Fighters Guide to Micro Nutrients

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Micro Nutrients: Vitamin & Mineral Cheat Sheet

 

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So here is a List of all Vitamins and Minerals along with Foods that have a high source for those specific Nutrients.  This is a cheat sheet we use to help build our Custom Meal Plans with all our LOF Fitness Members and clients.

This is an extremely useful tool to help increase your nutrients naturally from foods without heavily relying on supplements for your nutrients.

Supplementation is supposed to be just that a supplement to your nutrition to help make up for any missing nutrients in your diet, however it is becoming more and more popular for people to rely too heavily on their supplements for the nutrients they should be getting from foods first.  I always tell my clients and LOF members that food should be your primary source of nutrients and supplements just help fill in the holes that may be in your nutrition plan.

 Fruit-and-Vegetable-Infographic

WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMINS

As discussed, the water-soluble vitamins are those that dissolve well in water including vitamin C and the B vitamins. In this section, we’ll discuss each of these vitamins, their sources, their functions, the symptoms of deficiency (not enough), and indications of toxicity (too much).

Vitamin C – Fat Loss Foods

Vitamin C is a great fat loss food because it helps synthesis L-Cartinine  which is an amino acid associated with increased fat loss.

Dietary sources

  • green leafy vegetables
  • broccoli
  • parsley
  • potatoes
  • peas
  • citrus fruits (early in the day or right after a workout)
  • black currants / eggplant
  • kiwi
  • mango
  • bell peppers
  • strawberries
  • papaya
  • asparagus
  • cauliflower
  • limes
  • lemons

Functions

  • Protecting cells from free radicals by acting as an antioxidant
  • Improving iron absorption by allowing ferric iron to reach its ferrous form
  • Regenerating vitamin E supplies
  • Developing collagen, an important structural protein throughout the body
  • Synthesizing the neurotransmitter norepinephrine
  • Synthesizing carnitine
  • Assisting in the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids

Deficiency symptoms

  • Bruising
  • Gum infections
  • Lethargy
  • Dental cavities
  • Tissue swelling
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Bleeding gums
  • Dry eyes
  • Hair loss
  • Pitting edema
  • Anemia
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Bone fragility

Toxicities

  • Kidney stones
  • Rebound scurvy
  • Increased oxidative stress
  • Excess iron absorption
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Erosion of dental enamel

Note: up to 10 grams of vitamin C appears to be safe based on most research data. However, caution is advised as 2 grams or more per day can cause diarrhea.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Dietary sources

  • lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • sunflower seeds
  • tuna fish
  • peas
  • tomatoes
  • eggplant
  • Brussels sprouts
  • lentils
  • whole grains

Functions

  • Functioning as a coenzyme necessary for energy production from food
  • Assisting DNA and RNA synthesis

Deficiency symptoms

  • Burning feet
  • Weakness in extremities
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Swelling
  • Anorexia
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal distress

Toxicities

  • None are known

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Dietary sources

  • mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • green leafy vegetables
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • almonds
  • salmon
  • halibut
  • whole grains

Functions

  • Central component of FAD
  • Participation in drug and toxin metabolism in the liver
  • Neutralization of hydroperoxides
  • Helping to convert xanthine to uric acid
  • Helping with iron metabolism
  • Helping to maintain healthy levels of other B vitamins
  • Participation in red blood cell production

Deficiency symptoms

  • Cracks, fissures, and sores at corner of mouth and lips
  • Dermatitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Photophobia
  • Glossitis of tongue
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue

Toxicities

  • Increased risk of DNA strand breaks in the presence of chromium
  • Intensifying urine color, flavinuria (although this is harmless)

flavinuria: An intense yellow color of the urine due to a high dose of supplemental riboflavin.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Dietary sources

  • mushrooms
  • tuna fish
  • asparagus
  • halibut
  • sea vegetables
  • salmon
  • whole grains
  • peanuts
  • lentils
  • lima beans

Functions

  • Helping to make up the electron transporter NAD
  • Assisting in DNA repair
  • Facilitating cellular signaling
  • Helping to control cholesterol levels by influencing lipid synthesis in the liver

Deficiency symptoms

  • Dermatitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Dementia
  • Stomatitis

Toxicities

  • Nausea
  • Liver toxicity (chronic supplemental intake of 750 miligrams or more per day)

