Feel Good Everyday With These 6 Vitamins

Vitamin sources are essential for good health and wellness.
Vitamin sources are essential for good health and wellness.

The one thing we want everyday when we wake up is to feel good. Have you ever noticed the difference in how you feel when you eat right, exercise and get the proper amount of sleep for your body the previous day? You feel like you can face anything, right?

You can and should strive to feel like that everyday and it starts with your nutrition. We eat right for the benefits of vitamins and nutrients we need to function properly. When we do that, we sleep better, workout better and handle our daily tasks better.

Here are 6 Vitamins you should be getting to feel good everyday of the week.

Beta Carotene –  Beta Carotene is known as the vanity vitamin in some circles. You will benefit from this vitamin in the form of healthy vision, good skin and a strong immune system. While you can get this vitamin in the form of a supplement, it’s best to look into good old fashioned nutritional sources. Carrots, sweet potatoes and green peppers are a few of the many food sources to enjoy.

Iron – (One of my favorites) While some sources of iron are not that popular in the taste department, it is a critical vitamin for your overall well being. Have you ever bent down and stood up real fast, only to feel light headed? Yeah, that usually indicates low iron. The organ meats (liver) are known to have the highest sources of iron, but if you’re as grossed out as I am with eating another living animals internal organs, there is still hope.

Iron can be found in other abundant sources such as seafood, nuts and leafy green vegetables. This is one of my favorite vitamins because I love all of those and there are so many ways to prepare them. You can also get iron in supplement form, especially if you’re anemic, but make sure you always compliment any supplement with natural nutrition.

Potassium – Potassium is a favorite among most people because it is so easy to get this nutrient and enjoy it! While potassium is most notably found in bananas, you can also get your fix from raisins, leafy greens, milk and oranges. It can lower and regulate your blood pressure, regulate your heart rhythm, and counteract too much sodium (which you shouldn’t have too much of anyway).

Vitamin D – If you’re an athlete, or you like to be out in the sun, Vitamin D will, without a doubt, be your favorite.  This vitamin is said to be a 1-2 punch along with calcium, which is optimal for your bones. Not enough vitamin D can result in osteoporosis and problems in the wellness of children. If you’re an athlete, more so involved in a contact sport, you should make vitamin D supplements a mainstay in your cabinet.

One of the interesting things about this particular vitamin is its source is gained primarily through sun exposure. This is a good thing (another reason to be outside this summer).

Calcium – Calcium would be the “cross” to the “jab” of vitamin D. Along with vitamin D, calcium plays a large role in bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. The subject of  calcium is tricky because the sources that are most known for this nutrient are in dairy products. I, myself don’t eat a lot of dairy, so if you’re the same in that regard you can still get the benefits through leafy greens like Kale and mustard greens.

Vitamin C – The Granddaddy of them all, vitamin C is the most important vitamin for your body and its overall health and wellness. You can get vitamin C through so many different sources such as citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), bell peppers, berries, leafy greens and broccoli. While taking a supplement is a great way to get a daily dose of this nutrient, it is recommended to rely on your food sources for the best impact.



Guest Post – Health Benefits Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a popular nutrient found in citrus fruits, juices and supplements, offering numerous health benefits. Vitamin C can help you control your blood pressure, protects you from infection and can even prevent cancer causing agents in your body. Below are the benefits you can get from this powerful nutrient.

Prevents cardiovascular disease

Vitamin C is a great way to prevent cardiovascular diseases. In the first stages of atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries), your white blood cells start to stick to the endothelium walls. This cycle continues on until the walls of your blood vessel begin to lose its elasticity and become thinner. The weakening of the vessel and plaque build-up can result in a condition called “atherosclerosis”. The condition is very dangerous as it can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Vitamin C can prevent atherosclerosis by normalizing the white blood cell. This part is what the cell use to stick to the vessel wall during the first stage of atherosclerosis. Vitamin C helps ensure your cardiovascular health is properly maintained.

