Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – #Calcium to #Manganese by Sally Cronin


Last week I posted Part Two of this alternative shopping list with a brief summary of vitamin C to K2 and the foods that provide the best source of these particular nutrients.

At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part three of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

Minerals the body needs and the foods you should add to your shopping list.

Calcium: The most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are approximately two to three pounds mainly found in the teeth and bones. Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones it is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscle contractions. There is some indication that higher calcium intake protects against cardiovascular disease particularly in women. If you are at risk of kidney stones consult your doctor before taking in additional calcium supplements. This also applies if you are suffering from prostate cancer where there may be a link between increased levels of dietary calcium in dairy products and this form of cancer. It is thought it is thought that excess calcium causes lower levels of Vitamin D, which helps protect against prostate cancer.

The best dietary sources of calcium milk, cheese and butter, goats milk, sardines canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables, spinach, watercress (more calcium than milk) tofu.

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency of the mineral can lead to diabetes and this is where the primary research into this mineral has been directed. It may help increase the healthy cholesterol in the blood (HDL) and is necessary for fatty acid and protein metabolism

Chromium first and foremost is a component of the ‘glucose tolerance factor’ which is required for maintaining a normal blood glucose balance. Chromium works with insulin to ease the absorption of blood glucose into the cells and it may also play a part in other activities that involve insulin such as the metabolism of fats and proteins. Find out more:

Best sources of chromium broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain good amounts.

COPPER: Copper is an essential trace element needed to absorb and utilise Iron. It is needed to make ATP and is also to synthesise some hormones and blood cells. Collagen needs copper, as does the enzyme tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment. Too much copper in the diet can depress levels of zinc and effect wound healing.

Best sources are seafood like oysters, cashews and other nuts, cherries, cereals, potatoes, cherries, vegetables and most organ meats.

Iodine: Iodine is a trace mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones that maintain metabolism in all the cells of the body. It is rare to be deficient in the western world but the key time to ensure that iodine levels are maintained is during pregnancy as deficiency of the mineral has been linked to miscarriages and premature births and congenital abnormalities. Children whose mothers were deficient in iodine can develop growth and mental issues and hearing loss. A moderate deficiency has also been linked to ADHD.

Best sources are in seafood, iodised salt and sea vegetables such as samphire. Also in fish such as cod, mackerel and haddock, eggs, live yoghurt and strawberries

Iron: The main function of iron is in haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. When someone is iron deficient they suffer extreme fatigue because they are being starved of oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin which helps muscle cells store oxygen and it is also essential for the formation of ATP.

Dietary iron is found in two forms, haem iron and non-haem iron. (Heme in US). Haem iron, which is the most absorbable, is found only in animal flesh as it is taken from the haemoglobin and myoglobin in animal tissue. Non-haem iron is found in plant foods.

Best food sources for haem iron are shellfish such as cockles and mussels, liver, meat, poultry and fish. And for non-haem plant based sources whole grains and fortifed cereals, watercress, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, Sweet Potatoes tofu, pumpkin seeds, and tofu. Strawberries, tomatoes,watermelon, prunes and dried apricots.

Magnesium is essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, forming new cells, activating the B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and forming ATP the fuel the body runs on. The secretion and action of insulin also needs magnesium. It is needed to balance calcium in the body and too much can result in very low levels of calcium.

The best food sources are whole grains, beans, seeds, wheat germ, dried apricots, dark green vegetables, soybeans and fish.

 

Manganese is needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. Also forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which helps prevent free radical damage.Only needed in small amounts but is essential for brain health (it may help prevent strokes), may prevent health issues associated with free radical damage such as heart disease and arthritis.

Best food sources are nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, tea and pineapple.

Next time more minerals we need to be healthy and Amino Acids and Essential Fatty Acids you should include in your shopping list- and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks Sally. 

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2021

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here::Sally’s books and reviews

 

Thanks for visiting and I am always delighted to receive your feedback.. stay safe Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Two – Vitamin C to K2 by Sally Cronin


Last week I posted  Part One of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part two of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

The alternative shopping list by nutrient that the body needs to be healthy – Part Two

We usually compile our shopping list based on our preferences, tastes and sometimes pocket. But I have a slightly different method that you might find useful.

The chemical interactions within our body that are essential for life – including the healthy functioning of our immune system – are only made possible by the raw ingredients in our diet. Even if you are having the occasional food fest, if your basic diet contains the right raw ingredients it won’t matter to your body.

It is the everyday ingestion of sugars, Trans fats and white starches that cripple the system – I follow the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time your body is getting what it needs, 20% of the time you can have what your heart and taste buds would like too.

