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Body Watch : The ABCs of Good Health

Eat your vegetables!

Parents know that, besides having nagging value, veggies and certain other foods are good sources for vitamins and minerals-the stuff that gives us strong teeth, healthy hair and sensational cells. Here is a list from A to zinc. Daily Value What It’s For Some Good Sources Signs of Severe Deficiency Signs of Extreme Excess

VITAMINS Vitamin A Daily Value: 5,000 International Units (IU) What It’s For: Tissue maintenance. Healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. Helps us see in dim light. Essential for normal growth and reproduction. Some Good Sources: Liver, deep yellow/orange and dark green vegetables and fruits (including carrots, broccoli, spinach, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes), cheese, milk and fortified margarines Signs of Severe Deficiency: Night blindness, dry scaling skin, poor immune response Signs of Extreme Excess: Damage to liver, kidney and bone; headache, irritability; vomiting; hair loss; blurred vision; yellow skin *Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Daily Value: 1.5 milligrams (mg) What It’s For: Helps body release energy from carbohydrates during metabolism. Health of nerves and muscles, including heart. Helps prevent fatigue and irritability. Some Good Sources: Pork, whole grains, dried beans and peas, sunflower seeds, nuts Signs of Severe Deficiency: Beriberi (nerve changes, sometimes edema, heart failure) Signs of Extreme Excess: None known *Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Daily Value: 1.7 mg What It’s For: Helps body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism. Good vision. Healthy hair, skin, nails. Necessary for normal cell growth Some Good Sources: Liver and other organ meats, poultry, brewer’s yeast, fish, dried peas, beans, nuts, sunflower seeds, cheese, eggs, yogurt, milk, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nori seaweed Signs of Severe Deficiency: Skin lesions Signs of Extreme Excess: None known *Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Daily Value: 20 mg What It’s For: Energy metabolism. Important for healthy skin and digestive tract tissue. Stimulates circulation. Caution: if taken by it self, may cause flushing. Some Good Sources: Liver and other organ meats, veal, pork, poultry, fish, nuts, brewer’s yeast, dried beans, dried fruit, leafy greens, whole grains, milk, eggs Signs of Severe Deficiency: Pellagara (sensitivity to light, fatigue, loss of appetite, skin eruptions and sore, red tongue) Signs of Extreme Excess: Flushing of face, neck, and hands; liver damage *Pantothenic acid Daily Value: 10 mg What It’s For: Supports adrenal glands to increase production of hormones to counteract stress. Important for healthy skin and nerves. Some Good Sources: Nuts, beans, seeds dark green leafy vegetables, poultry, dried fruit, milk Signs of Severe Deficiency: Fatigue, sleep disturbance, nausea, poor Signs of Extreme Excess: None known *Vitamin B6 Daily Value: 2 mg What It’s For: Helps body use protein to build body tissue and aids in metabolism of fat. Facilitates release of glycogen from liver and muscles. Helps in red-blood cell production, fluid-balance regulation. Some Good Sources: Sunflower seeds, beans, poultry, liver, nuts, leafy green vegetables, bananas, dried fruit Signs of Severe Deficiency: Nervous and muscular disorders Signs of Extreme Excess: Unstable gait, numb feet, poor hand coordination, abnormal brain function *Vitamin B-12 Daily Value: 6 micrograms (mcg) What It’s For: Important in formation of red-blood cells and building genetic material. Stimulates growth in children. Helps functioning of nervous system and in metabolizing protein and fat in body. Some Good Sources: Animal protein foods, including meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, milk, yogurt, eggs *Biotin Daily Value: 0.3 mg What It’s For: Used in energy metabolism Some Good Sources: Widely distributed in foods, especially eggs Signs of Severe Deficiency: Dermatitis, depression, muscular pain Signs of Extreme Excess: None known *Folate (folic acid, folaci) Daily Value: 0.4 mg What It’s For: Helps form red-blood cells. Assists in breakdown and utilization of protein. Essential during pregnancy for its importance in cell division. Some Good Sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, bean, whole-grain products, fruit, fruit juices, liver Signs of Severe Deficiency: Anemia, gastrointestinal disturbances Signs of Extreme Excess: Masks Vitamin B-12 deficiency *Vitamin C Daily Value: 60 mg What It’s For: Essential for connective tissue found in skin, cartilage, bones and teeth. Helps heal wounds. Antioxidant. Stimulates immune system. Aids in absorption of iron. Some Good Sources: Citrus fruits, berries, melons, dark green vegetables, cauliflower, tomatoes, green and red peppers, cabbage and potatoes Signs of Severe Deficiency: Scurvy (skin sports, bleeding gums, weakness), delayed wound healing, impaired immune response Signs of Extreme Excess: Gastrointestinal upsets, confounds certain lab tests, poor immune response *Vitamin D Daily Value: 400 IU What It’s For: Helps regulate calcium metabolism and bone calcification. Called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s manufactures in human skin when in contact with ultraviolet light. Wintertime, clouds and smog reduce body’s production Some Good Sources: Fortified and full-fat dairy products, tuna, salmon, cod liver oil Signs of Severe Deficiency: Rickets in children, bone softening in adults Signs of Extreme Excess: Gastrointestinal upset; cerebral, cardiovascular and kidney damage; lethargy *Vitamin E Daily Value: 30 IU What It’s For: Antioxidant to prevent cell-membrane damage Some Good Sources: Vegetable oils and their products, nuts, seeds, fish, wheat germ, whole-grain products, green leafy vegetables Signs of Severe Deficiency: Possible anemia Signs of Extreme Excess: Perhaps fatal in premature infants given intravenous solution *Vitamin K Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Necessary for normal blood clotting. Some Good Sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower Signs of Severe Deficiency: Severe bleeding on injury; internal hemorrhaging Signs of Extreme Excess: Liver damage, anemia (from synthetic forms) *