Note: niacin from foods is not known to cause adverse effects. However, supplementalnicotinic acidmay cause skin flushing, itching, impaired glucose tolerance, and gastrointestinal upset

nicotinic acid: Vitamin B3

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Dietary sources

  • mushrooms
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • seeds
  • greens
  • tomatoes
  • berries
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • squash
  • corn
  • cod
  • split peas
  • lentils
  • avocados
  • sweet potatoes
  • whole grains

Functions

  • The formation of Acetyl-CoA
  • Synthesizing cholesterol, steroid hormones, and neurotransmitters
  • Assisting in drug metabolism

Deficiency symptoms

  • Tingling feet (only in severe malnutrition)
  • No other symptoms are likely

Toxicities

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea

Note: these are typically only experienced with high dose supplementation.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – For Hair

Dietary sources

  • green leafy vegetables
  • whole grains
  • salmon
  • avocados
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • almonds
  • eggs
  • cabbage
  • onions
  • cucumbers
  • cauliflower
  • berries
  • halibut
  • oats
  • walnuts

Functions

  • Involvement in gluconeogenesis, leucine metabolism, energy production, and fat synthesis by way of carboxylase formation
  • Assisting in DNA replication and transcription

Deficiency symptoms

  • Symptoms are rare in humans as intestinal bacteria produce enough biotin

Note: consuming raw egg whites over a long period of time can cause biotin deficiency due to the proteinavidin,which can bind up to four molecules of biotin and carry them out of the body. In this case, dermato-logic symptoms can occur.

Toxicities

  • Not known to be toxic

avidin: A compound found in raw egg albumen that inactivates biotin.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Dietary sources

  • beans
  • citrus fruits
  • whole grains
  • green leafy vegetables
  • beets
  • cauliflower
  • lettuce
  • asparagus

Note: Folate is found in foods whilefolic acidis a synthetic supplement.

Functions

  • Working as a co-enzyme to assist in the metabolism of nucleic and amino acids
  • Assisting in B12 and C use and breakdown
  • Assisting in new protein formation
  • Helping with red blood cell formation and circulation

Deficiency symptoms

  • Anemia (macrocytic or megaloblastic)
  • Leukopenia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Cracking and redness of tongue and mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Low birth weight and preterm delivery in pregnancy

Toxicities

  • None known from food

folic acid: Synthetic form of vitamin B9

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – Energy Booster

Dietary sources

  • potatoes / sweet potatoes
  • bananas
  • beans
  • oats
  • seeds
  • spinach
  • trout
  • avocado
  • tuna fish
  • salmon
  • peanut butter
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts

Functions

  • Working as a co-enzyme to form PLP—PLP is needed for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism
  • Assisting in the breakdown of glycogen
  • Helping with red blood cell metabolism
  • Supporting nervous and immune system function
  • Helping to form neurotransmitters and steroid hormones

Deficiency symptoms

  • Chelosis, glossitis, stomatitis, dermatitis (all similar to vitamin B2 deficiency)
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Sleeplessness
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anemia

Note: prenatal deprivation of pyridoxine can result in mental retardation and blood disorders for the newborn.

Toxicities

  • Painful neurological symptoms

 

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – Energy Booster

Dietary sources

  • salmon
  • beef
  • tuna fish
  • eggs
  • clams
  • crab
  • rockfish
  • B12 fortified food

Functions

  • Acting as an enzyme co-factor involved in DNA synthesis and in forming and maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells
  • Helping to form neurotransmitters and steroid hormones

Deficiency sympetoms

  • Pernicious anemia
  • Neurological problems
  • Sprue

Toxicities

  • None known from supplements or food

Note: only a small amount is absorbed via the oral route, thus potential for toxicity is low.

FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS

As discussed, the fat-soluble vitamins are those that dissolve well in lipids, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. In this section, we’ll discuss each of these vitamins, their sources, their functions, symptoms of deficiency, and toxicities.

Vitamin A and Carotenoids

Dietary sources

  • pumpkin
  • squash
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • eggs
  • sweet potatoes
  • red and yellow peppers
  • green leafy vegetables
  • mangos
  • melons
  • dairy foods

Note: vitamin A is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble vitamins. The most usable form isretinol.The carotenoids are precursors to vitamin A and are converted only on an “as needed” basis.

retinol: The animal derived form of vitamin A.

