Where to find vitamins & minerals

Thierry Clerc practices in Cambridge (UK) as a clinical homeopath and a nutritionist.

In terms of nutrition, we should best get their nutrients through quality food and only use supplementation sparingly.

 

Some general principles on supplementation:

– Vitamins and supplements should not be used as a substitute for a balanced and varied diet that contains sufficient vitamins.
– Supplements are not well absorbed if they are not eaten with food containing these specific ingredients.
– Supplements should not be used long-term without the supervision of a health practitioner. This is simply because after a while, the body will get “used to the supplement”, reducing its effectiveness.

Some general principles on cooking:

– Many vitamins are impacted by heat. Their main sources tend to be from the Plant Kingdom, so eating your vegetables, pulses and seeds raw, “marinated” or lightly cooked is preferable.
– Key minerals can be found in both the Animal and Plant Kingdoms. As a general rule, the Animal Kingdom provides a higher concentration of minerals and they are also more easily absorbed. They are not impacted by heat, but the minerals will leach in the broth or the cooking water. For this reason, it makes sense to eat or re-use the broth and cooking water.
– There is a useful segmentation in the Plant Kingdom between Salads and Other Vegetables. Salads would include any raw vegetables, you can think of for salad but that you would not cook (for example, lettuce, mustard or rocket leaves, cucumber…). Salads are very low in nutrients compares to other Vegetables, so it is best not to have salads at every meal, but instead to vary regularly.

Main food sources of food for macro-nutrients:

Fat, proteins and carbohydrates are the 3 main groups classified as macro-nutrients, because they are required in big quantities by the body. For this reason, they should make the bulk of our diet. We should also include pure water as a macro-nutrient.

Good Quality FatFat is used by the body to restore some tissues but also as a source of energy. It is actually a very efficient way for the body to produce energy with very little toxic by-products. The best sources are the following: sea-fish (especially mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, wild salmon), almonds, nuts, seeds (ideally crushed and soaked beforehand).
For dressing or on bread: use an oil high in nutrients. Cold pressed and unrefined oils are the best. Linseed oil, hemp-seed oil and walnut oil are the most nutritious but less available and more expensive than cold-pressed olive oil, which is also an excellent option.
To fry: use an oil that can be heated up to a certain point with no significant change in chemical composition (this point is called the “smoke point”, and this is when flavour and nutrients are damaged and the oil can turn toxic). To cook, the best is organic coconut butter or ghee. Other good options are refined olive oil, high-oleic sunflower oil or safflower oil.

Proteins: proteins are used by the body to restore body tissues and build new tissues (such as muscles). Over-consumption of proteins however can create toxic by-products so ideally, we need to stay withing a 10% range of what would be our ideal daily ratio of protein. This ratio depends on your weight, physical activity and lifestyle, and also your genetic set-up. The main protein groups are meat, fish, eggs, cheese/dairy, tofu/soy. However, vegetable proteins such as lentils, pulses, porridge, quinoa have a high content of proteins that are easily absorbed.

Carbohydrates: carbohydrates are used by the body as a source of energy, which is easy to access. This is especially important under physical or mental stress as the brain and the muscles find carbohydrates very easy to process. However, using carbs as energy creates a lot of toxic by-products, such as lactic acid. The body also finds it difficult to use fat and carbohydrates at the same time. When we are young, the body can deal with carbohydrates very easily. however, when we age and do not grow, fat is a more effective energy resource.
For this reason, carbohydrates should be used in parsimony. The best time to have them is the morning, when our body needs to get activated quickly. The best sources of fast-releasing carbohydrate are fruit. Rye, wholewheat, whole rice can also be used during our meals. Sugar should ideally be reduced.

Water: our water is made of 70% water, and our cells are surrounded by a water-based fluid. For this reason, water is required to bring in nutrients and eliminate waste. For this reason, we need to drink a significant amount.

Main food sources of food for micro-nutrients:

Micro-nutrients are elements such as electrolytes, vitamins and minerals, which are required in very low quantity in our diet. This is mainly because the body can recycle them. It is also because if our our diet is balanced and based on proteins, vegetables and fat, we would usually get plenty of them.

