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Know your Vitamin & Nutrients

 Know your Vitamin and Nutrients food sources to help recovery, prevent injury and boost your immune system




Vitamin A 

Function: Essential for growth and cell development, vision and immune function and as an immune booster against invasive viruses and bacteria. Helps maintain the mucosal lining of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts to protect against infection.

Meat, Poultry: Offal (liver, liver pâté, kidney)
Fish: Oily fish – cod - halibut
Fruit: Orange & Yellow fruit (mango, papaya and apricots)
Vegetables: Orange foods (sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and apricots) - Dark leafy greens (spinach and kale) - Bell peppers – cantaloupe melon.
Grains, Pulses and Seeds:
Dairy: Cheese - egg yolk – milk – fortified skim milk
Others: fortified cereals – cod liver oil


Vitamin B6 

Function: Supports your body fight infection & helps formation of red blood cells. Releases energy from protein foods.

Meat, Poultry: pork - grass-fed beef - turkey - chicken breast – lamb’s liver
Fish: salmon – tuna – sardines (in oil) - prawns
Fruit: bananas
Vegetables: spinach - avocados - banana
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: peanuts - pistachios – sunflower seeds - sesame seeds – pinto beans - garbanzo beans – soya beans – amaranth seed – lentil soup
Dairy: eggs
Others: Wheatgerm - fortified cereals– yeast extract (Marmite) – wholemeal bread


Vitamin B12 

Function: transports folic acid into cells. Makes myelin around nerve fibres

Meat, Poultry: meats - poultry - kidney
Fish: fish - prawns
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: 
Dairy: Milk - cheese – egg
Others: fortified cereals


Vitamin C 

Function: Supports your immune system to recruit and coordinate the body’s disease-fighting cells, and phagocytes which surrounds and kills unwanted invaders. Helps the body to absorb iron from food. Helps repair soft tissue

Meat, Poultry:
Fruit: Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit and tangerines) – orange juice - strawberries - papaya – blackcurrants - kiwi fruit – peach – cranberry – raspberries - mango - Guavas - Lychees
Vegetables: Green vegetables (cabbage, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, broccoli) – potatoes - tomatoes – fresh salad leaves – sweet yellow peppers
Grains, Pulses and Seeds:
Others: Chili peppers - Thyme


Vitamin D 

Function: Regulates both the innate and adaptive immune systems to quickly identify and destroy pathogens that enter the body. Helps you absorb calcium and phosphorous for healthy bones and teeth

Vitamin D; the sunshine nutrient

Meat, Poultry: red meats - liver - pork
Fish: Fatty/Oily fish (salmon, herrings, sardines, mackerel) – shellfish (oysters, shrimp) - canned Tuna - kippers - eels
Vegetables: mushrooms
Grains, Pulses and Seeds:
Dairy: egg yolks  - fortified milk - fortified yogurt
Others: Sunshine - margarine - fortified cereal


Vitamin E 

Function: An antioxidant that boosts immune system to protect against disease and cancer

Meat, Poultry:
Fruit: Pumpkin
Vegetables: avocado - beet greens - collard greens - spinach - red bell peppers
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: Almonds - Sunflower seeds  - peanuts - peanut butter  
Others: Plant based oil (rapeseed, sunflower, soya, corn & olive oils) - margarine – wheat germ



Function: Vital for energy metabolism and is involved with muscle contraction and nerve function. Ensuring healthy blood clotting. Builds healthy bones and teeth.

Meat, Poultry:
Fish: sardines - pilchards - salmon
Vegetables: Winter squash - leafy green vegetables (bok choy, kale, okra, spinach)– figs
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: sesame seeds – almonds – muesli
Dairy: Cheese (Parmesan, Edam, Cheddar) – yogurt – milk – calcium enriched soya milk - fortified plant-based milks (rice - almond)
Others: soya drinks with added calcium – bread – anything made with fortified flour - Tofu (incl calcium sulfate) 


Folic Acid 

Function: Helps to build healthy cells and the formation of DNA

Meat, Poultry: liver
Fish: most seafoods
Fruit: fresh fruit - fruit juices
Vegetables: Brussel sprouts – broccoli – leafy green vegetables (cabbage, kale, spring greens, spinach) - peas
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: chick peas – kidney beans - peanuts - sunflower seeds - 
Dairy: eggs
Others: fortified cereals - whole grains



Function: As part of the haemoglobin molecule in red blood cell, iron improves oxygen transport and assists cardiovascular exercise. Aids enzymes involved in energy metabolism.

