An important part of the Wholefood and Rawfood Workshops is giving people the knowledge of what our bodies need in order to not only function on a day to day basis, but what nutrients it needs for optimal cellular function. By obtaining these vitamins from our food and not from supplements is best as some supplementing of certain vitamins has shown a link to cancer.  

Lets start with:

*The sources below are listed from highest content to very lowest

Vitamin A – an extremely important fat-soluble vitamin.  It is an ESSENTIAL vitamin required for vision (macular health), immune functions (makes white blood cells which fight infection), skin health and gene transcription, mineral metabolism and successful reproduction.  

Sources:  liver, cod liver oil, egg yolks, whole milk, mangoes, papaya, cayenne pepper, carrots, dark leafy greens, butternut squash and dried apricots.

VITAMIN D – required for the proper absorption of calcium, bone developement, control of cell growth neuromuscular functioning, proper immune functioning, alleviation of inflammation.  A deficiency can lead to rickets, increased cancer risk, poor hair growth and weakened muscles and bones.

Sources are:  Cod Liver oil, fatty fish such as Atlantic herring, sardines, mackerel.  Raw fish contains more Vit D than cooked fish. Oysters, Caviar, Eggs, Mushrooms

VITAMIN E – A fat soluble vitamin preventing Oxidative Stress to the body and other vitamins. Helps protect against heart disease, cancer and age related eye damage. By inhibiting oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholestrol, it helps prevent blood clots which could lead to heart attack. Helps alleviate inflammatory responses and has a protecting effect on mental functioning as people age. 

Sources:  Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Pine nuts, Peanuts, Apricots- dried, Cooked spinach, flax seed oil, wheat germ oil, Broccoli, Mangoes, Butternut squash

VITAMIN K1:  Essential for protein modification and blood clotting, treating osteoporosis and Alzheimers, protects against cancer and heart disease.

Sources:  Basil, sage, thyme, Dark leafy greens, brussel sprouts, Broccoli, Paprika and chilli powder, cabbage, figs, pears, blue and blackberries.

VITAMIN K2 _ This vitamin works synergistically with Vit A and D and together they ensure efficient assimilation of the minerals and water soluble vitamins in our diet. It is synthesised by animals and by bacteria during fermentation eg. fermented soybeans products like Nato. Interestingly only K2 obtained from animals and their by products was found to reverse or prevent arterial calcification.

Sources:  Fermented or aged cheeses, liver especially goose and chicken, eggs, chicken, beef and their fat and butter(from Grass Fed cows)

VITAMIN B12 – Most complex vitamin and a slight deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, depression and long term can cause permanent damage to the brain and nervous system.  It can only be manufactured by bacteria, and other synthetic forms are unfortunately added to our foods eg. breakfast cereals

Sources – Clams, oysters, muscles, liver, caviar, octopus, fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, cheese and eggs 

So in a nut shell it is vitally important to be having foods from a large range of different groups and on a daily basis in order for us to supply our bodies with ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS.  What are you feeding yourself and your family today before you all leave home?  Is is a bowl of sugared rice crispys or is it a wonderful bowl or glass of delicious nutrient dense diverse foods?