Exploring Micronutrients: Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Last month we explored water-soluble vitamins. This month we’ll briefly go over fat-soluble vitamins which are absorbed along with fats and stored in our fat and liver. We don’t need to eat these everyday and do not need additional supplementation. Please speak to a registered healthcare professional if you have any dietary questions.
- Vitamin A: supports immune system function and maintains vision and skin health. Food sources include liver, cheese, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, pumpkin, and melon.
- Vitamin D: helps the body to absorb calcium, maintains bones, teeth and muscles and supports a healthy immune system. Good sources include oily fish, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals and during spring and summer, we can get it from sunlight.
- Vitamin E: has an antioxidant role which protects cells in our bodies against damage. Food sources include vegetable and seed oils e.g olive, rapeseed, and sunflower, nuts and seeds, avocados, and olives.
- Vitamin K: helps our blood clot normally and supports healthy bone structure. Food sources include green vegetables e.g broccoli, peas, green beans and kale, and some oils e.g olive, soya, and rapeseed.
Exploring micronutrients: Minerals
Minerals are important for a variety of functions. We need varying amounts depending on our age and sex. As a rule, a balanced and varied diet will provide all essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. For specific information, talk to a registered healthcare professional.
- Calcium: helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Alongside supports correct nerve and muscle function and helps blood clot correctly. Good sources include milk, cheese, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, wholegrain and white breads, and canned fish which contain bones.
- Fluoride: forms strong and healthy teeth and protects against decay. Good sources include tap water, tea, and toothpaste.
- Iodine: supports thyroid health and normal brain function. Good sources include milk, yogurt, cheese, fish, shellfish, eggs and fortified dairy alternatives.
- Iron: helps release energy from good, maintains strong bones and helps normal muscle and nerve functions. Good sources include wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholegrain and seeded breads, brown rice, nuts, and seeds.
- Phosphorus: this helps build strong bones and teeth and helps to release energy from food. Good food sources include chicken, red meat, cheese, milk, fish, wholegrain products and eggs.
- Potassium: regulates water content in the body and maintains normal blood pressure. Good sources include bananas, blackcurrants, avocado, parsnips, dried apricots, sultanas and figs, chicken, red meat, fish, milk, and wholegrain breakfast cereals.
- Salt: regulates water around the body. This is needed in small amounts which can be obtained from food sources where salt has been added. Most people need to reduce their intake.
- Selenium: protects the cells in our bodies against damage, supports immune system, skin and nail health. Good sources include nuts, seeds, eggs, offal, chicken, fish and shellfish.
- Zinc: Contributes to normal brain health and maintains normal skin, hair and nails. Also helps wounds to heal normally. Good sources include meat, chicken, cheese, crabs, mussels, nuts and seeds, wholegrain breakfast cereals and breads.