To The Letter
A Dose-By-Dose Breakdown of Vitamins
The vitamin aisle at the drugstore can sometimes look like a big, jumbled-up serving of alphabet soup with vitamin A, vitamin K, Vitamin C, B12 and more filling the shelves. Many of us don’t know what we’re looking for which can make it tempting to bypass the whole thing and hope you’re getting what you need from your regular diet.
As a member of ATA Martial Arts, it is important to keep your body in prime functioning order. To do so, you need to keep track of your vitamins and minerals to make sure you are getting all the essentials. We want to help you out with a crash course on the basics so you can stay strong, healthy-minded and achieve your goals.
We’re kicking things off with a superhero of a vitamin. It improves vision and boosts your immune system to promote bone growth, healthy skin & blood cell production. You can get this vitamin in eggs, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes and basically anything else with orange coloring.
There are a whole slew of power players on this team, including B6, B12, Biotin, Choline and Riboflavin. These help with sleep quality, energy production and mental clarity to keep you ready for training, as well as maintaining metabolism and muscle tone. Get these vitamins by eating whole grains, potatoes, beans, asparagus, etc.
It’s pretty well-known that Vitamin C boosts antioxidant function, but what you may not know is that it comes in handy for healing wounds quicker, forming new collagen, improving skin elasticity and building up blood vessels. You can also get this vitamin from more than just oranges! Guava, red peppers, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes and even broccoli contain Vitamin C.
Sunshine isn’t the only thing supplying this vitamin! Soak up this vitamin with fortified cereals and milk or canned salmon and egg yolks. It will provide big health boosts to your teeth, muscle function and immune and nervous systems, as well as improve your bone strength.
Do you lack balance and coordination? Or do you need to improve your blood circulation and guard yourself against chronic disease? You need Vitamin E! Get your daily does by eating foods such as almonds, hazelnuts, avocados, vegetable oils, sunflower seeds and tomatoes.
Have you ever heard of blood coagulation? It may sound a little scary, but it’s actually a good thing. It’s the clotting of your blood in the way it needs, like scabs. This is all thanks to Vitamin K. It also aids in wound healing and bone development, so stock up on those leafy greens!
As martial artists, you are slamming your arms and legs against boards, targets and other people’s arms and legs on a regular basis. That means it’s important to know you have strong bones – especially women, who begin to lose bone density in their 20s and 30s. Calcium is your go-to mineral for making sure you stay strong. Muscle function, nerve health and blood pressure also benefit from calcium, which is found in most dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. It is also found in tofu, salmon and lentils.
Having the right amount of oxygen in your bloodstream is critical to good health and overall physical performance. Iron helps make that happen on top of building muscle tissue and aiding in the production of collagen, amino acids and more. Your best bet for iron intake is red meat, poultry, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and fortified cereals.
A healthy heart, kidneys, muscles, bones, blood pressure and heightened nervous system communication to keep reflexes quick and true are all incredible benefits of keeping potassium in your diet. Of course, you can get this mineral in bananas, as well as raisins, plums, artichokes and baked potatoes.
*Please consult your doctor for more information regarding which vitamins need to be in your diet.
Author: Jess Ardrey (Edited by McKenna Stephens)