Completely unprocessed and unrefined, whole fruits and vegetables offer vitamins in a form your body uses best. In fact, no supplement manufacturer has been able to replicate the way nature's bounty preserves and delivers these nutrients. Here are 20 recipes that are packed with vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. The best part: They're delicious too.
Carrots can do more than help eyesight. They are a key distributor of vitamin A, which plays an important role in our ability to guard against colds and flus -- and possibly helps to prevent cancer.
Avocados and corn are great sources of the B-vitamin family, which includes folate -- a known protector against certain birth defects (for pregnant women). Together with B6 and B12, folate may also guard against heart disease by reducing levels of homocysteine in your blood.
Only a handful of common foods are naturally high in vitamin D; the body's main source is sunlight. To help prevent deficiencies, this nutrient is added to many foods, such as dairy products. Some great food sources include eggs, fortified milk, salmon, sardines, and tuna.
Tomato puree is another great source of vitamin E, which can help limit the production of harmful free radicals. These molecules can compromise LDL cholesterol, which otherwise can build up in the arteries and restrict blood flow. A component of the vitamin is also thought to promote respiratory health, so important during cold and flu season.
Spinach is full of carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These help protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer. Research suggests that lutein and zeaxanthin in particular may guard eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Some carotenoids are thought to reduce the incidence of cold and flu.