Functions

  • The formation of visual pigments
  • The synthesis of proteins
  • Immune function and wound healing
  • Embryonic development
  • Stem cell differentiation
  • Red blood cell development

Note: there are many interrelationships between vitamin and mineral status in the body. For example, zinc deficiency can reduce the synthesis of retinol binding protein as well as decrease enzyme activity involved in releasing stored vitamin A. Further, vitamin A deficiency can enhance iron deficiency anemia.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Difficulty seeing in dim light
  • Rough, dry skin

Toxicities

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Dry skin
  • Birth defects if present during gestation (when the mother is pregnant)

Note:hypervitaminosisis caused by consuming excessive amounts of preformed vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), not the plant carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is rapidly absorbed and slowly cleared from the body.

hypervitaminosis: Vitamin toxicity.

Vitamin D (ergocalciferol/cholecalciferol)

Dietary sources

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • mackerel
  • egg yolk
  • vitamin D fortified foods

Note: vitamin D is also the only vitamin that can be obtained via the sun

Functions

  • Gene transcription modulation
  • Increasing calcium uptake and reabsorption, maintaining serum calcium levels
  • Cell differentiation
  • Immune system function
  • Regulating glucose tolerance
  • Helping regulate the renin-angiotensin cascade and blood pressure

Note: vitamin D is really a group ofprohormones.Vitamin D must be metabolized to its biologically active form in the body. After it is consumed or synthesized in the skin, it enters the bloodstream for transport to the liver. There, it is hydroxylated to form 25 hydroxyvitamin D. In the kidney, a second hydroxylation results incalciferol,or 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D—the most potent form. In animals, this forms cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3. In plants, this forms ergocalciferol, or vitamin D2.

cholecalciferol: Vitamin D3

prohormones: Precursors to hormones

calciferol: Vitamin D

Deficiency symptoms (children)

  • Rickets
  • Deformed bones
  • Retarded growth
  • Soft teeth

Deficiency symptoms (adults)

  • Osteomalacia
  • Softened bones
  • Spontaneous fractures
  • Tooth decay

Note: those at risk for deficiency include infants, the elderly, dark skinned individuals, those with minimal sun exposure, and those with fat malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel diseases, kidney failure, or seizure disorders.

Toxicities

  • Elevated blood calcium levels
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Itching
  • Muscle weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Disorientation
  • Calcification of soft tissues

Note: hypervitaminosis is not a result of sun exposure but stems from chronic supplementation. Only excessive supplement use will cause the symptoms above.

Vitamin E (tocopherol/tocotrienol)

Dietary sources

  • vegetable oils
  • nuts
  • whole grains
  • green leafy vegetables
  • avocados
  • seeds
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • carrots

Functions

  • Scavenging free radicals and acting as an antioxidant
  • Playing a role in cell signaling
  • Facilitating the expression of immune and inflammatory cells

Note: the vitamin E family contains 8 antioxidants; fourtocopherolsand fourtocotrienols.Alpha-tocopherol is the chief form found in blood and tissues.

tocopherols: Fat-soluble alcohols containing vitamin E.

tocotrienols: Vitamin E compounds.

Deficiency symptoms

  • None are typically noticed unless there is severe malnutrition. Suboptimal intake of vitamin E can be common, leading to subclinical deficiencies.

subclinical deficiencies: Nutrient deficiencies that don’t manifest as a clinical health problem.

Toxicities

  • Impaired blood clotting

Note: minimal side effects have been noted in adults taking supplements in doses less than 2000 milligrams/day.

Vitamin K (phylloquinone and menaquinone)

Dietary sources

  • green leafy vegetables
  • vegetable oils
  • kelp
  • peas
  • lentils
  • lettuce
  • parsley

 

There are 3 types of vitamin K—phylloqui-none (vitamin Kl), menaquinone (vitamin K2), and menadione (vitamin K3). Bacteria that colonize the large intestine can synthesize vitamin K2. However, the contribution of this production to vitamin K status is unclear.

Functions

  • Assisting the blood clotting process
  • Cofactor in amino acid metabolism
  • Cell signaling in bone tissue
  • Preventing excessive bleeding in infants (this is why infants get a vitamin K shot shortly after birth)

Deficiency symptoms

  • Tendency to bleed or hemorrhage
  • Anemia

Toxicities

  • Interference with glutathione activity

Note: blood thinning drugs act as vitamin K antagonists to prevent excessive blood clotting. For this reason, consuming too much vitamin K in the diet (or from supplements) can negate this anti-clotting effect and prevent pharmaceutical efficacy.

