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Hungry Girl Today: 06.22.07
GIRLS BITE OUT
Vitamins are good for you. Everyone knows that. But do you have any clue
what each one does or where it can be found? No worries. It's HG to the
rescue with the lowdown on all things vitamin. Weeee!
What it does: This antioxidant is important for keeping eyes healthy, and is
also necessary for keeping bones, teeth, skin & hair strong and well
maintained. Beta carotene, a source of vitamin A, may also protect you from
getting cancer or heart disease. Way to go, vitamin A!
Where to get it: While vitamin A is only found in animal-based foods and by-
products, fruit and vegetable compounds called carotenoids can be converted
into vitamin A in your body (cool, huh?). These compounds are especially
present in brightly colored fruits and veggies. In fact, the richer the color of
the food, the more beta carotene it contains. So some great sources of this
important vitamin are the prettiest fruits and veggies -- apricots, asparagus,
broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes and
When you don't get enough: Luckily, the body stockpiles this vitamin, so
you're not likely to face deficiency. If you do though, you may experience
night blindness and dry eyes.
HG Heads Up! Vitamin A is fat-soluble, so be sure you're getting enough
healthy fats in your diet to absorb it. Slurp on some Amy's Organic Butternut
Squash Soup; a 1-cup serving's got 50% of the RDA of vitamin A and a few
fat grams (but not too many!) to go with it.
What they do: There are 8 essential B vitamins. All help the body break
down fats, proteins and carbs, thus providing you with energy. B vitamins
are also important for liver and intestinal health, as well as being effective in
alleviating depression. As if all that weren't enough, the stuff is also great for
making hair and skin look healthy, vital and shiny.
Where to get 'em: In addition to being low-cal and delicious, whole grain
cereals, eggs, skim milk, fish and green leafy vegetables are all also
fantastic sources of B vitamins. In fact, a half-cup serving of Fiber One Bran
Cereal provides 25% of the RDA of SIX of the B vitamins!
When you don't get enough: A lack of B vitamins can cause anemia, heart
problems and trouble in your nervous system.
HG Heads Up! Since many of the foods rich in B vitamins are of animal
origin, vegans are at risk for a vitamin B deficiency. So "B" careful, vegans!
What it does: Vitamin C's biggest claim to fame is its ability to aid in the
prevention and treatment of colds, flus and other illnesses. This super
vitamin helps the body fight off stress & infections and maintain red blood
cells. And that's not all. Vitamin C is also known for lowering cholesterol &
blood pressure and fighting asthma. Sounds like vitamin C is workin'
Where to get it: Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and lemons
are the most obvious dietary sources of vitamin C. Some lesser known
sources include bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries and papaya. Mmmmm.
When you don't get enough: A lack of Vitamin C can result in hair loss, dry
skin, bleeding gums, nosebleeds and muscle weakness.
HG Tip! Eat zinc-rich foods with your vitamin C to help your body fully absorb
the helpful vitamin. Try this by making our Crazy-Creamy Crab Stuffed
Mushrooms. The red pepper provides more than 35% the RDA of vitamin C,
and the mushrooms themselves supply the zinc! (Pssst...other zinc-rich foods
include spinach, summer squash, asparagus, shrimp, pumpkin seeds and
What it does: Vitamin D is essential for helping the body absorb calcium. Not
surprisingly then, it's important for healthy bones, hair and teeth. It is also
helpful in boosting the immune system.
Where to get it: Vitamin D is known as the "sunshine vitamin". The body
naturally produces the stuff when the sun's rays shine on us. Luckily, you
don't need to be a sun-worshipper to get the benefits of this vitamin. Just a
few minutes in the sun each day is enough to meet daily requirements.
Besides the sun, you can get vitamin D from food sources like salmon, tuna,
sardines, milk and shrimp.
When you don't get enough: Too little vitamin D = weak bones. Without
enough D, you could experience pains in your bones and be more
susceptible to breaks and fractures.
HG Tip! Whip up some of our Creamy Coconut Shrimp for a D-licious dose of
What it does: Vitamin E helps preserve vitamins A, B, C and others by
fending off damaging free radicals. It also increases endurance & stamina
and boosts your immune system. Since it improves circulation & blood
pressure as well, it helps prevent heart disease. Impressive.
Where to get it: Load up on vitamin E with almonds, sunflower seeds,
blueberries, avocados, olives and whole grains.
When you don't get enough: Vitamin E deficiency has been linked to
digestive problems as well as nervous system issues in the limbs.
HG Discover-E! An 8-oz. serving of any of Almond Breeze's Unsweetened
flavors provides a full 50% of the RDA of vitamin E. And for just 40 - 45
What it does: Vitamin K's main job is to regulate blood clotting, prevent cell
damage and keep blood flow healthy.
Where to get it: Soybeans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, spinach & other green
leafy vegetables, asparagus, alfalfa and broccoli.
When you don't get enough: A lack of Vitamin K can lead to nosebleeds,
bruising, and over long periods of time, osteoporosis.
HG Sushi Spree! Get your vitamin K and so much more! Hit up your fave
sushi spot for a vitamin party! Have edamame (vitamin K), ohitashi (boiled
spinach for vitamins A & K), and California rolls (vitamin E from avocados
and B & D from the fish). Then enjoy some orange segments for a post-meal
pop of vitamin C!
CHEW ON THIS:
June 22 is National Onion Rings Day. A cup of onion has 17% DV of vitamin
C, 4% vitamin K and various B vitamins. So whip up a batch of HG's famous
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