Kate's Cuisine

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin D

Vitamin D may be known as the Sunshine Vitamin because the sun’s rays do provide an excellent source of Vitamin D that is easily absorbed through our skin. However, because of its amazing ability to help with bone growth and development, it may be more appropriate to call it the Bone Vitamin.

Vitamin D helps maintain proper bone growth and development by ensuring that there are always proper levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body. In addition to being important to bone growth, Vitamin D also greatly helps with cell formation. For both of these reasons, Vitamin D is also crucial in fetal development. The vitamin can not only help with bone growth but can also act when bones are in need of repair, such as when a child develops rickets.

Because Vitamin D helps so much with bone growth, it’s important that a person take more of it as they get older and their bones are sure to become more brittle. Men and women both don’t need more than 5ug/day until the age of 50. From the ages of 51 – 70 both men and women should be sure to get 10ug/day. After the age of 70, the levels of Vitamin D needed per day jump to 15ug/day.

It’s true that the sun’s UV rays are excellent sources of Vitamin D. However, you can still include it into your diet with salmon, cod liver oil, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, which are all great sources of Vitamin D. Some breakfast cereals and certain types of milk are also fortified with the essential vitamin.

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that most people know is important to take but many don’t know just how important it is. Vitamin C has so many benefits, not the least of which is being an extremely powerful antioxidant.

This essential vitamin also helps the body create collagen, which helps bones and teeth grow, promotes blood vessel health, and can help heal wounds! And although many know to start taking Vitamin C when they’re sick, if at  no other time, they may not necessarily know why. The reason is because Vitamin C can greatly help against infections and sickness and is most commonly known for preventing the common cold. However, other than the cold, Vitamin C can also help prevent many types of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and cataracts.

Men over the age of 19 should make sure they are getting at least 90mg/day of Vitamin while women over the age of 19 should get at least 75mg/day. Fruits and vegetables are the highest sources of Vitamin C in foods and kiwi, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, and bananas are all excellent sources.

Jun 12 2009

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is mostly known for its carotene and retinol properties. These are what make Vitamin A such a powerful aid in vision and tissue and bone repair. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and can be particularly helpful with night vision. It’s also especially important to the reproduction system as it greatly helps with fetal development. Vitamin A can also give the immune system a big boost, helping you ward off sickness and infection.

Males over the age of 19 should get at least 900ug/day while females over the age of 19 should get at least 700ug/day.

It’s well known that carrots can help you with your vision and it’s true these are a great source of Vitamin A. Other orange and red fruit as well as leafy greens are also great sources of this essential vitamin. Dairy products that are low in fat are also good ways to include Vitamin A into your diet because these are supplemented with the vitamin to make up for the missing fat. Other milk products, whole eggs, and beef liver are all also good sources.

Jun 12 2009


Fibre is an amazing thing. Fibre, or roughage as it’s also known, contains no fat, cholesterol or calories and is not digested by the body. This makes it the perfect nutrient to flush out our systems and help us lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Fibre can also help you lose weight because it’s food that ‘sticks to your ribs’ so you’ll feel for a long time after eating just a little bit of fibre. And because of its aggressive position, fibre can also help maintain a healthy GI tract. But fibre’s good for more than just helping with weight and digestion issues. Fibre can also help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many kinds of cancer.

Males that are between the ages of 19 and 50 should get at least 38g/day of fibre while males older than 51 can do with 30g/day. Females between the ages of 19 and 50 should get 25g/day of fibre while those over the age of 51 are usually recommended to get 21g/day.

Whole grain products are by far the richest foods in fibre. These are foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, barley, bulgar, whole grain cereals, and whole grain pastas. Fibre can also be found on the inside of any plant cell’s wall so fruits and vegetables also all have fibre in them.

Jun 12 2009


Protein shakes, protein supplements, protein bars, and labels shouting at you from every grocery aisle that this particular product has all the protein you need! Yes indeed, everybody wants protein and no one can seem to get enough. What is it about this vital micronutrient that bodybuilders, athletes, and other fitness freaks are raving about?

Protein is very important as it’s responsible for much of what our bodies do. Muscles, organs, skin, and blood cells are all constructed from protein plus it boosts our immune systems to help defend against sickness. Not only that but it can really kick your metabolism into gear, which is one reason why those who are looking to lose weight love it!

Males over the age of 19 should get at least 56g/day of protein while females over the age of 19 should get at least 46g/day. Because we also need protein for energy, it should constitute between 10% – 35% of our energy source for one day.

Think healthy foods and you’ll most likely soon have a long list of foods that contain protein. Meat, fish, milk products, nuts, seeds, grains, tofu, and legumes are all great sources of protein.

Jun 12 2009


Ask any dieter what their biggest enemy is and they’re likely to tell you fat. True, fat can be a big problem, if there’s an excess of it and if it’s the wrong kind of fat. But fat is just another one of those macronutrients that no matter how badly you want to, you just can’t get rid of it once and for all.

Like its other disliked macronutrient, the carbohydrate, fat is an essential source of energy for us and can help us feel sustained in between meals and when we must go long periods of time without food. Fat also of course protects our bones and absorbs shock as well as insulates our bodies to keep us warm. But one of fat’s most surprising attributes is that although saturated fat can promote heart disease, unsaturated fats can decrease your chance of heart problems.

At least 20% of our energy each day should come from fat, and that number can go as high as 35%. It’s important to keep in mind though that only 10% of our intake should come from saturated fats such as potato chips, beef, pork, and butter. The remaining percentage should come from unsaturated fats only and these foods include vegetable oils, avocados, salmon, nuts, and flaxseed.

Jun 12 2009


Carbohydrates, also called carbs and sugars, have gotten a really bad name in the press. Those who are trying to maintain a slim weight, or lose weight, are often known to swear off carbs completely. But these breads, rices, and starches aren’t all bad.

Both males and females over the age of 19 should get about 130g/day of carbohydrates. They are the main energy source of the body and because the body stores it as glycogen, carbs also provide an energy reserve.

You can find carbohydrates in just about anything you eat which is why swearing them off completely is difficult. Breads and other starchy foods are usually to blame for sources of carbs but carbohydrates are also found in all plants, such as fruits and vegetables.

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