Antioxidant properties

There are free radical molecules inside your body which can cause cancer. Free radicals can cause damage to your cells by stealing one of the electrons from its atom. This causes a chain reaction where the atoms inside the cell become free radicals and start turning others into free radicals as well.
Antioxidants prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. They do this by donating an electron to the free radical molecule. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which can eliminate free radicals and prevent certain types of cancers.

Reduces blood pressure

Hypertension is a dangerous condition where your blood pressure is elevated. This pushes your heart to pump pressure around your body at a difficult rate. The increased blood pressure can cause organ damage and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin C is able to lower blood pressure. The vitamin is a natural diuretic which promotes urination and good digestion. This helps relax your blood vessels which can lower the rate of blood being pumped by your heart. As mentioned above, Vitamin C can also prevent your white blood cells from creating plaque build-up. This can also ensure your blood pressure is normalized.

Decreased risk of lead poisoning

Lead poisoning is a condition where your body has a large amount of heavy metals. Adults usually experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, constipation and diarrhea as symptoms of this disorder. On the more serious side, individuals can experience delirium, seizures and comas.

Vitamin C can prevent toxicity by reducing the amount of lead in your blood. This was discovered more than a decade ago by researchers in San Francisco, California. They found a significant reduction in lead level when they gave a high dosage of vitamin C to their patients.

Remember, you need a good daily intake of vitamin C in order to reap the benefits mentioned above. Consider adding some fresh fruits to your meals or buying vitamin c supplements

About The Author

Katherine Flowers does research for Elite Vitamin Zone regarding current trends in health and fitness. She shares her experiences and regimen, including intake of vitamin supplements to help readers lead a healthy lifestyle.

7 Sugar Packed Foods To Avoid That Will Keep You Away From Your Doctor

All that taste good, isn’t gold.

One of the worst things to do when trying to live by good principles of nutrition is to eat certain foods that we might not think to be extremely bad, but are destroying us from the inside. It can get very bad because often times they are “healthy foods” that taste so good, but are packed with the most sugar and cosmetically damaging ingredients you can imagine.

Here are 7 Sugar Packed Foods that will keep you away from your doctor and protect your wallet in the process.

1. Instant Oatmeal – They say it’s like eating dessert for breakfast. Granola is awesome to the taste, especially mixed with some nuts and raisins, but it’s more sugar than it’s worth. One packet can have up to a third of sugar to a bowl. Skip the instant oatmeal and try some shredded wheat instead (avoid the powdered sugar too).

2. Chinese Food – I looove Chinese food just like the next person, but in an actual Chinese restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I know how hectic a day can get at the drop of a hat and before you know it, you don’t even have time to prepare a good healthy meal. However, instant Chinese food can really do a number on your teeth. Instead try having some authentic Chinese food instead. It might cost a few extra dollars, but your body will thank you in the long run.

Fast Food Breakfast.

3. Fast Food Breakfast – I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but I will anyway. Just the fact that more and more fast food chains are starting to serve breakfast now let’s me know there’s an issue. Egg Mcmuffins, sugar crusted doughnuts, scones, butter soaked bagels and hot chocolate might be mouth watering just to think about, but your sugar level goes through the roof with every bite.

Instead, try  plain yogurt and a little granola. Or, if you really want to be hard core, some spelt flake cereal with almond milk and bananas (one of my favorites) You get protein, potassium and fiber all in one. Not to mention you won’t go into a coma by 11 a.m.

4. Fruity Ice Cream – This one hurts. Ice cream is my favorite dessert of ALL time. If I could, I’d eat it everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But here’s why I don’t. Your average size cup of ice cream that you would get at a known parlor contains about a days worth of saturated fat. So think about when you have a little cup after lunch and then a cone after dinner. That’s a lot of damage in something so little.

Again, this is when yogurt can really come in handy. Try some plain yogurt with organic fruit mixed in to satisfy that craving.

5. Sugar Packed Smoothies – This one here is just dirty. I used to go to a well know smoothie franchise and get a strawberry smoothie just about every other afternoon in the summer, until I found out I was drinking pure sugar. Smoothies like that are made with juice as opposed to real whole fruit.

