Better Life

Vitamins and Minerals
Look at the contents listed on a label of a box or bottle of vitamins. Ever heard of selenium? molybdenum? niacin? The list of ingredients is long but each of these elements plays a role in keeping you healthy. It is very important to know what and why you need these vital nutrients.

1000-1500 mg
Mineral Skim milk, nonfat yogurt, kale, chesses, collard greens, canned salmon with bones, mustard greens, broccoli, figs, calcium- fortified orange juice, carbo, oats, prunes, asparagus, sesame seeds, soybeans, tofu, water- cress, whey
Trace Mineral Brewer’s yeast, broccoli, ham grape juice, brown rice, whole grains, dried beans, calves liver, chicken, corn, corn oil, dairy products, eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, wine, beer
0.5-2 mg
Trace Mineral Shellfish, nuts, seeds, cocoa powder, beans, whole grains, mushrooms, calves liver, avocados, barley, beets, broccoli, lentils, oats, oranges radishes, raisins, salmon, green leafy vegetables
1.5-4 mg
Trace Mineral Fluoridated water, tea, canned salmon, mackerel, kidney, liver
Folic Acid
400-1200 mcg
Water Soluble Fortified cereals pinto beans, navy beans, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, okra, Brussels sprouts, barley, beef, bran, brown rice, yeast, cheese, chicken, dates, green leafy veggies, lamb, pork, legumes, lentils, liver, milk, mushrooms, oranges, split peas,
0-150 mcg (most individuals)
150-300 mcg (low iodine diets)
Mineral Iodized salt, shellfish, saltwater fish, milk, seaweed
15-25 mg (men)
18-30 mg (women)
Mineral Iron fortified cereals, beef, baked potatoes, clams, liver pumpkin, soybean, eggs, green leafy veggies, whole grains, nuts avocados, beets, brewer’s yeast, dates, peaches, pears, lentils, dried prunes, raisins, sesame seeds
500-750 mg
Mineral Brown rice, avocados, spinach, haddock, oatmeal, navy beans, lima beans, broccoli, yogurt, bananas, baked potatoes, nuts, apples, apricots, brewers yeast, tofu, cantaloupes, grapefruit, grapefruit, greens lemons, salmon, sesame seeds, wheat
15-30 mg
Trace Mineral Canned pineapple juice, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole grain seeds, nuts, cocoa, shellfish, tea, dairy products, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, brewers yeast, cantaloupe, grapefruit, greens, peaches, figs, salmon, soybeans, tofu
1200 mg
Mineral Halibut, non-fat yogurt, nuts, salmon, skim milk, chicken breast, extra lean ground beef, oatmeal, lima beans, broccoli, asparagus, corn, dairy, eggs, dried fruit, high carbonated beverages, legumes, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower seeds
3500 mg
Trace Mineral Dried apricots, baked potatoes
100-400 mcg (living with low-selenium)
50-200 mcg (living with high-selenium)
Mineral Lobster, brazilian nuts, shell fish, shellfish, whole grains, organ meats, brown rice, tuna, poultry, broccoli, dairy, wheat germ, wheat grain, onions, torula yeast, veggies
2400 mg
Trace Mineral Cheese, most meats, canned soups, canned veggies, canned tuna, cereals, bread, cabbage, milk, sardines
5000-50,000 IU
Fat Soluble Carrots raw & juice, pumpkin, yams, tuna, cantaloupe, tuna, mangos, turnip, beets, greens, butternut squash, spinach, fish, enriched pastas, cereals
25-300 mg
Water Soluble Rice bran, pork, beef ham, fresh peas, beans, breads, wheat germ, oranges, enriched pastas, cereal
25-3000 mg
Water Soluble Poultry, fish, fortified grains & cereals, broccoli, turnip greens asparagus, spinach, yogurt, milk, cheese
25-300 mg
Water Soluble Chicken breast, tuna, veal, beef liver, fortified bran brewers yeast, pork, broccoli, carrots, cheese, corn, flour, dandelion greens, fish, dates, eggs, milk, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes
25-300 mg
(Pantothenic Acid)
Water Soluble Whole grains, mushrooms, fresh veggies, kidney, brewers yeast, torula yeast, wheat flour, legumes, liver, pork, royal jelly, saltwater fish, whole rye, whole wheat flour
1.5-2 mg
Water Soluble Bananas, avocados, chicken, beef, brewers yeast, eggs, brown rice, soybeans, whole wheat, peanuts, walnuts, oats, carrots, sunflower seeds
25-500 mg
Water Soluble Clams, ham cooked oysters, king crab, herring, salmon, tuna, lean beef, liver, blue cheese, camembert & gorgonzola cheese
60-5000 mg
Water Soluble Broccoli, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, oranges, pineapple, peppers, pink grapefruit, strawberries, asparagus, avocados, collards, dandelion greens, kale, onion, mangos, radishes, watercress
400-800 IU
Fat Soluble Sun exposure, sardines, eggs, salmon, mushrooms, herring, fortified milk, fortified cereal, Liver, tuna, cod liver oil, margarine
30-1200 IU
Fat Soluble Veggies & nut oil, soybean, corn, sunflower, spinach, whole grains, wheat germ, sunflower seeds
80 mg
Fat soluble Green veggies, spinach, kale, cauliflower, broccoli
22.5-50 mg
Mineral Cooked oysters, beef, lamb, eggs, whole grains, nuts, fish, yogurt, fish, legumes, lima beans, liver, mushrooms, pecans, pumpkin & sunflower seeds, sardines, soybeans, poultry
Do we "Eat to live" or "Live to eat"?

