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Let's Hear it for Vitamins!

According to experts from Dallas Cooper Complete®, a division of Cooper Aerobics, learning what vitamins do to help your body function is a step toward making smart food and supplement choices.

Our bodies need a basic "list of vitamins" to work optimally. As we grow, and progress through life, the relative quantities may vary, but the body has its basic requirements listed by recommended daily allowance.

Pro-Vitamin A (beta-Carotene)

  • Keeping the cells of your skin healthy
  • Helps relieve skin disorders -- often to treat acne and wrinkles
  • Helps to heal any wounds you may have
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Maintains healthy vision
  • Some studies have also shown that vitamin A may help insulin regulate blood sugar levels – a big benefit for people with diabetes
  • Food sources: milk, margarine, eggs, beef liver, fortified breakfast cereals, carrots, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, and spinach

Vitamin B 12

  • Helps formation and regeneration of red blood cells; your body's manufacturer of DNA and RNA
  • Aids with proper nerve function
  • Food sources: fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, liver, and shellfish

Vitamin C

  • Helps heal wounds
  • Produces collagen
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Protects artery linings
  • Food sources: Citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, potatoes, red and green peppers, kiwi fruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe

Vitamin D

  • Maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus
  • Aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones
  • Prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults
  • Food sources: Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks

Vitamin E

  • Potent antioxidant
  • A possible role in protection against heart disease; some types of cancers
  • Boosts your immune system, and helping as an aid in the healing of injuries
  • Some studies have shown it can boost the immune system in elderly people
  • Food sources: Vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils; nuts such as peanuts, hazelnuts, and especially almonds; and seeds like sunflower seeds

Vitamin K

  • Helps blood clotting
  • Source to strengthen bones and counter osteoporosis
  • Food Source: Green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, seaweed, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, lettuces, okra, peas, and parsley

Todd Whitthorne, president and CEO of Cooper Concepts, says, "Fueling our bodies with the proper vitamins is the first step toward preventing life-altering illnesses. Knowing what vitamins do for us will aid in better decision making."

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