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minerals

Do You Have a Vitamin Deficiency?

By: Angela Ciroalo

Having a vitamin deficiency is a big deal.

Some people go days, weeks and years not knowing that they have a deficiency. Many people have issues that they overlook, think is normal, or receive medication for — without EVER looking at the root cause.

Below I have listed a guide where you can look at your symptoms and get an idea of what vitamin you may need a little more of.

Signs of Nutritional Deficiency

Taken from healthyfoodplace.com

I never know that you could take a vitamin to aid in preventing acne during menstruation. I also never knew that there was a vitamin to take to aid in preventing dandruff.

The truth is, we were not created to have issues with our body. Anything that is not right is likely due to a deficiency or imbalance.

It is all-too-common for us to just buy quick fix solutions, rather than seeking the root cause and healing naturally. However, this should NOT be the cause.

Below I have listed a quick guide explaining what each of the vitamins and minerals are, the benefits that they offer, the recommended daily amount (RDA), and their food sources.

After reading this you can experiment with supplements and incorporating foods that offer these vitamins and minerals naturally in your diet!

Listing of vitamins (Harvard Medical School)

Vitamin (common names)
Benefits
Recommended amount (dailyRDA* or dailyAI**)
Upper limit (UL) per day
Good food sources
Did you know?
VITAMIN A(Retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid — three active forms of vitamin A in the body — are retinoids, “preformed” vitamin A. Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A as needed.) Essential for vision Lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk. Keeps tissues and skin healthy. Plays an important role in bone growth. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts M: 900 mcg (3,000 IU)W: 700 mcg (2,333IU)Some supplements report vitamin A in international units (IU’s). 3,000 mcg (about 10,000 IU) Sources of retinoids:beef, liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese

Sources of beta carotene:sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, squash, spinach, mangoes, turnip greens