You have to eat to live, for the sake of your health. You must eat well and have a grasp of how to buy, handle, store and cook food safely. Not only that, you have to know what to eat, how to make healthy choices, and where to go for information.

IS ORGANIC BETTER? Many supermarkets have entire sections devoted to foods grown organically. There are debates about the positives and negatives of growing and eating organic foods. Support your discussion with research and details from a variety of resources, including what “organic” means as applied to different foods, how food is designated organic, who decides what and is not organic, and how cultivating organic foods differs from regular cultivation methods.

PARTS OF A NUTRITIONAL LABEL. Take time to study and learn what the labels on food packaging tell you. There is key information contained on the labels, which you should understand before you shop.

Serving Size – Serving size is based on the amount to be eaten at one time.

Serving Per Container – Tells the number of servings included in the package, based on the serving size.

Calories – Calories measure the amount of energy supplied by this food.

Calories From Fat – This tells how many of the product’s calories come from the fat it contains.

Total Fat – Measured (in grams) the fat in each serving. You may also see “saturated” and/or “Trans” fats or sometimes “Polyunsaturated” fats listed under total fat.

Calorie Conversation Information – This tells the number of calories per gram provided by carbohydrate, fat and protein. Fat contains 9 calories per gram. Compare that to 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates or protein.

Percent Daily Value – This chart shows how the nutrition provided be this food fits into an imaginary “perfect” 2000 calorie diet that provides 100% of all needed nutrients. Your goal should be to get 100% of each nutrient by eating a variety of foods each day.

Ingredients – This part of the label lists the ingredients contained in the food. They are listed from most to least amount in the product of food.

Be aware of serving sizes, eating too much food isn’t smart.

Super Foods

APPLE – High in antioxidants (mostly in the peel)
AVOCADO – Healthy unsaturated fatty acids
BEANS – Low-fat proteins
BLUEBERRY – Fruit highest in antioxidants
BROCCOLI – Best anti-cancer food
CINNAMON – Balances blood sugar
CHOCOLATE, DARK – Cocoa is high in antioxidants
DATES – Full of iron, potassium, folate
HONEY – Antioxidant, fights bacteria, fungus
KIWI – High in Vitamin C contents
OATS – High in fiber, proteins
OLIVE OIL – Healthy unsaturated fatty acids
ONION, GARLIC – High in flavonoids, anti-inflammatory
ORANGE – Vitamin C
POMEGRANATE – Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
PUMPKIN – High in carotene
SOY – Complete plant protein, anti-cancer
SPINACH – Fights heart diseases, cancer
TEA – Protects against cancer forms
TOMATO – Fights cancers
TURKEY – Low-fat, lots of protein, Vitamin B
WALNUT – Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E
WILD SALMON – Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D
YOGURT – Strengthens the immune system

Energy Foods

FEELING SLUGISH? These foods will give you the perfect pick-me up.

Overall, the key is to focus on low-glycemic foods (because they release energy slowly) that are high in complex carbohydrates and low in excess fats. Iron is also very important because it produces red blood cells that carry blood to the exercising muscles. A first step is to eliminate “quick-fix” food that contain simple carbohydrate foods, like candy bars an soft drinks, which spike your energy level before it plunges quickly. Next, start incorporating these 10 foods into your meal plan.


Whole Grains- They are high in fiber (which can help slow the breakdown and absorption of sugar) and complex carbohydrates. They also contain antioxidants similar to those in fruits and vegetables. Additionally, they reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Adults should eat 6-11 servings of whole grains per day. Examples include whole grain breads, pastas and rice.


Oatmeal – According to the American Dietetic Association, oat products are some of the best sources of soluble fiber. You can combine oatmeal with raisins, honey and yogurt for extra flavor and energy.

Bananas – This fruit is packed with potassium, which helps your muscles contract. One per day prevents stiffness that comes from sitting to long.

Orange Juice – This drink is ideal for the morning and is extremely high in Vitamin C, which helps you get most iron out of other foods.


Pasta – When athletes “carbo-load” before a game, they usually eat a big plate of spaghetti. It is extremely high in complex carbohydrates and low in calories, fat and sodium. All grain spaghetti is best.

Salmon – This fish is high in protein, and has a high concentration of omega-3 fats and B Vitamins can boost your cardiovascular health.