Meat, Poultry: chicken liver - offal – black pudding – red meat – lamb & beef liver - chicken
Fish: oysters - clams - mussels - canned sardines - canned light tuna - prawns
Fruit: dried fruit (apricots, prunes)
Vegetables: kale – spring greens – dried apricots - spinach - potato with skin
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: nuts - lentils – beans (red kidney beans, edamame beans, chickpeas)
Dairy: egg yolk
Others: fortified cereal – dark chocolate – soya bean flour - enriched rice - enriched bread



Function: Boosts energy production, assists muscle contraction, helps balance blood sugar levels. Essential to the metabolic process of converting food into energy

Meat, Poultry: Beef - poultry
Fish: Salmon
Fruit: raisins - bananas
Vegetables: leafy green vegetables (spinach, chard) - potato with skin 
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: muesli – sunflower seeds – pumpkin seeds – cashew nuts – almonds - peanut butter - beans (black, kidney) - soya beans - brown rice
Dairy: dairy products
Others: wheat germ – wholemeal bread - soya milk - oatmeal (instant, whole oats) - dark chocolate (at least 70%)



Function: Healthy human intestines support some 10-trillion microorganisms which not only break down particles of food, but also dangerous bacteria, viruses, germs and fungi. Keeping a healthy bacteria balance in your gut prevents pathogens from entering the bloodstream.

Meat, Poultry:
Vegetables: cultured vegetables, such as unpasteurized sauerkraut and kimchi; miso; kombucha
Grains, Pulses and Seeds:
Dairy: yogurt with live and active cultures – milk with probiotics (buttermilk, sweet acidophilus) - soft cheeses (made from goat’s or sheep’s milk)
Others: kefir - sourdough bread - sour pickles - olives (cured in brine, not vinegar



Function: The protein you consume is broken down into smaller pieces, known as amino acids. These pieces are then reassembled into proteins your body needs to function, including antibodies and complement proteins that support your immune system cells.

Meat, Poultry: meats
Fish: fish - prawns
Fruit & Vegetables: Peas (green, snow, snap, split, sugar) - corn - broccoli - asparagus - brussels sprouts - artichokes
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: Beans (adzuki, black, chickpeas, kidney, mung, pinto) - nuts and nut butters – brown rice - whole grain - lentils - edamame
Dairy: low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, milk and cottage cheese
Others: soya products - soya - tofu - tempeh - whole grain (kamut, teff, wheat, quinoa, rive, wild rice, millet, oats, buckwheat)


Function: boosts your immune system and thyroid metabolism.

Meat, Poultry: offal - beef - turkey - chicken
Fish: shellfish - fin fish
Vegetables: avocados
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: wholegrains – brazil nuts - beans - lentils
Dairy: eggs - butter
Others: wholemeal bread - fortified cereals - whole-white bread 



Function: Assists in healing wounds and the processing of dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins. When taken at the first sign of illness, zinc prevents cold viruses from binding and replicating

Meat, Poultry: beef - lamb – lean pork – chicken -
Fish: shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster, prawns) - salmon
Vegetables: spinach
Grains, Pulses and Seeds: cashews, pumpkin, squash, hemp and sesame seeds – aduki beans – mixed nuts – chickpeas - lentils
Dairy: cheddar cheese – eggs – milk – Greek yogurt
Others: fortified cereal - wheatgerm - dark chocolate – Quorn – wholemeal bread - fortified cereals


Spices and Seasoning

Raw Garlic contains alliin, which when crushed (using clove press or by chewing) converts to allicin. Allicin boosts the response of certain white blood cells to help fight off colds and flu.

Ginger has a lot of powerful compounds what fight against anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. 

Onions contain several nutrients that strengthens your immune system. Nutrients from onions also contain an antioxidant called quercetin which has antiviral and histamine-regulating properties. 

Turmeric contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows it also supports and modulates your immune system. 





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