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What’s in your food? – Vitamins.

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How many of you take, or have taken some kind of supplement or vitamin for health?

I would imagine a lot of you.

With healthy food gaining more attention than ever in the press, social media, and through the new drive to combat obesity during the COVID-19 pandemic.  One question still remains…

Do you actually know why you should eat more healthily?

At KBK, we ensure that every meal we send out to you is packed full of the good stuff.  It is not just about the ingredients themselves, but the hugely positive effect they will have on your journey to improved body and mind. It’s all well and good taking our word for it. But we wanted to go further, teaching you about the micronutrients present in your meal prep or the food that you eat at home.  Connecting you to the process of health.

Over the coming weeks, I want to help cut through any confusion you may have around vitamins, minerals and the other nutrients present in the food you eat each and every day. We will head straight into each micronutrient group and show you the true benefits of consuming them and how they contribute to your overall physical and mental health.

I get it. A lot of you at some point will have been put off the concept of eating plenty of vegetables and ‘clean’ meals.  You’d rather eat something a little more hyper-palatable and satisfying on the senses. Through my experience, this lack of connection to healthier food options is down to missing education.  The healthy ingredients you eat are packed full of life-giving micronutrients.  Ones that when eaten in the right quantities will literally supercharge your life.

In this article, vitamins will be on the show.  They are the lifeforce for everything we do.  If taken in the right quantities, boundless energy and vitality is the outcome.  Yet, when we fall short, certain issues can arise.

Let’s delve into vitamins, the different types and their benefits.

What is a vitamin?

‘Any of a group of organic compounds which are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body.’

Notice the keyword here.  Essential.  Without ingesting vitamins through diet and/or supplementation we simply cannot function. There are 13 vitamins.

A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate).

Each one plays a key role both individually and in combination with others to provide optimal health.  For example.

Vitamin D3 works closely with Vitamin K2 to help calcium absorb optimally into the bone.  They also work together to keep your heart healthy, regulates normal blood clotting, and supports optimal muscle function.

Some Vitamins need Fat, some need water

Understanding how to optimally absorb your vitamins is a basic concept that is missed by most.

Did you know that vitamins A, D, E, and K require fats for optimal absorption? With this in mind, how many of you are taking a Vitamin D supplement without some kind of fat source (Omega 3 fish oil or food base fats)?  If you want more bang for your buck, make sure you add a little fat to your Vitamin D!

Essentially, the difference between these two groups of vitamins is how they interact with the body when ingested. While fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are able to be stored in the body within the fat cells for a short period of time, water-soluble vitamins (C, B) cannot be stored.

Food first, supplement second.

There is a misconception that you cannot get enough of the good stuff through food alone.  Now, although partly true, in most cases we just aren’t eating enough good quality food.  In this case, some look at adding vitamin supplements into their daily regime.  Again, this isn’t a bad thing.

But consider the word supplement.

‘a thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it.

If your diet consists mainly of processed foods lacking in essential vitamins in a pro-inflammatory environment, do you think those supplements will work well?  Not so much!

A supplement is EXACTLY that.  A supplement to enhance your food choices.   So always look a the food before adding supplements to your regime.

What, where, and why.

It is important to know what vitamins do what and where you can find them in the world of food.  Take a look at the table below.

Variety is the spice of life… literally.

As you can see from the table above, variety is key to having a healthy vitamin profile.  This is where meal prep can really come into its own.  If you are someone who either does not have the time to prepare food with enough variety or don’t have the inclination to do so.  A good meal prep company will provide all of the greens, reds, purples, oranges, and yellows you need to get your vitamin hit.

In the case of health, it is very much a case of ‘you are what you eat’.

Want improved energy?  Stop looking for the magic pill.  EAT GOOD FOOD.

Want a healthier heart and bones?  Stop looking for the magic pill.  EAT GOOD FOOD.

Want a more positive outlook?  You get the picture.

So, next time you’re eating your vegetables, take the time to acknowledge that you are providing life to every cell in your body.

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