Beans – A small, powerful vegetable packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Beans can be used in creative ways. Add them to soups, all grain burritos, all grain pastas and dip spreads. The Department of Agriculture recommended that we eat three cups of beans per week.


Dried Fruit – These high-energy, low-fat snacks are easy to pack and almost never go bad. Try a medley of apricots, figs and raisins. However, be aware that some commercially packed dried fruits contain sulfur dioxide, which has been shown to increase the risk of asthma.

Almonds – Ounce for ounce, this is the most nutrient dense nut. Research has shown that adding two ounces of almonds to your daily diet increases your intake of Vitamin-E and Magnesium.

Yogurt – Quick, easy and delicious, yogurt is available in a variety of flavors. One cup of low-fat yogurt contains almost 13 grams of protein and 17 grams of carbohydrates. This is just what you need for great energy.

Know your Nutrients

Foods supply your body with nutrients, the materials your body needs for good health. Your choices should be determined by how rich each food is in the various nutrients you need to maintain good health.

The following are major groups of nutrients. They are what fuel your body!

Water – Water carries other nutrients to the body’s tissues and transforms food into energy and building material. Water also carries away waste and cools the body.

Carbohydrates – Sugars and starches are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates supply energy that enables the body to do this work.

Sources: Most foods, milk, fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates. Sugar, breads, beans, grains, pasta and potatoes contain carbohydrates as starches.

Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates

In simple terms, the technical term for “good” carbs is complex carbohydrates, and the technical term for “bad” carbs is simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs are said to be high glycemic and complex carbs are low glycemic. The term “glycemic” refers to the amount and speed a food will raise blood sugar and insulin levels.

The goal is to maintain, steady levels of blood sugar and insulin for health and energy, which happens most effectively when you eat carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index.

As a result, you should avoid foods that contain simple carbs, such as white bread, white rice, pasta, and typically junk food that is high sugar. You should include foods like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, brown rice and other whole grain foods in your meals because they contain complex carbohydrates.

Fats – Fats are a form of very concentrated energy. They are made up of glycerol, (a kind of alcohol) and fatty acids.

Sources: Plant oils, meats, fish, dairy foods and peanuts.

Proteins – Proteins supply energy and building material for muscles, hair and skin. Enzymes are proteins and are present in every cell in the body. Enzymes help to seed up chemical reactions. Proteins also fight diseases and act as chemical messengers.

Sources: Eggs, lean meat, fish, milk, cheese, nuts, certain vegetables and grains.

Minerals – Minerals are important for maintaining body structures and fluids. They are also necessary for growth. Different minerals do different jobs in the body. Some minerals help form bones and teeth, others help make hemoglobin (a molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen), and they also help enzymes to function properly.

Sources: They are minerals in many foods. Milk contains a mineral called calcium. Green, leafy vegetables contain magnesium. Bananas contain potassium and meat contains iron.

Vitamins – Vitamins control the chemical processes that turn food into energy and body tissue. Here are some vitamins and the jobs each of them does in the body:

A – Healthy skin and bone development.
B1 – Changes starch and sugar into energy.
B2 – Helps the body use food.
Niacin – Enables cells to use carbohydrates.
C – Helps to maintain supportive tissue in the body.
D – Helps the body use calcium.
E – Helps maintain cell membranes.

Sources: Vitamin A is found in milk and green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, such as oranges, and potatoes. Vitamin E is found in vegetable oil and whole-grain bread.

Antioxidants – Antioxidants are the natural substances found in fruits and vegetables that balance out the oxygen levels in our body’s cells. Too much oxygen, like too much of anything, can be harmful. Antioxidants are helpful in fighting off cancer, heart disease, degenerative eye disease, and they boost the immune and nervous systems. The National Cancer Institute and the National Academy of Science both recommend that you eat at least 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies everyday.

Sources: Prunes, raisins, berries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, red peppers, carrots, tomatoes, green tea.

What's Metabolism

Living things need energy to survive. Energy does not just float around in the air in a form we can use to live on. Our energy for living comes from the food we eat. Once we eat the food, the chemical process called “digestion” begins.

That process and its related chemical reactions are called “metabolism.” Metabolism is the total of all the chemical reactions an organism needs to survive.

If your metabolism is “high” or “fast,” energy from your food is burned or used up at a more rapid rate. People with a high metabolism generally are on the thin and trim side. If you have a “low” or “slow” metabolism, energy is used up more slowly and people with a slow metabolism tend to be overweight.

One of the best ways to boost your metabolism is exercise. When you exercise you build muscle mass while reducing body fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, which boosts your metabolic rate. If you exercise and continue to make healthy food choices, you have a better chance of maintaining a good healthy weight.

What's Your Body Index (BMI)

BMI is a measure of your body fat based on you height and weight. In children and teens, BMI is used to assess whether you are under or over weight, or at risk for being overweight. It is one tool to help determine if you are at a good weight.

Nutrition Health
Nutritional Picture