You can ring the changes within the nutritional ingredients, and whilst it is a good idea to eat seasonally,we now have access to a great many varieties of exotic fruits that give added benefit to our diets including the powerhouse, for example, that is the Avocado.

I hope you will find plenty of foods that you enjoy on this list and will incorporate others you are less familiar with so that you get plenty of variety.

Quite a few foods fall into several categories so I will give you the top sources within the groups- these are the foods that should make up your basic shopping with seasonal fruits and vegetables when available.

For example, spinach has Vitamin A, B1, B2, B9, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium – (Popeye knew what he was doing)

Here is the shopping list to select foods from for each of the nutrients picking up after the B – Vitamins – I have added the link to further information on the nutrients in posts I have written previously

Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid – Involved in over 3000 processes in the body!

Vitamin C is probably one of the best known of our nutrients. It is rightly so as it has so many important functions within the body including keeping our immune system fighting fit. The best way to take in Vitamin C is through our diet, in a form that our body recognises and can process to extract what it needs. For example a large orange a day will provide you with a wonderfully sweet way to obtain a good amount of vitamin C, but to your body that orange represents an essential element of over 3000 biological processes in the body!
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Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body. It therefore needs to be taken in through our food on a daily basis. It is in fact the body’s most powerful water-soluble antioxidant and plays a vital role in protecting the body against oxidative damage from free radicals. It works by neutralising potentially harmful reactions in the water- based parts of our body such as the blood and within the fluids surrounding every cell. Find out more about this nutrient: Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

The best food source of vitamin C is all fresh, raw fruit and vegetables. Avoid buying prepared peeled and cut vegetables and fruit, as they will have lost the majority of their vitamin C. If you prepare juices at home, always drink within a few hours preferably immediately. Do not boil fruit and vegetables, it is better to eat raw whenever possible preserving all their nutrient content, but at the very least only steam lightly.

The highest concentrations of Vitamin C are in Blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, grapefruit, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges parsley, peppers, rosehip, potatoes, tomatoes and watercress.

Vitamin D3 thinks its a hormone – and our bodies have a different process to obtain and utilise it that is partly digestive but primarily through our exposure to the sun.

Vitamin D3 is necessary for our bone health (aches and pains), immune system (frequent infections), arthritis (joint pain) hormonal fluctuations (SAD is more prevalent in women).

Most people think if they are taking in Calcium that they will be keeping their bones healthy but in fact Vitamin D3 is vital in this process. There is a worrying increase in the numbers of children being diagnosed with this condition which is called rickets which is why recently the health service has suggested giving all children of 5 and upwards Vitamin D3 supplementation.

That is because most of our children are no longer exposed to sunlight which is the most efficient way for our bodies to produce the essential Vitamin D3 it needs.

There are also dietary sources of Vitamin D3 – We need at least 10ug per day and we can get this if we eat eggs (yolks) and oily fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon, regularly during the week as part of a balanced diet. You can also buy fortified milk and orange juice with D3 but I do caution about buying many of the cereals that claim to have it added as they also contain harmful levels of sugar. Always check the labels.

Vitamin E (Tocopheral) is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage to nerve and cell membranes. It works within the body to protect the more harmful cholesterol (LDL) from free radical damage and therefore helps prevent the build up of plaque leading to atherosclerosis. As you will have read from the recent series on heart disease, atherosclerosis is the leading cause of heart problems and including vitamin E rich foods in your diet is very important as part of the battle to keep your arteries healthy.

There is a great deal of research currently being conducted into the benefits of vitamin E and these include studies into cancer prevention, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, fibrocystic breast disease and cataracts.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin and is found in nuts such as almonds and walnuts, sunflower seeds and their oil, whole grains like maize, egg yolks and leafy green vegetables like spinach. Also found in apples, bananas, broccoli, brown rice, carrots, lamb’s liver, onions, Sunflower oil, oily fish and shellfish.

There are two forms of the vitamin that the body can utilise. One is K1 (phylloquinone), which is from plant sources and the other is K2 (menaquinone) which is produced by bacteria in our own intestines. It is needed for bone density, blood clotting, brain and kidney health.

This is where many of us get into trouble because we are not eating sufficient raw and unprocessed foods for health, and additionally many of us suffer from bacterial imbalances in the gut so do not produce sufficient from that source either.

The vitamin is fat-soluble and is stored in the liver. Studies indicate that approximately 50% of the stores come from our diet and the balance from bacteria in the intestines. We need healthy bile production for efficient absorption of Vitamin K and our lymphatic system circulates it throughout the body.