MINERALS

Minerals, like vitamins, are required for optimal health. In this section, we’ll discuss each of these vitamins, their sources, their functions, symptoms of deficiency, and toxicities.

Calcium

Dietary sources

  • beans
  • broccoli
  • almonds
  • turnips
  • green leafy vegetables
  • tofu
  • dairy foods
  • rhubarb
  • calcium fortified foods

Functions

  • Regulating nerve impulse transmission
  • Regulating muscle contraction
  • Regulating hormone secretion
  • Forming teeth and bone
  • Acting as a cofactor for enzymes

Note: calcium is the most common mineral in the human body. Parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, vitamin D, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts all help to maintain calcium levels in the body.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Low bone mineral density
  • Rickets
  • Osteomalacia
  • Osteoporosis

Toxicities

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Kidney stones
  • Soft tissue calcification

Phosphorus

Dietary sources

  • whole grains
  • brazil nuts
  • eggs
  • chick peas
  • pumpkin seeds
  • berries
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • almonds
  • lentils
  • salmon
  • halibut
  • dairy foods

Functions

  • Forming the structure of bones
  • Energy transfer (physphorylation is essential)
  • Hormone production
  • Enzyme production
  • Cell signaling
  • Buffering acidity
  • Binding site activity for hemoglobin

Note: phosphorus is required by every cell in the body for normal function.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Symptoms are very rare

Note: those at risk for phosphorus deficiency include premature infants, those who use antacids, those who suffer from alcoholism, and those with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus. In these individuals, symptoms include muscle weakness, fatigue, and tooth decay.

Toxicities

  • Very rare
  • May result in soft tissue calcification in rare instances

Fluorine

Dietary sources

  • water
  • canned fish with bones
  • tea
  • some poultry

Note: magnesium and calcium can form an insoluble complex with fluoride. This can greatly decrease absorption if consumed at the same meal.

Functions

  • Preventing tooth decay

Deficiency symptoms

  • Increased risk of dental caries

Toxicities

  • Mottled tooth enamel (in children) from swallowing toothpaste with fluoride
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

 

Magnesium – Fat and Carb Metaboliser

Dietary sources

  • whole grains
  • almonds
  • hazelnuts
  • peanuts
  • green leafy vegetables
  • soy beans
  • avocadoes
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • bananas
  • apricots
  • apples
  • cashews
  • lima beans
  • molasses
  • salmon
  • halibut
  • navy beans
  • black beans

Functions

  • Assisting in carbohydrate metabolism
  • Assisting in fat metabolism
  • Supporting DNA and protein synthesis
  • Participating in the active transport of ions across cell membranes
  • Supporting phosphorylation of second messengers
  • Assisting with cell migration and wound healing

Note: magnesium is found primarily in the skeleton, but also in skeletal muscle and inside and outside of cells. Nearly 300 essential metabolic reactions rely on magnesium.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Very rare due to abundance of magnesium in foods

Note: high intakes of zinc, fiber, and protein can decrease magnesium absorption, putting individuals at risk for deficiency. In addition, those with gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, and alcoholism are at risk.

Toxicities

  • None identified from foods
  • Diarrhea (magnesium is a known laxative), impaired kidney function, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, and cardiac arrest (all effects typically seen from excessive consumption of magnesium-containing supplements)

Sodium

Dietary sources

  • whole grains
  • whole fruits
  • vegetables
  • lean meats
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds

Note: Foods with salt as a flavor enhancer provide higher amounts of sodium. These foods—things such as potato chips, boxed pasta, soup, pretzels, deli meats, pickles, etc.—are not recommended sources.

A majority of the sodium and chloride in the diet comes from salt. A lower salt intake is associated with diets that emphasize unprocessed foods.

Figure 7.2. Dietary sodium sources.Where are clients getting their sodium? Most dietary sodium comes from food processing!

Functions

  • Assisting in the absorption of chloride, amino acids, glucose, and water
  • Regulating extracellular fluid status, blood volume, and blood pressure
  • Maintaining the electrochemical gradient across cell membranes (tight regulation of this gradient is imperative for nerve impulse transmission, cardiac function, and muscle contraction)

electrochemical gradient: The diffusion gradient of an ion; represents the potential energy of an ion across a membrane, and its tendency to move based on membrane potential.

Note: sodium is the principalcationof the intracellular fluid. Sodium levels in the body are regulated tightly by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and antidi-uretic hormone (arginine vasopressin).

cation: Positively charged ions.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Disorientation

Note: sodium deficiency doesn’t typically result from low dietary intake. Low blood sodium usually is a consequence of increased fluid retention.

