The Importance of Vegetables Fruits and Nuts in Your Diet

Vitamin A (retinol) function is essential for healthy eyes, skin, hair, organ linings, and bone formation. Vitamin A is a fat- soluble vitamin.
Food Sources: carrots, dark green leafy vegetables, cantaloupes, oranges, apricots, fortified milk products, eggs and oily fish.

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is essential for hemoglobin, maintain healthy skin, and regulate the function of cells in the nervous system.
Food Sources: bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, papayas, oranges, cantaloupes, beans, sweet potatoes and other potatoes, sunflower seeds, fortified cereals, poultry and fish.                                                                                                                                                             

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is essential for blood flow to the heart, fertility, lung protection, male potency, pituitary regulation, reduces blood cholesterol, retards aging, maintain skin and hair health. It is also, needed for healthy eyes and the prevention of toxemia pregnancy.
Its function is the protection of cell membranes from damage. It also, plays a role in red blood cell formation and the protection of red blood cells from damage.

Food Sources: cabbage, lettuce, green leafy vegetables, olive oil, corn oil, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, whole wheat, whole- grain products, dried beans, margarine, eggs, and fish.

Vitamin E is a fat- soluble chemical essential to human health. It is stable to visible light, heat, acid and alkali. Its potency is reduced by rancid fats.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin. It is vital to formation of collagen, which is important for the growth and repair of body tissues. It helps maintain capillaries, bones and teeth.

Food sources: citrus fruits,  green peppers, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and melons.

Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) is a fat- soluble vitamin. It is produced in the skin by the action of sunlight. It is also, found in animal products. The function of vitamin D is to enhance the absorption of dietary calcium; helps to form bones and teeth. It aids the systems that require calcium: circulatory, nervous, and muscles.

Food sources: nuts, fortified milk, cheese, butter, margarine, fortified cereal and breads, oily fish, liver, eggs, cod liver oil, dried peas and beans.

Other Vitamins and Minerals are Important:

Thiamine (B-1) is a B complex vitamin; its function is to convert glucose into energy. It is essential for the functioning of the nervous system, muscles and the heart.
Food Sources: peas, potatoes, grain products, whole-grain, fortified cereals, and breads, dairy products, organ meats, fish and eggs.
Riboflavin (B-2)  function is essential to maintain healthy skin, for the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Food Sources: green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, fruits, nuts, milk, cheese, liver and eggs.

Niacin (B-3) function is essential for the release of energy from glucose and fats, and the synthesis of hormones and other substances in the body. It also, maintains healthy skin. Niacin has two forms; nicotinic acid and nicotinamide. It is essential for utilizing energy from food. Some nicotinic acid or nicotinamide is usually needed in the daily diet to supply the amount required.
Food Sources: peas, beans, potatoes, peanuts, whole-grain products, milk, eggs, tuna, fish, poultry, liver, and meats.

Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin) is essential for the growth of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, cells of the intestinal lining and hair follicles.
Food Sources: milk, milk products, eggs, oysters, yeast, fish, poultry, pork, lamb, liver and beef.

Folic Acid (M)  works along with vitamin B-12 to form red blood cells. It is essential for the formation of red and white blood cells, growth and repair of cells, promote production of proteins and RNA and DNA.
Food Sources: green leafy vegetables, peas and beans.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. Its function is necessary for blood clotting, and for calcium metabolism in bones. It is formed by bacteria in the intestinal tract. There are 3 forms of vitamin K. The third form is synthetic; it is called menadione. Only the other two forms of vitamin K are natural and is found in food of plant origin.
Food Sources: green leafy vegetables, pork liver, cauliflower, grain products, potatoes, fruits, milk, eggs, cheese and cabbage.

Minerals are essential to the body functioning. They are needed to maintain healthy bones and teeth, cells and tissues, conduction of nerve impulses, aids blood clotting, and the contraction of the heart and muscles.
Minerals: calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, sulfur, iron, copper, fluorine, iodine, selenium, zinc, chromium, cobalt, manganese, and molybdenum.