Minerals Calcium Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Phosphorus Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Magnesium Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Sodium Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Potassium Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Chloride Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Iron Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Copper Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Zinc Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Iodine Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Fluoride Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Chromium Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Selenium Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Manganese Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: *Molybdenum Daily Value: What It’s For: Some Good Sources: Signs of Severe Deficiency: Signs of Extreme Excess: * Daily values are U.S. Food and Drug Administration computations for adults and children age 4 or older and based on National Academy of Sciene’s Food and Nutrition Board Recommended Dietary Allowances for vitamins and minerals and Diet and Health Recommendations. Actual needs for individuals may vary significantly depending on factors including age, sex, genetics, environment, illness and stress. ** Experts say the key to good nutrition is to focus on eating a wide variety of foods , rather than concentrating on particular nutrients. Sources: National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics of the American Dietetic Assn., Chicago; Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C.; U.S. Department of Agriculture / Human Nutrition Information Service, Hyattsville, Md.; FDA, Washington D.C., California Medical Group , Santa Monica, Calif.

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MINERALS *Calcium Daily Value: 1 g What It’s For: Maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Muscle contraction and blood clotting. Nerve transmission. Some Good Sources: Milk and milk products, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts (especially almonds), sunflower and sesame seeds, molasses Signs of Severe Deficiency: Stunted growth, bone loss Signs of Extreme Excess: Depressed absorption of some other minerals *Phosphorous Daily Value: 1 g What It’s For: Bone and tooth formation. Involved in formation of genetic material, cell membranes and many enzymes. Involved in release of energy from fat, carbohydrates and protein during metabolism. Some Good Sources: Meats, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, many fruits and vegetables Signs of Severe Deficiency: Weakness, demineralization of bone Signs of Extreme Excess: Depressed absorption of some other minerals *Magnesium Daily Value: 400 mg What It’s For: Used in building bones, manufacturing proteins, releasing energy from muscle storage and regulating body temperature. Essential to good cardiovascular health. Some Good Sources: Whole grains, dried fruits dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, avocados, beans, tofu, fish, lean, meats Signs of Severe Deficiency: Neurological disturbances Signs of Extreme Excess: Neurological disturbances *Sodium Daily Value: 2,400 mg What It’s For: Body water balance, nerve function Some Good Sources: Salt, soy sauce, cured meats, pickles, canned soups, processed cheese, packaged gravies, olives, salted crackers and chips, seafood, beef, poultry, celery, beets, carrots, seaweeds such as kelp, artichokes Signs of Severe Deficiency: Muscle cramps, reduced appetite Signs of Extreme Excess: High blood pressure in genetically predisposed individuals *Potassium Daily Value: 3,500 mg What It’s For: Body water and electrolyte balance. Crucial to good cardiovascular health, nerve function. Important in releasing energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism Some Good Sources: Widely distributed in foods, especially fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and lean meats Signs of Severe Deficiency: Muscular weakness, paralysis Signs of Extreme Excess: Muscular weakness, cardiac arrest *Chloride Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Formation of gastric juice Some