Toxicities

  • Increased fluid volume and edema
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Adominal cramps

Note: high blood sodium usually results from excessive water loss.

Potassium

Dietary sources

  • Swiss chard
  • lima beans
  • yams
  • squash
  • potatoes
  • prunes
  • raisins
  • bananas
  • artichokes
  • spinach
  • tomato juice
  • molasses
  • tomatoes
  • sunflower seeds
  • organs
  • almonds
  • avocado
  • soybeans
  • pinto beans
  • lentils
  • papaya

Note: an adequate intake of potassium rich foods to balance out the intake of salt rich foods may assist in blood pressure regulation.

Functions

  • Maintaining an electrochemical concentration gradient across cell membranes (membrane potential). Tight regulation of this gradient is imperative for nerve impulse transmission, cardiac function, and muscle contraction.
  • Assisting in enzyme activity (ATPase and pyruvate kinase)

Note: potassium is the principalanion of the intracellular fluid.

anion: Negatively charged ions.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Cardiac arrest

Note: potassium deficiencies are typically not a result of insufficient dietary intake. Instead, they’re usually caused by protein wasting conditions.Diureticscan also cause excessive loss of potassium in the urine.

Toxicities

  • Tingling of extremities
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Note: toxicity occurs when the intake of potassium exceeds the capacity of the kidneys for elimination. This is found with kidney failure and potassium sparing diuretics. Oral doses greater than 18 grams of potassium can also lead to toxicity.

Chloride

Dietary sources

  • whole grains
  • whole fruits
  • vegetables
  • lean meats
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds

Note: foods with salt as a flavor enhancer provide higher amounts of chloride. These foods—such things as potato chips, boxed pasta, soup, pretzels, deli meats, pickles, etc.—are not recommended sources.

A majority of the sodium and chloride in the diet comes from salt. A lower salt intake is associated with diets that emphasize unprocessed foods.

Functions

  • Maintaining an electrochemical concentration gradient across cell membranes (membrane potential). Tight regulation of this gradient is imperative for nerve impulse transmission, cardiac function, and muscle contraction
  • Aiding in the digestion and absorption of many nutrients

Deficiency symptoms

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness

Note: chloride deficiency is rare and only occurs as a result of serious diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive fluid loss.

Toxicities

  • Increased fluid volume and edema
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Note: toxicity is rare and typically only occurs with impaired chloride metabolism or in kidney diseases.

Iron

Dietary sources

Dietary sources: iron include: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is better absorbed and comes mainly from the hemoglobin and myoglobin in red meat. Non-heme iron is found in plants, dairy foods, and iron salts. Food sources of iron include:

diuretics: A pharmaceutical that elevates the rate of urination.

heme iron: Form of iron bound with carrier proteins found in animal products.

  • soybeans
  • lentils
  • spinach
  • sesame seeds
  • kidney beans
  • potatoes
  • molasses
  • beef
  • prunes
  • cashews
  • garbanzo beans
  • pumpkin seeds
  • navy beans
  • venison
  • tuna

Note: vitamin C, organic acids, and meats enhance iron absorption. On the other hand, phytates, polyphenols, and soy protein inhibit iron absorption

Functions

  • Helping to form hemoglobin and myoglobin and assisting in the transport and storage of oxygen. Hemoglobin stores about 2/3 of the body’s iron.
  • Assisting in enzymatic activities responsible for increasing red blood cell formation and blood vessel growth.
  • Helping to form the cytochromes involved with cellular energy production and drug metabolism
  • Forming an essential constituent of hundreds of proteins and enzymes

Note: calcium consumption (with iron) at a meal can reduce the absorption of iron while vitamin C consumption can increase the absorption of iron. When taking zinc with iron, zinc absorption is diminished. In addition, vitamin A deficiency can intensify iron-deficiency anemia. Further, copper status needs to be adequate for normal iron metabolism and red blood cell formation.

Deficiency symptoms

  • Anemia with small and pale red blood cells
  • Behavioral abnormalities (in children)

Toxicities

  • Acute vomiting, nausea, shock, and potentially death
  • Chronic increases in risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions

Note: iron overdose is a common cause of poisoning in children.

 

ISSA Specialist in Nutrition Certification

Authors:

-John Berardi PhD

-Ryan Andrews MS/MA, RD

Vitamins and Minerals Infographic

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