Should I Take Vitamins?

“Should I take Vitamins?” is a question I’m asked all the time by clients as well as when I give workshops. This is Sacramento CA Nutritionist Dani Conway with some information on “The ABC’s of Vitamins!”

Vitamins!  When it comes to vitamins, minerals and other supplements, this is truly an individual choice – from whether you believe in actually taking them to what kind, the source, quality, and so much more.  No matter what your position is, it is best to remember that supplements should be used as they’re called, “supplemental,” meaning that they come in second to good quality real food choices and clean eating.

That said, when you’re making good quality real food choices and on a good clean eating plan, such as when you follow any thing like a paleo diet, keto diet, modified ketogenic diet, Carnivore Diet, the principles of keto nutrition or Metabolic Typing, taking good quality supplements can really help speed up the process of supporting the body to get reach those intended goals!

The purpose of this article is not to talk you into going out and buying a bunch of supplements you do not need.  This article is intended to simply get you thinking further about where you are and what you’re doing to be sure that you keep yourself on the path moving forward to reach your goals for fat loss, fast and focused energy, reduced brain fog and increased focus, appetite suppression, better mood, better sleep, better digestion and clear skin! If you’re nutrient status is better and you don’t have any nutrient deficiencies, you will have better weight loss results and better overall health. Start with making sure you’re getting tons of variety with your choices.  One great way to get variety is to eat “seasonally” for what is available.  This is a huge factor in making sure you’re getting the variety you need.

This is a simple outline of the major vitamins and their primary roles in the body, along with the best food sources for each.
Vitamin A: Antioxidant, keeps skin and vision healthy.  Anti-cancer.
Food Sources: Carrots, mangoes, melons, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cod liver oil.
Vitamin E: Antioxidant.  Good for blood cells, muscles, nervous system.  Protects against heart disease and cancer.
Food Sources: Fresh almond milk (recipe coming soon!), sesame seeds, tahini, pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin D: Bone health, disease prevention.
Food / Natural Sources: Cod liver oil, sunlight.
Vitamin K: Helps prevent Osteoporosis.  Ensures normal blood clotting.
Food Sources: Carrots, parsley, strawberries.
The above are “fat soluble” vitamins.  When you’re consuming them, or food sources that contain Vitamins A, D, E or K, be sure to have them with a good source of fat to ensure the most absorption into the body!
Vitamin C: Antioxidant and ANTI-allergenic.  Improves iron absorption and wound healing.  Helps immunity and blood fat levels.
Food Sources: Red peppers, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, leafy greens, citrus, strawberries.
Vitamin B1: (thiamin) Aids metabolism.  Maintains healthy nerves and muscles.
Food Sources: Carrots, oranges, nuts, avocado, seeds.
Vitamin B2: (riboflavin) Helps energy release from food.  Keeps mucous membranes in good condition.
Food Sources: Fresh almond milk, cherries, cucumber, grapes, fish oil.
Vitamin B3: (niacin) Helps maintain optimum energy levels, keeps skin and mucous membranes in good condition.
Food Sources: Apples, apricots, bananas, lemons, pears, tomatoes, dates, figs.
Vitamin B5: (pantothenate) Anti-stress!  Helps maintain energy levels.  Aids antibody production, protects against high blood pressure and allergy.
Food Sources: Honey (be sure to get local!), tomatoes, avocado.
Vitamin B6: (pyridoxine) Supports the nervous system; may protect against PMS, asthma, migraines and depression.
Food Sources: Bananas, oranges, tomatoes, fish oil, walnuts, spinach, avocados.
Vitamin B7: (biotin) Maintains condition of skin, hair, sweat glands, nerves, bone marrow.  Aids fat metabolism and encourages appetite.
Food Sources: Fresh almond milk, bananas, red currants, carrots, leafy greens.
Vitamin B9: (folate) Aids growth of development of a healthy nervous system.
Food Sources: Apples, beets, carrots, oranges, leafy greens, spinach.
Vitamin B12: (cobalamin) Supports growth.  Maintains health of the blood, bone marrow and nervous system.
Food Sources: Animal flesh.

Should you decide at any point that you’d like to add in a multi vitamin to the daily routine for you or any family members, be sure to take into consideration who will be taking it – for instance a pregnant woman would need a different multi vitamin than an active male.  Then also, male formulas should not include iron for various reasons.  Again, this is all related to customizing for individual needs and not assuming one program will work for everyone in the family!

If you have any questions on specific products, quality of vitamins, etc. feel free to email me any time,