With the start of a new year, we are inundated with advice from television shows on how to live longer, healthier and better. I waver between annoyance and fascination as I hear about the newest food that will prevent cancer, wrinkles and/or depression. But curiosity finally got the best of me so I made a list of my favorite foods and then researched their benefits (Brigham and Women’s Hospitals).
Vitamin A (retinol) is found in tuna, eggs, cheese and milk are rich in that benefits your skin, immunity and vision.
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is found in lean pork and ham, peas, rice, black and pinto beans, pecans, peanuts and soybeans and benefits nerve function, energy production and helps convert excess carbohydrates to fat for storage.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is found in low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, dark leafy greens (Arugula, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss Chard, broccoli), asparagus and Brussels sprouts and protects against anemia and cancer.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) lowers cholesterol and protects against cardiovascular disease. Foods rich in vitamin B3 are found in low-fat meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, peanut butter and potatoes.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can help decrease heart disease and improve glucose tolerance. It can also help improve carpal tunnel syndrome, mood and sleep disorders. Foods such as banana, avocado, brown rice, soybeans and broccoli are all rich in vitamin B6.
Beta Carotene is an antioxidant that improves cancer-protective properties and is found in dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots and pumpkin.
Vitamin C protects against cancer, improves your immune system and help ward off allergies and heart disease. This vitamin is found in green and red peppers, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, collards, strawberries, citrus and papaya.
Calcium is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, prevents some cancers and is useful in treatment of high blood pressure and food full of calcium include low-fat milk, yogurt, dairy, broccoli, salmon and sesame seeds.
Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and helps maintain healthy nerves and muscles. Eat eggs, salmon and sardines along with low-fat milk.
These are just a few of the important vitamins we can find in food, and a picture quickly emerged for me as I was doing this research. It’s really quite simple to eat healthy! All the foods that are good for us- fish, lean meat, dark green vegetables, eggs, dairy products, fruit, the whole lot are easily found at our local grocer. These are the foods that contain the array of vitamins that help us stay healthy. And if the added bonus is smoother skin and thicker hair, I’ll take that too.