In some cases, such as sickness, long periods of stress, injuries or poor nutrition, we may need to supplement our micro-nutrients. In this case, they will be better absorbed if we eat food, which include them:

Probiotics: probiotics include several strains of healthy guts bacteria and sometimes good nutrients for these guts bacteria, such as polysaccharides. They are best eaten 5-15 minutes before a meal with some warm water. While you are taking them, you can also pick food that will help them. These include  Sauerkraut with no sugar (cabbages only or also with other vegetables like carrots….), miso soup, raw clean vegetables with lemon, vinegar, brown rice, dairy (if not intolerant), cooked apples, cooked plums, figs, berries…

 

Vitamin A/Beta-Carotene: organic carrots (by far the best), liver, fish liver oil, dark green and yellow vegetables, yellow fruits

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): watercress, squash, courgette, lamb, asparagus, mushrooms, peas, green vegetables

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Mushrooms, watercress, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, pumpkin, mackerel, wheat germ

Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Mushrooms, tuna, chicken, salmon, asparagus, lamb, mackerel, tomatoes, squash

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): mushrooms, green and leafy vegetables, wholewheat, strawberries

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Green vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, bananas, lentils, seeds, onions

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin): oysters, sardines, tuna, lamb, eggs, shrimp, cheese, milk, turkey

Vitamin B9 or Vitamin M (folic acid): Wheat germs, spinach, peanuts, green veg., nuts and seeds

Vitamin H or Co-enzyme R (biotin): Cauliflowers, green vegetables, tomatoes, oysters, grapefruit, cabbage, almonds

Vitamin C: peppers, cabbage, green leafy veg., lemons, orange, berries, tomatoes

Vitamin D (ergociferol & choleciferol): sunlight is the best approach (spendi at least one hour outside everyday), herrings, mackerel, salmon, oysters, cottage cheese, eggs

Vitamin E: unrefined corn oils, sunflower seeds, peanuts, other seed, bean and peas

Vitamin K (phylloquinone): vegetables

Calcium: the human body requires different types of calcium compounds and the most readily available and digestive are found in green leafy food (what they cows eat all day). So increase your intake of green vegetables, especially artichokes, seaweeds, okra; rutabaga; broccoli; dandelion leaves; kale, organic salad, organic spinach. Other good sources include pumpkin seeds, beans, nuts and seeds (almonds, sesame)

Chromium: brewer’s yeast, rye bread, oysters, green peppers, potatoes, eggs, chicken, apple

Copper: dried beans, peas, whole grain, green leaves, prunes, organ meat

Iron: pumpkin seeds, parsley, prune, other nuts, dates, pork, beans

Magnesium: wheat germ, green vegetables (see calcium list), almonds, buckwheat, beans, other nuts

Manganese: greens, fruits

Phosphorus: fish (especially bass, trout, cod, tuna, mackerel), poultry, meat (especially beef-steak and sirloin), whole grains, eggs, nuts, pumpkin seeds
An increase of phosphorus in your diet may be required to balance vital minerals like Potassium or Calcium. Getting phosphorus through food is safe and simple. Added vitamin D supplementation or extra sun exposure may be required in parallel.

Potassium: coconut water, watercress, endive, vegetables (especially greens), seeds, citrus fruit

Selenium: seafood, tuna, oysters, molasses, fish, beef liver, chicken, liver, vegetables

Sodium: particularly shellfish, vegetables. For some healthy people, one to two grams of added salt in the daily may be required to help the body manage fluid balance. This is equivalent to 0.5 to 1 grams of sodium and will also help absorb vital minerals like Potassium or Calcium.

Sulphur: lean beef, dried beans, fish, eggs, cabbage, kale, garlic, Brussels sprouts

Fluoride: seafood, tea

Iodine: kelp, vegetable in iodine-rich soil, onions and all seafood

Molybdenum: dark green-leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes

Vanadium: Fish, olives, whole grains

Zinc: oysters, roots, lamb, pecan nuts, haddock, peas, nuts, vegetables, egg yolks

 

Thierry Clerc, MARH, RHom, MSc
Registered Health Practitioner, Cambridge (UK)
Clinical Homeopathy, Bioresonance & Nutritional Therapy