Many people get too much preformed vitamin A from food and supplements.Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta carotene) can be harmful to bones.
THIAMIN (vitamin B1) Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and brain M: 1.2 mg, W: 1.1 mg Not known Pork chops, ham, soymilk, watermelons, acorn squash Most nutritious foods have some thiamin.
RIBOFLAVIN(vitamin B2) Helps convert food into energy. Needed for healthy skin, hair, blood, and brain M: 1.3 mg, W: 1.1 mg Not known Milk, yogurt, cheese, whole and enriched grains and cereals, liver Most Americans get enough of this nutrient.
NIACIN (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid) Helps convert food into energy. Essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system M: 16 mg, W: 14 mg 35 mg Meat, poultry, fish, fortified and whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes, peanut butter Niacin occurs naturally in food and can also be made by your body from the amino acid tryptophan, with the help of B6.
PANTOTHENICACID (vitamin B5) Helps convert food into energy. Helps make lipids (fats), neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, and hemoglobin M: 5 mg, W: 5 mg Not known Wide variety of nutritious foods, including chicken, whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, tomato products Deficiency causes burning feet and other neurologic symptoms.
VITAMINB6(pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine) Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may reduce the risk of heart diseaseHelps convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays key roles in sleep, appetite, and moods. Helps make red blood cells Influences cognitive abilities and immune function 31–50: M: 1.3 mg, W: 1.3 mg51+: M: 1.7 mg, W: 1.5 mg 100 mg Meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu and other soy products, potatoes, noncitrus fruits such as bananas and watermelons Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient.
Vitamin B12(cobalamin) Aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Assists in making new cells and breaking down some fatty acids and amino acids. Protects nerve cells and encourages their normal growth Helps make red blood cells M: 2.4 mcg, W: 2.4 mcg Not known Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, fortified cereals, fortified soymilk Some people, particularly older adults, are deficient in vitamin B12 because they have trouble absorbing this vitamin from food. A lack of vitamin B12 can cause memory loss, dementia, and numbness in the arms and legs.
BIOTIN Helps convert food into energy and synthesize glucose. Helps make and break down some fatty acids. Needed for healthy bones and hair M: 30 mcg, W: 30 mcg Not known Many foods, including whole grains, organ meats, egg yolks, soybeans, and fish Your body needs very little biotin. Some is made by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it’s not clear how much of this the body absorbs.
VITAMIN C(ascorbic acid) Foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk for some cancers, including those of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breast. Long-term use of supplemental vitamin C may protect against cataracts. Helps make collagen, a connective tissue that knits together wounds and supports blood vessel walls. Helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Bolsters the immune system M: 90 mg, W: 75 mg Smokers:Add 35 mg 2,000 mg Fruits and fruit juices (especially citrus), potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts Evidence that vitamin C helps reduce colds has not been convincing.
CHOLINE Helps make and release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which aids in many nerve and brain activities. Plays a role in metabolizing and transporting fats M: 550 mg, W: 425 mg 3,500 mg Many foods, especially milk, eggs, liver, and peanuts No rmally the body makes small amounts of choline. But experts don’t know whether this amount is enough at certain ages.
VITAMIN D(calciferol) Helps maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, which strengthen bones. Helps form teeth and bones. Supplements can reduce the number of non-spinal fractures 31–50: 5 mcg (200 IU) 51–70: 10 mcg (400 IU) 71+: 15 mcg (600 IU) 50 mcg (2,000 IU) Fortified milk or margarine, fortified cereals, fatty fish Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient.While the body uses sunlight to make vitamin D, it cannot make enough if you live in northern climes or don’t spend much time in the sun.
VITAMIN E (alpha-tocopherol) Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Protects vitamin A and certain lipids from damage. Diets rich in vitamin E may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Supplements may protect against prostate cancer M: 15 mg, W: 15 mg (15 mg equals about 22IU from natural sources of vitamin E and 33 IU from synthetic vitamin E) 1,000 mg (nearly 1,500IU natural vitamin E; 2,200 IUsynthetic) Wide variety of foods, including vegetable oils, salad dressings and margarines made with vegetable oils, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts Vitamin E does not prevent wrinkles or slow other aging processes.
FOLIC ACID(folate, folacin) Vital for new cell creationHelps prevent brain and spine birth defects when taken early in pregnancy; should be taken regularly by all women of child-bearing age since women may not know they are pregnant in the first weeks of pregnancy. Can lower levels of homocysteine and may reduce heart disease risk May reduce risk for colon cancer. Offsets breast cancer risk among women who consume alcohol M: 400 mcg, W: 400 mcg 1,000 mcg Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, okra, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, legumes like black-eyed peas and chickpeas, orange juice, tomato juice Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient.Occasionally, folic acid masks a B12deficiency, which can lead to severe neurological complications. That’s not a reason to avoid folic acid; just be sure to get enough B12.
VITAMIN K(phylloquinone, menadione) Activates proteins and calcium essential to blood clottingMay help prevent hip fractures M: 120 mcg, W: 90 mcg Not known Cabbage, liver, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, sprouts, kale, collards, and other green vegetables Intestinal bacteria make a form of vitamin K that accounts for half your requirements.If you take an anticoagulant, keep your vitamin K intake consistent.
Mineral (common names) Benefits Recommended amount (dailyRDA* or dailyAI**) Upper limit (UL) per day Good food sources Did you know?
