own niacin requirement. Men are recommended to have 16mg/day while women are advised to get 14mg/day.

Niacin is very important to the body because it not only obtains energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins but it also helps with the creation of mucous membranes, skin, as well as aids the digestive tract. Niacin also helps control the appetite and helps with nerve function and blood circulation. What might make Niacin a superhero however is that it can help prevent pellagra, which is a disease that can lead to diarrhea, dermatitis, or even death.

Niacin is made from a protein found within the human body. Therefore, eating a diet rich in protein will also help in consuming enough of the daily Niacin that you need.

Jun 12 2009

Riboflavin

Riboflavin is part of the Vitamin B family and more specifically, is also known as Vitamin B2. This vitamin helps extract energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Riboflavin also helps control your metabolism and it also moves around to different areas of the body. Riboflavin is also very important for skin development and creating mucous membranes.

Like Thiamin, Riboflavin is found only in small quantities in food but you also only need small quantities included in your diet. Men should get 1.3mg/day and women should consume 1.1mg/day of Riboflavin. Dairy products are the best sources of riboflavin but it can also be found in enriched grain products and cereals, green, leafy vegetables, liver, beef, lamb, and eggs.

Jun 12 2009

Thiamin

Thiamin is one of those nutrients that you might see on a nutrition label and wonder what the heck it is and why the heck you need it. The fact is you don’t need much Thiamin and men are only required to get 1.2mg/day while women are recommended to get 1.1mg/day. It’s a good thing you don’t need too much because it’s only found in very minute quantities in foods such as pork, seafood, and pinto beans but it’s not found at all in refined foods.

Thiamin not only helps control your appetite but it also gets energy from carbohydrates, and helps the nervous system, heart, and muscular functions.

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is mostly known for its power in helping blood cells, especially when it comes to clotting and because of this, it’s an important vitamin that can help with serious conditions such as hemorrhagic disease.

Men are advised to get 120ug/day of Vitamin K while 90ug/day is recommended for women. Green, leafy vegetables are by far the best source of Vitamin K so things such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and chard are all excellent ways to incorporate it into your diet.

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a vitamin that’s mostly known for its huge antioxidant properties. Vitamin E works to find and destroy free radicals, which can be very dangerous. Free radicals are vicious molecules that can cause things such as heart disease and cancer. The antioxidants found in Vitamin E help destroy these free radicals as well as help boost the immune system. Vitamin E can also help repair damaged DNA.

Both men and women that are over the age of 19 should get 15mg/day of Vitamin E.

Vegetables oils, especially wheat germ oil, are great sources of Vitamin E. These kinds of oils can be found in salad dressings and certain margarines. Nuts, beans, and whole grains are also great sources of Vitamin E, as are green and leafy vegetables.

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