Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vitamins and Minerals in Food

I have been reading articles online about deficiencies of vitamins and minerals and how it is linked with obesity.  This sparked my curiosity, so I did some Google searches about vitamins and minerals to see if I could find anything about how it pertains to obesity or weight loss.  Needless to say that the search engine was a disappointment, as I got tons of websites selling magical weight loss supplements and promoting eating vitamins in pill form to make up for the fact that people don't eat vegetables or fruits to get their nutrients.  I don't agree with skipping on the actual good food for a pill, so I've had to look in a different search to see where these vitamins are found so that I can adjust myself to be healthier and get what my body needs from my own garden or even produce at the store.

The first site that I thought was helpful lists the vitamins and minerals that are needed and tells why you need them and where you will find them in food.  Great!  Health Check Systems was great for me to look at, and I think that I will be taking notes on what I need to be introducing into my daughter's diet as well as my own. 

The CDC had a great page about getting your fruits and veggies as actual servings and a variety of colors.  It is pretty basic, but starting basic is always a good idea.  Locally grown food benefits are also something to consider.  Fruits and vegetables are picked when they are their best in flavor and nutrients, rather than prematurely to be shipped across the country.  It also helps your neighbor farmers economically by encouraging them to continue to offer fresh, local produce to their communities rather than selling off to a super farm that will specialize in one crop, which can lead to lack of genetic diversity among crops and increased room for disease.  Genetic diversity in crops and livestock have been a big issue as of late.  For more reading, Diminished crop diversity explains a lot that you may find interesting.  The Global Crop Diversity Trust is also a great site to check out if this interests you as much as it does me.

All of this reading about crops and vegetables have made me realize that what I bought at the store is the same as what you can buy at the store anywhere!  Seeds, vegetables, fruits, and even seedlings lack so much diversity anymore.  It is very convenient, but should we be doing it?  My goal for next year:  get some seeds from a seed-saver's exchange for more variety and promotion of people who care very much for the plants that they grow.

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