It is very easy to obtain sufficient Vitamin K2 through diet and you will find good sources in dark green leafy vegetables such as asparagus, avocado, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, kale, spring onions, spinach, fennel and leeks. Prunes are a good source as well as plant oils such as olive oil. Fermented foods are an excellent and great if you can get your hands on Natto – a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans.

In the western world, we can find good sources of Vitamin K2 in grass fed matured cheddar and other cheeses, also from yogurt and other dairy products. Also good sources from eggs and a raw egg yolk has the most concentration. Liver from grass fed animals including beef, pigs and lamb are a good source.

N.B. Corn fed dairy do not produce milk, cheese and other dairy products as rich in Vitamin K and you should try to find the traditionally made butters from summer grass animals. The same applies to Free Range Eggs. Hens that are corn fed instead of scratching around in the grass of a field do not produce eggs with as much Vitamin K.

Although the vitamin is fairly resilient it is better to eat plant sources either raw or lightly steamed to obtain the maximum benefits. Freezing reduces the amount of the vitamin so you need to eat a little extra of frozen vegetables than fresh.

Next time the minerals we need to be healthy and the foods you should include in your shopping list- and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks Sally.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2021

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here::Sally’s books and reviews

 

Thanks for visiting and I am always delighted to receive your feedback.. stay safe Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part One – Vitamins A – B by Sally Cronin


I have received a number of emails recently about specific nutrients and where to find them and so I am repeating this series from early 2020 which features the alternative shopping list by nutrient and the foods that supply them. At the end of the series there is a complete shopping list that you can print off.

I update mine on a regular basis and I circle foods within each nutrient that I am eating on  a regular basis. This provides a snapshot of the the nutrients you are including in your diet and more importantly that you are not getting sufficient of.

If you are a regular visitor to the health colum you will know that I don’t believe in crash dieting and that your body deserves more respect than to starve it of the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

Most of the lifestyle diseases we suffer from and overburden the health service with are related to the fuel we put into our bodies. The result is that millions are on pills to regulate the body’s complex chemical process rather than making the changes needed instead.

With that in mind here is part one of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

The alternative shopping list by nutrient that the body needs to be healthy – Part One

We usually compile our shopping list based on our preferences, tastes and sometimes pocket. But I have a slightly different method that you might find useful.

The chemical interactions within our body that are essential for life – including the healthy functioning of our immune system – are only made possible by the raw ingredients in our diet. Even if you are having the occasional food fest, if your basic diet contains the right raw ingredients it won’t matter to your body.

It is the everyday ingestion of sugars, Trans fats and white starches that cripple the system – I follow the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time your body is getting what it needs, 20% of the time you can have what your heart and taste buds would like too.

You can ring the changes within the nutritional ingredients, and whilst it is a good idea to eat seasonally,we now have access to a great many varieties of exotic fruits that give added benefit to our diets including the powerhouse, for example, that is the Avocado.

I hope you will find plenty of foods that you enjoy on this list and will incorporate others you are less familiar with so that you get plenty of variety.

First a little more about vitamins and their sources

Water Soluble Vitamins

These include all the B vitamins, vitamin C as well as Folic Acid. They are not easily stored in the body and are often lost in cooking or by being eliminated from the body. This means that they must be consumed in constant daily amounts to prevent deficiencies. In the case of Vitamin C this could lead to poor immune system function and if you are deficient in the B vitamins you will not be able to metabolise the fat, protein and carbohydrates that you eat.

Fat Soluble Vitamins.

These vitamins include A, D, E and K. Because they are soluble in fat they tend to be stored in the body’s fat tissues, fat cells and liver. This means that they should be supplemented with care if you are already taking in plenty on a daily basis in your diet. In excess even supposedly beneficial nutrients can be toxic and this is why you always should adjust your diet first before taking in additional supplements.

First the basic nutrients we need for energy and healthy functioning systems and organs. If you would like to explore each of the nutrients in more detail you can find in the link next to the foods.

Vitamins and anti-oxidants – A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate) B12, C, D, E, K,

Minerals – Calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc.

Amino Acids – Essential Fatty AcidsBioflavonoids – very strong anti-oxidants.

Quite a few foods fall into several categories so I will give you the top sources within the groups- these are the foods that should make up your basic shopping with seasonal fruits and vegetables when available.

For example, spinach has Vitamin A, B1, B2, B9, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium – (Popeye knew what he was doing)

Here is the shopping list to select foods from for each of the nutrients.

Vitamin A or Retinol was actually the first of the fat-soluble vitamins to be identified, in the States in 1913. It is only found in animal sources but some plants contain compounds called carotenoids, which give fruit and vegetables their red, orange and yellow colours. The body can convert some of these carotenoids including beta-carotene into Vitamin A.

