So what does a post on vitamin facts have to do with having a spa day or beauty? The short answer is everything. First, a spa day is designed to be a healthy retreat from the hurly burly of day-to-day stress. Vitamins can play a vital part in relaxation.
Second, vitamins and the foods that contain them are part of a total beauty treatment for skin, hair and nails.
This vitamin facts post is not going to bore you with information you can get from very reliable sources on the internet. This post is about vitamin facts you won’t find in very many places unless you really dig. We’re going to discuss why vitamins from foods contain elements not found in synthetic vitamins. There is little known about these elements termed phytonutrients, associated food factors or co-factors, but enough to give you pause the next time you think you can simply pop a vitamin pill instead of eating vitamin rich foods.
What are phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients or phytochemicals are nutrients derived from plants. Science has a pretty good understanding of some of these nutrients and not so much of others. For example, if we eat an orange, we get vitamin C. If we don’t get enough vitamin C, we pay a price such as being more prone to disease, bruising easily and sores that don’t heal. However, within the cells of that orange there are other elements that are missing when vitamin C is produced synthetically. The nutritional value of these elements to a large extent remains a mystery.
The importance of the mystery phytonutrients
The importance of these unknown phytonutrients was well demonstrated in a study of beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A. It’s well known that carrots are high in beta carotene and helps prevent cancer. However, when beta carotene was synthesized and given by itself, the incidence of cancer increased. The study had to be terminated.
Should you take vitamins?
Almost all the physicians I’ve talked to say a multivitamin is a good idea to take. Most of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Many of us don’t get enough exercise, our stress levels are off the charts. In addition, the fresh fruits and vegetables we do eat may have diminished food value because they’re not really “fresh” when we buy them. Hint: a study conducted by the USDA determined that frozen foods often had more food value than fresh.
Vitamin facts are easily found in books, booklets and online, but information on the hidden phytonutrients is unknown. However, just because the benefit of a nutrient is unknown doesn’t make it less valuable. Therefore, we still need to eat whole fruits and vegetables even if we take a vitamin supplement.
- Cottage cheese with mandarin oranges is a good anti-stress snack. So are almonds.
- Bananas are a good bedtime snack to help you sleep well. Milk will also help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Pecans, walnuts, spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes or yams are great anti-aging foods.
Now go have fun and relax.