CALCIUM Builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps with muscle contractions and relaxation, blood clotting, and nerve impulse transmission. Plays a role in hormone secretion and enzyme activation. Helps maintain healthy blood pressure 31–50: M: 1,000 mg, W: 1,000 mg 51+: M: 1,200 mg, W: 1,200 mg 2,500 mg Yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, sardines, salmon, fortified juices, leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale (but not spinach or Swiss chard, which have binders that lessen absorption) Adults absorb roughly 30% of calcium ingested, but this can vary depending on the source.Diets very high in calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
CHLORIDE Balances fluids in the body. A component of stomach acid, essential to digestion Food and Nutrition Board 1989 guidelines: M: 750 mg, W: 750 mg Not known Salt (sodium chloride), soy sauce, processed foods New recommendations (DRIs) for chloride are under development by the Institute of Medicine.
CHROMIUM Enhances the activity of insulin, helps maintain normal blood glucose levels, and is needed to free energy from glucose 31–50: M: 35 mcg, W: 25 mcg 51+: M: 30 mcg, W: 20 mcg Not known Meat, poultry, fish, some cereals, nuts, cheese Unrefined foods such as brewer’s yeast, nuts, and cheeses are the best sources of chromium.
COPPER Plays an important role in iron metabolism. Helps make red blood cells M: 900 mcg, W: 900 mcg 10,000 mcg Liver, shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes More than half of the copper in foods is absorbed.
FLUORIDE Encourages strong bone formation. Keeps dental cavities from starting or worsening M: 4 mg, W: 3 mg 10 mg Water that is fluoridated, toothpaste with fluoride, marine fish, teas Harmful to children in excessive amounts.
IODINE Part of thyroid hormone, which helps set body temperature and influences nerve and muscle function, reproduction, and growth. Prevents goiter and a congenital thyroid disorder M: 150 mcg, W: 150 mcg 1,100 mcg Iodized salt, processed foods, seafood To prevent iodine deficiencies, some countries add iodine to salt, bread, or drinking water.
IRON Helps hemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells ferry oxygen throughout the body. Needed for chemical reactions in the body and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones 31–50: M: 8 mg, W: 18 mg 51+: M: 8 mg, W: 8 mg 45 mg Red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread and grain products Many women of childbearing age don’t get enough iron.Women who do not menstruate probably need the same amount of iron as men.Because iron is harder to absorb from plants, experts suggest vegetarians get twice the recommended amount (assuming the source is food).
MAGNESIUM Needed for many chemical reactions in the body Works with calcium in muscle contraction, blood clotting, and regulation of blood pressure. Helps build bones and teeth 31+: M: 420 mg, W: 320 mg 350 mg (Note: This upper limit applies to supplements and medicines, such as laxatives, not to dietary magnesium.) Green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, legumes, cashews, sunflower seeds and other seeds, halibut, whole-wheat bread, milk The majority of magnesium in the body is found in bones. If your blood levels are low, your body may tap into these reserves to correct the problem.
MANGANESE Helps form bones. Helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates M: 2.3 mg, W: 1.8 mg 11 mg Nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea If you take supplements or have manganese in your drinking water, be careful not to exceed the upper limit. Those with liver damage or whose diets supply abundant manganese should be especially vigilant.
MOLYBDENUM Part of several enzymes, one of which helps ward off a form of severe neurological damage in infants that can lead to early death M: 45 mcg, W: 45 mcg 2,000 mcg Legumes, nuts, grain products, milk Molybdenum deficiencies are rare.
PHOSPHORUS Helps build and protect bones and teethPart ofDNA and RNA.Helps convert food into energy. Part of phospholipids, which carry lipids in blood and help shuttle nutrients into and out of cells M: 700 mg, W: 700 mg 31–70: 4,000 mg 71+: 3,000 mg Wide variety of foods, including milk and dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, liver, green peas, broccoli, potatoes, almonds Certain drugs bind with phosphorus, making it unavailable and causing bone loss, weakness, and pain.
POTASSIUM Balances fluids in the body. Helps maintain steady heartbeat and send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractions. A diet rich in potassium seems to lower blood pressure. Getting enough potassium from your diet may benefit bones Food and Nutrition Board 1989 guidelines: M: 2,000 mg, W: 2,000 mg Not known Meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes New recommendations (DRIs) for potassium are under development by the Institute of Medicine.Food sources do not cause toxicity, but high-dose supplements might.
SELENIUM Acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing unstable molecules that can damage cells. Helps regulate thyroid hormone activity M: 55 mcg, W: 55 mcg 400 mcg Organ meats, seafood, walnuts, sometimes plants (depends on soil content), grain products Researchers are investigating whether selenium may help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
SODIUM Balances fluids in the body. Helps send nerve impulses. Needed for muscle contractionsImpacts blood pressure; even modest reductions in salt consumption can lower blood pressure Food and Nutrition Board 1989 guidelines: M: 500 mg, W: 500 mg Not determined Salt, soy sauce, processed foods, vegetables While experts recommend that people limit sodium intake to 2,400 mg, most Americans consume 4,000–6,000 mg a day.New recommendations (DRIs) for sodium are being developed by the Institute of Medicine.
SULFUR Helps form bridges that shape and stabilize some protein structures. Needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails Unknown Unknown Protein-rich foods, such as meats, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes Sulfur is a component of thiamin and certain amino acids. There is no recommended amount for sulfur. Deficiencies occur only with a severe lack of protein.
ZINC Helps form many enzymes and proteins and create new cellsFrees vitamin A from storage in the liver. Needed for immune system, taste, smell, and wound healing. When taken with certain antioxidants, zinc may delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration M: 11 mg, W: 8 mg 40 mg Red meat, poultry, oysters and some other seafood, fortified cereals, beans, nuts Because vegetarians absorb less zinc, experts suggest that they get twice the recommended requirement of zinc from plant foods.
*Recommended dietary allowance **Adequate intake

