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Fruit can be a surprisingly good source of vitamin E, especially when you are eating an avocado, kiwifruit, mamey sapote, or mango. And let’s not forget those fruits that you may have labeled as vegetables – olives, red peppers, and tomatoes which are good vitamin E sources too.
Fat-soluble vitamin E is present in very high amounts in vegetable oils, nut oils, nuts, seeds, and nut butters. Fish and abalone are other good sources. But don’t write off fruit and vegetable sources like avocado, butternut squash, red peppers, and spinach on this front – they contain more vitamin E than you’d think.
Vitamin K may not get as much attention as some other vitamins but it is just as important. Kiwi, prunes, and avocados are a good bet if you want to load up on this nutrient via fruits. Blackberries, blueberries, grapes, pomegranates also offer up vitamin K. So do tomatoes, dried figs, pears, and apricots.
An overwhelming majority of people in the United States have insufficient vitamin E intake. When this deficiency begins to show, it causes nerve and muscle damage, loss of sensation and trouble coordinating limbs, vision problems, dry skin, and brittle hair. It even raises susceptibility to infections.
A vitamin D deficiency can leave you with weak bones from osteopenia or osteoporosis. It could cause mental health issues like depression and schizophrenia or hamper cognitive ability and bring on dementia in the elderly. Skin problems like eczema are also possible, so take a good hard look at your vitamin D numbers.
A vitamin D deficiency can leave you with brittle or misshapen bones and even bring on depression. If you aren’t getting enough sunlight to make vitamin D, boost your dietary intake with vitamin D-rich foods like oily fish, liver, kidney, eggs, or mushrooms. Many foods like milk, yogurt, cereal, margarine, and juice are fortified with vitamin D.
Mushrooms are a good source of nutrients including vitamin D, especially if they’re exposed to UV light to enhance the D content. But the missing piece of the puzzle is that they only contain vitamin D2, a less potent form of vitamin D compared to the vitamin D3 your body produces when exposed to sunlight. Research has found that D3 can raise your D levels twice or thrice the amount D2 does. Try seafood or dairy instead.
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting. Increased bleeding or bruising, blood in vomit, stool, and urine, heavy menstrual bleeding may indicate a deficiency. Babies with a deficiency maybe excessively sleepy or fussy. Low levels may also increase risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, so watch out for signs of these as well.
If you have a vitamin K deficiency, you may notice your blood takes longer to clot or that you bleed excessively after an injection or a cut. Bone health might suffer, menstrual periods could be heavy, and you could develop anemia. Babies may even develop potentially life-threatening vitamin K deficiency Bleeding.
Vitamin K, the clotting vitamin, is present in leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, and Swiss chard in abundance. But did you know even scallion, celery, asparagus, and carrots have good amounts of the nutrient? Not to mention brassica veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin K comes in two main types, K1 and K2. Ramp up vitamin K1 intake with greens like kale, spinach, and turnip greens or crucifers like Brussels sprouts and broccoli, or cabbage. For an instant and easy boost, try parsley, coriander, and basil or cloves and curry powder! For K2, you may try natto, a fermented soy dish from Japan, dairy products like butter and cheese from grass-fed dairy, and eggs and meat from pasture-raised animals.
Vitamin A is crucial for many of our body functions. A well-balanced diet with veggie options such as chard, collard greens, and spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots can provide you with enough vitamin A to get through the day. Lettuce, turnip greens, and sweet peppers can also help you chalk up the numbers.
A vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is usually triggered by poor nutrition or health problems that interfere with its absorption. VAD can cause eye diseases such as night blindness, Bitot's spots, corneal xerosis or ulcers, and keratomalacia,. Anemia and poor skin and hair health are also common as are frequent infections. Young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable.
A vitamin A deficiency can compromise your eyes, skin, and overall health. Night blindness, dry, scaly, itchy skin, cracked lips, rashes, and broken nails can be red flags. Dry eyes, white or gray spots (Bitot's spots) in the whites of your eyes, corneal ulcers, and frequent infections are other signs.
If you’re trying to up your vitamin A intake, a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as meat and fish, can help you hit the numbers. Beef liver, spinach, carrots, kale, cowpeas, pickled herring, or sweet potato all count! And how about some juicy mangoes, pumpkin pie, or ice cream?