What I recommend (because I actually did it) is to play it safe and make your own. Go to the farmers market, pick up some organic fruit and just do the deed yourself. You save time, money and you’re in complete control.

Related: The 6 Colors of Fruits and Vegetables For Your Health and Wellness

Breakfast Muffin

6. Breakfast Muffins – I was never into the whole breakfast muffin thing until I tried one once when I was on my way to a meeting and didn’t have time to make breakfast. Wow!! It was at that moment that I saw what all the fuss was about every time I would pass Starbucks. A typical whole grain muffin can pack as much sugar as the mouth watering pastry sitting next to it in the display case, believe it or not.

If you have to go there with the carbs in the morning, try a plain croissant instead. It’s a lot lighter and you’re stomach will thank you for it at the end of the day (speaking from experience).

7. Hot Pretzel – I spent half of my life in New York, so I know how a well prepared hot pretzel can make you stop in your tracks and forget everything going on around you. However, a hot pretzel along with the melted cheese and salt can bring a tidal wave of calories right to your lower abdomen (you know, the area that won’t seem to go down even after a thousand leg lifts).

Instead try a raisin pretzel with cream cheese (still a treat). It’s a lot less of a caloric intake…and if you have to have one, eat it before your workout or strenuous activity.

It’s best to avoid these foods altogether,  but realistically speaking, if you have to indulge, limit it to once a month or once a season. Moderation is the key to health and wellness.

I’d like to hear from you! Please comment or share on some of your favorite foods that gave you a rude awakening with your health.

The 6 Colors Of Fruits and Vegetables – How They Help Your Health and Wellness

Fruits and Vegetables by their color provide endless benefits to your health and wellness.

It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstone for any nutritious diet. But have you ever broken down your favorites by their respective color group? The different color groups serve a particular purpose in your health and wellness.

Next time you walk into the grocery store or farmers market, look at how much color you find in the produce section. Orange, red, purple, white, green and yellow are the main groups you will see. These are the colors for your fruits and vegetables. With an assortment of different fruits and veggies to try from these 6 groups of colors, you should almost never tire of trying different nutritious dishes for your benefit,

Orange – Carrots, oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, carrots, mangoes and papaya. Orange vegetables are packed with beta-carotene, which has been shown to improve eyesight and fight cancer.

White – Onions,  potatoes, shallots, turnips, white corn, white nectarines, white peaches, mushrooms, bananas, cauliflower, pears and garlic. White fruits and vegetables are packed with beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG and lignans. They are known to boost the immune system and are great for breast and prostate cancer prevention.

Green – Artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocados, broccoflower, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, celery. Green fruits and veggies are full of vitamin C, folate, calcium, fiber, chlorophyll and protein. The nutrients found in green vegetables have been known to reduce cancer risks, regulate digestion, improve and protect your vision and boost your immune system.

Red – Blood oranges, cherries, radishes, raspberries, red apples, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon. Red fruits and vegetables contain hesperidin, lycopene and fiber and are known to reduce the risk of cancer, high blood pressure and can reduce many cases of arthritis.

Yellow – Apricots, butternut squash, grapefruit, lemon, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, persimmons, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Orange fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, flavonoids, potassium and vitamin c. Eating this group daily has shown to promote healthy joints, aid in a healthy alkaline balance and build healthy bones.

Purple – Eggplant, elder berries, grapes, plums, pomegranates, prunes, figs and raisins. Purple fruits and veggies have been known to boost the immune system, support healthy digestion, fight inflammation and  reduce the risk of cancer cells.

With the rise of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and respiratory illness, the consumption of these fruits and vegetables is of major importance to your health and wellness. If you have a busy lifestyle, you can always get a blend at your local juice bar, or make a tasty one yourself. But don’t let a busy lifestyle compromise your efforts to eat these natural foods in their entirety.

A  good vegetable eaten everyday with each meal can make a tremendous difference in how you feel and function. Try a vegetable omelette for breakfast, a spinach salad for lunch, a small fruit salad for an afternoon snack and mixed vegetable side for dinner. See how easy it is to get it all in?

I want to hear from you!

What are some ways you manage to get your daily fruit and vegetable intake?