Information taken from Harvard Medical School

My best advice, however, is to ask your doctor for a full panel blood test. Ask your doctor to check ALL of your vitamin and mineral levels!

Once the test results are in, look your results over and make sure that your levels are above average. If they are low or under average, incorporate healthy sources into your diet and consider supplementation until you are above average.

If you are somewhat low, or just under average, in any level than you may be at risk of becoming deficient soon. Doctors often do not recommend supplementing unless you are low, so be aware of this.

Your goal is to have optimal, exuberant health. To be the healthiest and happiest person possible 🙂

I hope all is well and that your vitamin levels are above average ❤

If you have any additional questions relating to your health and vitamin levels I would be glad to help and offer any guidance. Email me at angelajoynutrition@gmail.com

Choose Happiness

❤ Wishing you love, joy and blessings,

Angela Joy

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Tips on proper hydration and electrolyte consumption

By: Angela Joy

As summer sets in, many are preparing to take their exercise routines outdoors. However, before you head outside for your next run, bike ride or even basketball game, make sure you are properly hydrated.

The heat of the outdoor sun combined with the movement of our body causes our skin to perspire water and minerals. We sweat out water and minerals to cool the body down, preventing heat exhaustion.

To properly restore the water and minerals lost through our skin, you can follow these helpful tips that will include; the adequate amount of water to drink; the electrolytes needed for proper body functioning; as well as natural, organic electrolyte sources.

What are electrolytes? 

The minerals we lose through sweat commonly known as electrolytes.

According to the online healthcare publishing company Medical News Today [MNT], electrolytes are defined as any substance that contains free ions that behave as an electrically conductive medium.

Electrolytes are made up of minerals including sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate.

According to the Medical News Today article titled, “What are electrolytes,” humans cannot function without proper electrolyte levels.

“Electrolytes regulate our nerve and muscle function, our body’s hydration, blood pH, blood pressure and the rebuilding of damaged tissue,” Medical News Today stated in the 2014 article.

Not properly restoring electrolyte levels in the body during or after exercise can lead to dehydration, fatigue, muscle cramping and more.

In an effort to prevent dehydration amongst athletes and exercise enthusiasts, the American College of Sports Medicine [ACSM] created proper hydration standards.

The ACSM suggests that those exercising outdoors, or for long periods of time, replenish the amount of fluid lost, as well as the electrolytes lost, during exercise.

According to ACSM, the amount of fluids and electrolytes each person should consume will depend upon the individual, the amount of sweat perspired, and the length or exertion level of their exercise.

Water

Photo taken from girlsgotsole.com

Tips for avoiding dehydration

To avoid dehydration, the ACSM suggests that those participating in exercise drink 16 to 20 fluid ounces of water, or a sports beverage, at least four hours before exercise with and additional 8 to 12 fluid ounces of water consumed 10 to 15 minutes before exercise.

During exercise, the ACSM suggests that exercisers drink three to eight fluid ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes when exercising less than 60 minutes.

Running water

Photo taken from getactivetampa.com

If exercise is longer than 60 minutes, the ACSM suggests that those partaking in exercise consume three to eight fluid ounces of a sport beverage, made up of carbohydrates and electrolytes, every 15 to 20 minutes.

The ACSM warns that those exercising do not drink more than one quart of liquids per hour, to avoid over-hydrating.

Once exercise is completed, the ACSM suggests that those partaking in exercise estimate their fluid losses, then restore the full amount lost within two hours of exercise.

According to the ACSM, if you were to feel very thin after a bout of exercise, this is the result of fluid loss and not weight loss — therefore the steps to properly restore the body’s fluids should be taken as soon as possible.