Vitamin A – from plants:carrots, red peppers, sweet potato, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe melon, nectarines, peaches and spinach. Cashew nuts. Vitamin A – from animal sources: Liver, meat, fish, fish oils, free range eggs and dairy.

Vitamin B1- Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that along with the other B vitamins and Vitamin C it travels through the blood stream and any excess is eliminated in our urine. The body cannot store thiamin but it is found in tissues within the body such as in the liver, heart, kidneys and the nervous system where it binds to enzymes. This does mean that these types of vitamins need to be replaced from our food continuously.

Vitamin B1 sources –whole grains such as brown rice, oats and whole wheat cereals and bread, beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, pineapple, watermelon, asparagus, spinach, squash, lentils, beans, peanuts as well as oily fish, eggs, lean ham and pork.

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Like the other B vitamins, B2 plays an important role in energy production by ensuring the efficient metabolism of the food that we eat in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It plays a key role in our nutritional processes such as its help in processing amino acids. It is also vital for the uptake of iron.

Vitamin B2 sources – All green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, almonds, fish, milk, eggs, wholegrains, wheat germ, liver and kidney

Vitamin B3 is also known in different forms as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide and Nicinamide. When the vitamin was first discovered it was called nicotinic acid but there was a concern that it would be associated with nicotine in cigarettes, leading to the false assumption that somehow smoking might provide you with nutrients. It was decided to call it Niacin instead. It works with other nutrients, particularly B1, B2, B5, B6 and biotin to break the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food down into energy. B3 itself is essential in this process and it goes further by aiding in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to aid the digestion of food. It is actually involved in over 40 metabolic functions which shows how important it is in our levels of energy on a daily basis.

Vitamin B3 sources Asparagus, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, wholegrain bread and cereals. Chicken, Lamb, Turkey, Salmon, tuna, Venison, eggs and cheese.

Vitamin B5Pantothenic acid

Like the other B vitamins, B5 plays an important role in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is burned to produce energy. These nutrients are also needed to breakdown fats and proteins as well as promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes and importantly this month, the liver. Vitamin B5 has a number of roles in the body some more critical than others. One job that is vitally important is assisting in the manufacture of red blood cells as well as sex and stress related hormones.

Vitamin B5 sources – Organic (non GMO) Corn, Cauliflower, Shitake Mushrooms, Brewer’s yeast, avocado, duck, Organic (non- GMO) soybeans, lobster and strawberries.

B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that exists in three major chemical forms: Pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. B6 plays such a crucial role in so many functions of the body that a deficiency can have a huge impact on your health. It is required for over 100 enzymes that metabolise the protein that you eat. Along with the mineral Iron, it is essential for healthy blood. The nervous and immune systems also require vitamin B6 to function efficiently. It is also necessary for our overall feeling of well being as it converts the amino acid tryptophan, which is essential for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain. Without B6 you would not be able to manufacture haemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body.

Sources for vitamin B6 – wholegrain carbohydrates like brown rice, porridge oats, walnuts and sunflower seeds, bananas, avocados, salmon and tuna, dried fruit such as prunes and raisins, eggs, wheatgerm, poultry and meats such as lamb.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocolbalamin) is an essential water-soluble vitamin but unlike other water soluble vitamins that are normally excreted in urine very quickly, B12 accumulates and gets stored in the liver (around 80%), kidney and body tissues.

  • B12 is vital for the efficient working of every cell in the body especially those with a rapid turnover as it prevents cell degeneration.
  • It functions as a methyl donor and works with folic acid in the manufacture of DNA and red blood cells.
  • B12 is necessary to maintain the health of the insulating sheath (myelin sheath) that surrounds all nerve cells.
  • It is involved in the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for resetting our biological clock’s rhythm when we change to new time zones, and also helps us sleep

Sources for Vitamin B12B12 is present in meats apart from offal, eggs and dairy products. It is better to drink a cold glass of full fat milk than to eat yoghurt as the fermentation process destroys most of the B12 as does boiling milk. One of the best sources is Marmite with 25% of your daily requirement in one 5gm serving…

There are very few sources, if any of B12 in plants, although some people do believe that eating fermented Soya products, sea weeds and algae will provide the vitamin. However analysis of these products shows that whilst some of them do contain B12 it is in the form of B12 analogues which are unable to be absorbed by the human body.

I hope that you have found this useful, and at the end of the series I will post a complete shopping list for you to copy and print off.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2021

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here::Sally’s books and reviews

 

Thanks for visiting and I am always delighted to receive your feedback.. stay safe Sally.