The Antioxidant Vitamins: A, C, and E

February 19, 2011

What Happens to Nutrients When You Diet

When you diet, regardless whether it is a high protein, low-carb diet or a low-calorie diet that cuts out high protein sources, your body will probably become deficient in vitamins and other important nutrients. That's why doctors recommend taking a multivitamin/mineral complex along with performing regular exercise in order to balance and enhance the effects of a diet.

With a high protein diet, you may be cutting out vital nutrients by skimping on vegetables, fruits, and dairy. Conversely, if you're on a low-calorie diet, then you are likely cutting out some of the important nutrients available in higher calorie foods, such as folate, vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc. All of these nutrients are abundant in meat, poultry, nuts, and seafood.

Poor Nutrition Leads to Vitamin Deficiency

Poor nutrition and constant dieting can leave you feeling depleted, fatigued, and craving foods. That's why you find yourself stuffing down sweets when you don't feel good mentally or physically. The problem is that sweets don't make you feel better - they make you feel worse.

It is worth noting that many overweight people are nutritionally deficient and some researchers believe that overweight people suffer with lowered immunity. A deficiency of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients - especially antioxidants - could be the problem. A Polish study of overweight people conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Food and Nutrition in Warsaw determined that the overweight women they studied had significantly lower levels of vitamins A, C, and E and a higher prevalence of overall vitamin deficiency than women of normal weight.

Vitamin Deficiency Leads to Illness

The deficiency of antioxidant vitamins is at least partly responsible for immunity depression in people who are overweight. As a result, they are more susceptible to cancers and infectious illnesses. Studies have shown that people who are very overweight have a deadly combination of overproducing estrogen and under-producing testosterone. This imbalance has been pointed to as a major factor in certain female reproductive cancers.

Getting Your Vitamins From Your Diet

The best sources of antioxidant vitamins come in the form of fruits and vegetables - especially those that are bright orange - like cantaloupe, carrots, and sweet potatoes. These foods are rich in beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. Vitamin C can be found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and citrus fruits and good sources for vitamin E are wheat germ and kale.

A word of warning when it comes to taking vitamin A. If taken in large doses, vitamin A can be toxic, especially in early pregnancy. Consult with your physician or naturopath before embarking on any vitamin therapy to ensure you are getting the correct dosage for your body's specific needs.

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