Tips for properly restoring electrolytes 

Proper hydrating fluids generally include a carbohydrate [glucose] that also offers electrolyte minerals.

The ACSM stated that a liquid that includes a carbohydrate, or sugar, will replenish the lost glycogen in the muscles — preventing cramps and assisting with muscle recovery.

The ACSM suggests that during exercise the beverage consumed should contain carbohydrates, sodium and potassium.

Natural electrolyte options

Proper hydration restoration can be found in some standard sports drinks, however, in an effort to avoid white granulated sugar and unknown ingredients I chose whole, organic foods and drinks.

As I prepare for a long run, I pack my water bottle with diluted organic coconut water [two parts water, one part coconut water].

Other electrolyte-filled natural options include lemon water with honey and a touch of salt, orange-infused water or electrolyte-filled snacks.

My favorite go-to electrolyte-packed foods to eat during a run include: bananas, raisins and oranges.

Electrolyte 2

Photo courtesy of Angela Joy

Each of these foods contain electrolytes and carbohydrate to allow your body to properly restore the lost water and minerals levels – while also providing needed energy to sustain you.

Most fruits and vegetables contain electrolytes and are filled with water, allowing most raw fruit and vegetables to also serve as a great electrolyte-packed choice.

Group of different fruit and vegetables

Photo taken from enjoyagreatlife.com

Aside from natural foods, there are also many items available to purchase that offer electrolytes. Options include salt tablets, electrolyte-filled chews and gu, as well as electrolyte tablets and powders.

Vega

Photo taken from shopmyvega.com

(If I were to purchase a electrolyte item instead of eating it through food, I would purchase it from the Vega company)

I personally favor natural foods during my runs. However, if a supplement or tablet is more appealing to you, give it a try!

Since incorporating coconut water into my workout routines I have felt much more energy, I have been able to recover more quickly and I have completely avoided brain fog towards the end of my runs.

Coconut water

Photo taken from makecoffee.com

I inspire you to be stronger than your excuses – start exercising for at least a few minutes each day, gradually increase your rate each week, and never give up on yourself.

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up,” Ultramarathon champion Dean Karrnazes said.

Remember, hydration is incredibly important — even if you are not an exercise enthusiast. We all should be conscious of our water consumption and never wait till we are thirsty to start drinking water.

Coconut Water Tip: When choosing the type of coconut water that you are going to consume, follow the Food Babe’s advice on the healthiest, purest options –>http://bit.ly/1l3r61i

Best,

Angela Joy

Originally published in Night & Day Magazine

The health benefits of mangoes — Also a great post-run recovery food

By: Angela Joy

After returning for a long, hard run one of my favorite foods to consume is a delicious and nutritious mango.

Mango with lobules on a white background

The sweet, juicy flavor and high water content fulfill my post run cravings, while also restoring my depleted carbohydrate and protein stores.

After doing a little research about my favorite fruit I discovered that the mango is a powerhouse full of vitamins and nutrition – along with spectacular flavor.

According to Medical News Today, the mango contains over 20 vitamins and minerals, is one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world and it has been found to decrease the risk of macular degeneration and colon cancer while improving digestion, bone health and growth of skin and hair.

Medical News Today found that within 100 calories of mango, the fruit offers: 

  • 1 gram of protein
  • .5 grams of fat
  • 25 grams of carbohydrates
  • 100 percent of daily vitamin C needs
  • 35 percent of daily vitamin A needs
  • 20 percent of daily Folate needs
  • 10 percent of daily vitamin B6 needs
  • 8 percent of daily vitamin K and potassium needs

The informative medical website further concluded that mangoes offer minerals such as copper, calcium and iron. They are also a great source of antioxidants, which fight off cancer.

Eating Mangoes After Exercising

After completing a run the most common fruit eaten is a banana– and for good reason. The banana is fantastic.

However, I like to change things up. I am also very thirsty after a run, therefore consuming foods with a high water content serves me well.

Some of the benefits to eating a mango specifically after a run or workout include the carbohydrates, amino acids, sodium and potassium available.

During exercise:

While undergoing exercise the body burns energy and releases sweat.