Good Sources: Table salt, seafood, milk, eggs, meats Signs of Severe Deficiency: Muscle cramps, reduced appetite, poor growth Signs of Extreme Excess: Vomiting *Iron Daily Value: 18 mg What It’s For: Hemoglobin formation, essential oxygen carrying part of red-blood cells. Gives energy and “glow” of good health. Some Good Sources: Meats (especially pork), molasses, seeds, whole grains, fruits, dried fruits, beans, poultry, fish Signs of Severe Deficiency: Iron deficiency anemia, weakness, impaired immune function Signs of Extreme Excess: Shock, death, chronic liver damage, cardiac failure *Copper Daily Value: 2 mg What It’s For: Catalyst in hemoglobin formation. Helps keep bones, blood vessels and nerves healthy. Some Good Sources: Whole grains (especially whole wheat and buckwheat), shellfish, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, dark leafy vegetables, prunes, brewer’s yeast, liver and other organ meats Signs of Severe Deficiency: Anemia, bone and cardiovascular changes Signs of Extreme Excess: Liver and neurological damage *Zinc Daily Value: 15 mg What It’s For: Important in normal insulin activity, blood formation, wound healing and tissue maintenance. Helps maintain healthy skin. Supports immune system. Some Good Sources: Whole grains, seeds, nuts, poultry, fish, shellfish, beans, lean meats Signs of Severe Deficiency: Growth failure, reproductive failure, impaired immune function Signs of Extreme Excess: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Adversely affects copper metabolism and immune function. *Iodine Daily Value: 150 mg What It’s For: Essential for normal thyroid function. Some Good Sources: Marine fish and shellfish; seaweeds such as kelp, nori and dulse; dairy products; iodized salt; some breads. Signs of Severe Deficiency: Goiter Signs of Extreme Excess: Unknown *Fluoride Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Maintenance of teeth structure Some Good Sources: Fluoridated drinking water, tea, seafood Signs of Severe Deficiency: Higher frequency of tooth decay Signs of Extreme Excess: Mottling of teeth, skeletal deformation *Chromium Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Helps control blood sugar Some Good Sources: Brewer’s yeast, beef, liver, seafood, whole grains, chicken, eggs, bananas Signs of Severe Deficiency: Impaired glucose metabolism Signs of Extreme Excess: Lung, skin and kidney damage (from occupational exposure) *Selenium Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Antioxidant Some Good Sources: Seafood, meat, whole grains Signs of Severe Deficiency: Muscle pain, heart-muscle deterioration Signs of Extreme Excess: Hair and nail loss *Manganese Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Helps activate enzymes Some Good Sources: Nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables especially alfalfa and spinach Signs of Severe Deficiency: Abnormal bone and cartilage Signs of Extreme Excess: Neuromuscular effects *Molybdenum Daily Value: Pending What It’s For: Helps activate enzymes. May prevent dental caries. Some Good Sources: Legumes, lean pork, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, milk, whole grains, wheat germ, carrots, winter squash, strawberries Signs of Severe Deficiency: Disorder in nitrogen excretion Signs of Extreme Excess: Poor enzyme production, adversely affects cobalt metabolism *Daily values are U.S. Food and Drug Administration computations for adults and children age 4 or older and based on National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board Recommended Dietary Allowances for vitamins and minerals and Diet and Health Recommendations. Actual needs for individuals may vary significantly depending on factors including age, sex, genetics, environment, illness and stress. ** Experts say the key to good nutrition is to focus on eating a wide variety of foods, rather than concentrating on particular nutrients. Sources: national Center for Nutrition and Dietetics of the American Dietetic Assn., Chicago; Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Department of Agriculture/Human Nutrition Information Service, Hyattsville, Md.; FDA, Washington D.C., California Medical Group, Santa Monica, Calif.


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