With each passing day, more people recognize the importance of a good diet. A diet with the most important foods helps us stay physically and mentally healthy. For this, it is necessary to consume foods with specific nutrients so that our body fulfills the most important functions, among them, keeping the immune system strong. The following nutrients are essential to achieve this.
Vitamin A is found actively in our body through retinol. This substance has a very important role in regulating the growth of practically all the cells of the human body. This vitamin is vital for the growth of embryos, in addition to being essential for the formation of the organs of the fetus. It also has a major role in eye training and visual power.
The richest foods in vitamin A are liver, carrots, kale, and spinach.
This vitamin is an antioxidant, this means that it reduces the damage that free oxygen radicals cause to the body’s molecules. These radicals are naturally formed in all metabolic processes.
Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins to strengthen the immune system.
This vitamin can be found in all citrus fruits, red and green peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, melon, and tomato.
Vitamin D regulates the body’s calcium and phosphorous levels, making bones and teeth stronger. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. But not only that, but the deficiency of this vitamin is related to the risk of certain types of cancer, type 1 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin D is obtained mainly from sun exposure; however, it is not recommended to expose yourself to the sun for more than 15 minutes a day. There are not many foods that contain this vitamin. However, eggs, butter, beef, and vegetable oils have small amounts of vitamin D, in addition to fish such as salmon and tuna.
Vitamin E, like vitamin C, is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes from oxygen-free radicals. This vitamin is essential to protect the body from respiratory diseases.
Vitamin E can be obtained from vegetable oils, all kinds of nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, and cereals such as oats and wheat.
Folic acid is the colloquial term by which soluble vitamin B (vitamin B9) is known. This vitamin is essential for cell division and growth. This substance helps to produce nucleic acids and amino acids that participate in DNA synthesis, so a lack of folic acid can have serious consequences. Hence, pregnant women should take folic acid during the gestation period.
The best foods to get folic acid are cabbage, spinach, peas, beans, and lentils.
Vitamin B12 is very important for the functioning of the nerves. It also participates in the production of red blood cells, proteins, and DNA. Immune cells have great metabolic activity, so they need vitamin B12 to form new cells of this type. As age advances, the body’s ability to absorb this vitamin decreases.
This vitamin is only found in foods of animal origin, so people who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet are recommended to take supplements.
The two best sources for vitamin B12 are cow’s liver and clams. But it’s also found in fish, meat, chicken, eggs, milk, and dairy products.
The deficiency of this mineral is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. The main affected are children and women of reproductive age or pregnant.
Iron has a main role in the development of the central nervous system, since one of its functions is to help in the production of myelin, the substance that allows the transmission of nerve impulses.
Our body absorbs iron better if the source is of animal origin, although it also absorbs it from foods of plant origin but in much less quantity. Therefore, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet should consume a sufficient amount of vitamin C, since it helps the body to absorb iron.
The best foods to get iron are lean meat, seafood, poultry, beans, lentils, spinach, nuts, and dried fruit.