To create the energy burned, the cells must bind together protein, fat and carbohydrates.

To create sweat, the body needs sodium.

After exercise:

Once a workout or form of exercise is completed, the body must restore the utilized protein, carbohydrates, fats and sodium – that was burned.

What is amazing about the mango is that it offers protein, carbohydrates, fats and sodium (not large amounts of each, but it does however offer it).

The chart below was taken from the United Stated Department of Agriculture National Nutrient database, and listed on the nutrition-and-you.com website.

Nutrition Value per 100 g of Mango
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
*Energy 70 Kcal 3.5%
*Carbohydrates 17 g 13%
*Protein 0.5 g 1%
*Total Fat 0.27 g 1%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.80 g 4.5%
Vitamins
Folates 14 µg 3.5%
Niacin 0.584 mg 3.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.160 mg 1%
Pyridoxine (vit B-6) 0.134 mg 10%
Riboflavin 0.057 mg 4%
Thiamin 0.058 mg 5%
Vitamin C 27.7 mg 46%
Vitamin A 765 IU 25.5%
Vitamin E 1.12 mg 7.5%
Vitamin K 4.2 µg 3.5%
Electrolytes
*Sodium 2 mg 0%
Potassium 156 mg 3%
Minerals
Calcium 10 mg 1%
Copper 0.110 mg 12%
Iron 0.13 mg 1.5%
Magnesium 9 mg 2%
Manganese 0.027 mg 1%
Zinc 0.04 mg 0%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-β 445 µg
Carotene-α 17 µg
Crypto-xanthin-β 11 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg
Lycopene 0 µg

 Infograph taken from: nutrition-and-you.com

(Stars were added to the graph to emphasize the areas in mangoes that are beneficial to athletes after a workout) 

Essential Amino Acids in Mangoes

Mangoes are also one of the few fruits that offers such a great amount of essential the amino acids (the building blocks of protein in the body’s cells).

According to Chem4kids.com, amino acids are used in every cell of your body. The amino acids build/create protein in each cell – which we use in order to function (especially when exercising).

There are over 50 amino acids in the body – however, only 20 of them are actually used to create proteins, Chem4kids.com further explains.

Of the 20 amino acids utilized to create protein, nine are “essential.”

The difference between essential and non-essential is that the body has the ability to synthesize 11 of the 20 amino acids.

The body cannot, however, create the remaining nine amino acids (Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine).

As a result, the nine were named the essential amino acids – because they body needs to consume them in order to create long chains of amino acids (protein).

Like the human body, plant foods also do not contain all nine amino acids. They do however offer different varieties of the nine.

The only “food” that humans can consume with all nine amino acids is foods derived from animals. Foods from an animal (meat, eggs, dairy) contain all nine because amino acids have been broken down and synthesized inside of the animal to create a complete protein.

Many people often argue that a diet without the consumption of animal products is unhealthy because of the lack of protein.

The truth however, is that the body has the ability to breakdown and synthesize all of the amino acids it has consumed throughout the day to form a complete protein.

The best way to understand this is, say I eat fruit for breakfast, peanut butter for a snack, pasta for lunch, and rice and beans for dinner – I never consumed animal products, although my body would have all nine essential amino acids.

The body takes the amino acids from each food consumed and combines them – creating a complete protein (all 20 amino acids).

After my run:

20150330_124508 (1)

I consume one whole mango (two if available).

I will first drink water, then cut up the mango into cubes and eat it.

Mangoes can be eaten, raw, in a smoothie, mashed, or even mixed into meals to add flavor.

My favorite is to consume the mango whole and enjoy each of the outrageous and rewarding flavors (they taste 10 times better after a long run). 

Depending on the length of my run and the amount of calories burned, I will also consume a protein smoothie and a piece of toast with peanut butter (to fully restore what my body burned during my run).

*Always make sure to fully hydrate after completing a long run or workout*

———>The best part about this post: Mangoes are NOW in season <———

Mangoes in season

So pick one up today and begin enjoying the tasty flavor and wonderful benefits.

Wishing lots of love, joy and blessings ❤

Best,

Angela Joy

Resources:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/mango-fruit.html

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275921.php

http://www.chem4kids.com/files/bio_aminoacid.html

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