Calcium: is essential to maintain healthy bones and teeth, contraction of muscles, and the heart, conduction of impulses along the nerves, aids in blood clotting, and maintains the connection of cells and tissues. It is essential for the growth of children, and young adults. It is also, needed for women who are pregnant, and for those who are breast feeding in a sufficient amount. Women lose protein and calcium during lactation, which can result in osteoporosis.
Food Sources: milk, dairy products, canned salmon, sardines, green leafy vegetables, eggs, dried beans, peas, nuts, seeds, oysters, shrimp and citrus fruits.

Phosphorus:  is essential for the structure of crystals in bones and teeth, and to the formation of high energy phosphate bonds. Their role is to transfer energy from ingested fat, carbohydrate and protein to the cells.  Vitamin D and Calcium are needed along with phosphorus for development and maintenance of the skeleton frame work of the body. Normally, if the protein intake is sufficient so is the phosphorus intake.
Food Sources: cheese, peanuts, meat, whole-wheat, corn, lamb, fish, milk, rice, nuts, eggs, dried peas and beans.

Sodium: is found in many natural foods, and is added to many processed foods. Its role is regulating the body's water balance, function of nerves and muscles by generating the electrical charges for muscle contractions and nerve transmission. It also, controls the heart's rhythms.
Food Sources: canned soups, tomato juice, olives, cheese, table salt, (smoked, cured pickled fish, meats and vegetables)

Potassium: along with sodium is essential to regulate the body's water balance and for nerve and muscle functioning. It generates electrical charges involved in muscle contraction and nerve transmission, and maintains regular heart rhythm. The cause of loss of potassium can be severe diarrhea, vomiting, excessive use of diuretic drugs and some kidney diseases.
Food sources: potatoes, dried fruits, nuts, bananas, beans, green leafy vegetables, fruits, meats, milk, and fish.

Magnesium: function is essential for bone and tooth structure, nerve impulse transmission, muscle function, bone and tooth structure. A severe deficiency can be due to excessive diarrhea, or alcohol abuse. More than half the magnesium in your body is in your bones.
Food Sources: nuts, whole-grain cereals, dark green vegetables, dairy products, dried fruits, meats, hard water, clams and other sea foods.

Iron: is present in hemoglobin and myoglobin; carry oxygen pigments of blood and muscles, is essential in the activity of some enzymes, plays and important role in the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells, acts as an oxygen reservoir in muscles. Iron from the hemoglobin in meat is better absorbed than from vegetables.
Food Sources: liver, red meat, shell fish, nuts, egg yolk, enriched breads, cereals, rice, pasta and green leafy vegetable.

Copper: plays an essential role in many enzyme activities in the body; formation of skin pigments and connective tissues, and help incorporate iron into hemoglobin.The body regulates the absorption of copper.
Food Sources: whole-grain cereals and breads, dried fruits, grapes, nuts, beans, peas, mushrooms, organ meats, certain oceans and shellfish.

Fluorine: Its role is to strengthen hard bones and teeth structure. It also composes the mineral in the tooth enamel.
Food Sources: tea, fluoridated drinking water, fish and other seafood.

Iodine: is essential for the formation of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland. These hormones controls the rate of energy released into the body. A deficiency of iodine can be the cause of an enlargement of the thyroid gland known as a goiter.
Food Sources: shellfish, salt water fish, and iodized salt.

Selenium: is an antioxidant; it helps to protect cells and tissue from oxidation.
Food Sources: whole-grain cereals, meat, fish, shellfish and dairy products.

Zinc: is essential for testicular function and sperm formation. It is required for growth and energy production, maintain healthy eyes and help in the healing of wounds.
Food Sources: whole-grain cereals, beans, peas, nuts, oysters, meat, fish and eggs.

I grew up on a farm of large fields of vegetables, and orchards with their beautiful trees bearing fruits and nuts. My parents also, raised animals; chickens, cows, pigs, horses and a dog.  There were places to fish and hunt.  The farm gave us back more than my parents put into it. We received good health and happiness.

Vegetables, fruits and nuts are much needed in our diets. It is difficult to get many of our young people and older ones as well, to eat green leafy vegetables. Exercise, without eating the proper foods will not produce a healthy and fit body. I have listed food products, and their nutritional values, sources of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and their functions in the body. 

Recommended to read Nutrition: God‘s Way for Mankind (chapter 8)
Book: How to Trust God When all Other Resources Have Failed @ 

Written by: Ellen J. Barrier