Whenever you cook virtually anything green, orange, yellow or red, it probably contains water-soluble vitamins. If you throw away the water, you throw away these nutrients, so please be mindful to consider incorporating vegetable water for a puree, soup, rice or potato dish.
And it is great to have more than brown-colored food on your plate! Keep the reds and oranges, yellows and leafy greens working to combat disease and inflammation! Doesn’t this kale look beautiful?
The water-soluble vitamins are something to be remembered; if you are deficient in these, you may be severely malnourished. Only Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. The others don’t get stored in the body, requiring a daily supply. Unused blood sources go out in the urine.
Please note that each type of B vitamin does something different, and usually one has to eat a variety of foods to get all of them. That’s why doctors say to eat a balanced diet.
Of note, squash is high in all B vitamins listed, except it has no significant amount of biotin.
It’s a great food!
The 9 Water-Soluble Vitamins
- B1 = thiamin. Deficiency leads to the nerve and heart disease, beriberi. Find thiamin in acorn squash, cooked asparagus, black beans, Edamame, lemon juice, lima beans, brussels sprouts, grapes, iceberg lettuce, mangos, mushrooms, nuts, okra, green peas, soybean, sunflower seeds, tangerines, tomatoes, tuna, yellow fish, fortified breads and more.
- B2 = riboflavin. Deficiency leads to vague symptoms: dry skin and lips, mouth sores, and sensitivity to light. Find it in squash, almonds, artichokes, barley, beans, blueberries, broccoli, cheese, corn, oily fish, garbanzo beans, mangos, mushrooms, okra, peas, plums, potatoes, raspberries, spinach, sesame seeds, spinach, sweet potatoes, tangerines, tomatoes, yogurt, and more.
- B3 = niacin. Deficiency leads to pellagra, having the “3 D’s:” diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia. Find it in squash, apricots, beans, bulgur, corn, green peas, lentils, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, peaches, plums, papayas, peanuts, potatoes, tangerines, tomatoes, tuna, and more.
- B5 = pantothenic acid. Deficiency is rare as many foods are fortified; vague symptoms include irritability, fatigue, muscle cramps and low blood sugar. Supplements are called pantothenol, panthenol, calcium and sodium D-pantothenate. Find it in squash, avocado, beans, blueberries, broccoli, corn, cucumber, dried peas, grapefruit, lentil, milk, mushrooms, papayas, potatoes, pumpkin, salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelon, yeast, yogurt, and more.
- B6 = pyridoxine. Deficiency leads to anemia, infection, heart disease, and depression. Find it in squash, apricots, beans, cherries, cucumber, grapefruit, honeydew, lemons, limes, milk, pineapple, peaches, plums, prune juice, potatoes, pumpkin, rhubarb, sweet potatoes, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelon, yogurt, and more.
- B7 = biotin. The bacteria living in our colon can produce biotin. Deficiency is rare and leads to scaly scalp, or cradle cap in infants, high cholesterol, and vague symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, nausea, anemia, and lethargy. Find it in almonds, bananas, Brewer’s yeast, broccoli, cabbage, grains, egg yolk, green peas, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, oats, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, salmon, sardines, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sweet potato, tomatoes, tuna, walnuts, and more.
- B9 = folic acid = folate. Deficiencies usually occur together as a complex Vitamin B12-folate deficiency that is particularly problematic in women who plan to get pregnant. A brain disorder called a neural tube defect is preventable with prenatal nutrition. Find folate in squash, beans, cherries, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, limes, papayas, pears, potatoes, pumpkin, raspberries, spinach, tomatoes, and more.
- B12 = cobalamin. The vitamin drug name is cyanocobalamine. Deficiency leads to nerve demyelination, peripheral neuropathy, pernicious anemia, the elevated homocysteine levels of heart disease. Find it in squash, apricots, beans, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, potatoes, prunes, pumpkin, raspberries, Sauerkraut, strawberries, tangerines, tomatoes, watermelon, municipal tap water, and more.
- Vitamin C =ascorbic acid = ascorbate. Deficiency leads to scurvy: muscle and join pain, easy bleeding or bruising. About 90% of Vitamin C is from fruit and vegetables in the diet; therefore try to eat raw as cooking reduces vitamin content by about 40%. Find it in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, citrus foods like lemons, limes, oranges, dark leafy greens, kale, kiwi,mango, papaya, peas, pineapple, red chili peppers, red and green bell pepper, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Some foods are also aroma therapy. For example, tangerines, pine cones, and cinnamon sticks just smell warm and inviting!
We’ve written about the immuno-nutrition of papaya, squash, and watermelon. Note the following foods repeatedly arise in the lists above: beans, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, lemons, limes, nuts, potatoes, pumpkin, tangerines, tomatoes, and yogurt.
Now you see that grocery store shopping should be done mostly on the periphery, and not in the aisles. Stick with the produce section for life! Say,
Yes, I can get used to that!
Let’s keep passing the winter squash, please!
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The Collection: Health Benefits of Winter Squash
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Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda
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Read Dr Margaret Aranda’s Memoirs:
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