Introducing Magnesium

A Base for Healthy Bones, Muscles and Forming Energy

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Did you know that it’s not only calcium that has a vital role in bone health…magnesium is also a key player! More than half the body’s magnesium is found in the bones, where it helps in the development and maintenance of bone. Much of the rest of the mineral is found in the muscles and soft tissues, with only 1% in the extracellular fluid. Bone magnesium serves as a reservoir for magnesium to ensure normal magnesium blood concentrations.

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions such as synthesis of our genetic material (DNA/RNA) and proteins, in cell growth and reproduction, and in energy production and storage. Magnesium is important for the formation of the body’s main energy compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Our cells need ATP for all their processes.

The Primary Sources of Magnesium

Nuts, legumes, whole grains, dark green vegetables, and seafood.

Bioavailability of Magnesium

Magnesium absorption will decrease in diets with low intakes of protein. As with calcium, foods high in fiber that contain phytic acid will also decrease absorption of magnesium.

Risks Related to Inadequate or Excess Intake of Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency in healthy individuals who are consuming a balanced diet is quite rare because magnesium is abundant in both plant and animal foods and the kidneys are able to limit urinary excretion of magnesium when intake is low. Severe magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) can impede vitamin D and calcium homeostasis. Certain individuals are more susceptible to magnesium deficiency, especially those with gastrointestinal or renal disorders, those suffering from chronic alcoholism, and older people. Magnesium toxicity is rare. The upper limit of magnesium can only be exceeded with non-food sources such as supplements or magnesium salts.

Find more information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate magnesium into your next meal by trying the delicious recipe below…

Nut Roast

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
15g butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and finely diced
1 large carrot, grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
100g red lentils
2 tbsp tomato purée
300ml vegetable stock
100g fresh breadcrumbs
150g mixed nuts such as walnuts, peacans, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
3 large eggs
100g mature cheddar, grated
handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 sprig rosemary
400ml passata

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas 4. Line the base and sides of a 1.5 litre loaf tin with parchment paper.

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion and celery for about 5 mins until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a further 10 mins.

Stir in the red pepper and grated carrot and cook for about 3 mins then add the oregano and paprika and cook for just a minute.

Add the red lentils and tomato purée and cook for about 1 min, then add the vegetable stock and simmer over a very gentle heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is fairly dry. This should take about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Finally, stir in the breadcrumbs, nuts, eggs, cheese and parsley and a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Stir to mix well then spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down the surface. Cover with foil and bake for 30 mins, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 mins until firm when pressed gently.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat the oil very gently then add the garlic slices and rosemary sprig and heat without colouring. Pour in the passata and add a pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Simmer gently for just 15 mins.

Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for about 10 mins then turn out onto a serving board or plate. Remove the baking paper and cut into slices and serve with a little of the tomato sauce.

To make a vegan nut roast, use an extra tbsp of oil in place of butter and 3 tbsp egg replacer. Bake your nut roast for 1 hour. The loaf will still be soft in the middle after cooking. It can be cooked in advance and then chilled, sliced and reheated to make it easier to serve. 

*Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

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Introducing Calcium

Building Strong Bones

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We have all heard the phrase ‘those bones need calcium’ and it is essential advice for all of us! An adequate intake of calcium is one of a number of factors important for acquiring bone mass and attaining peak bone mass. Diets containing insufficient amounts of calcium may lead to lower bone mineral density, which may have implications for bone health, notably risk of osteoporosis later in life. Our bones are gaining and losing minerals continuously in an ongoing process of remodeling. Calcium forms crystals on a matrix of the protein collagen. This process is called mineralization. During mineralization, as the crystals become denser, they give strength and rigidity to the bones. Most people achieve a peak bone mass by their late 20s, and dense bones best protect against age-related bone loss and fractures.

Calcium is in fact the most abundant mineral in the body. Ninety-nine percent of the body’s calcium exists in the bones and teeth. It is an integral part of bone structure and calcium found in the bones also serves as a bank from which the body can withdraw calcium to compensate for low intakes. The remaining 1% of the body’s calcium is in the body fluids, where it helps regulate blood pressure and muscle movement. Calcium is important at all life stages, and most especially during periods of linear growth, infancy, childhood and puberty, as well as pregnancy and lactation. In the blood, calcium helps to maintain normal blood pressure. Calcium is also involved in the regulation of muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, secretion of hormones and activation of some enzyme reactions.

The Primary Sources of Calcium

Calcium is most commonly found in milk and milk products as well as small fish (with bones), calcium-set tofu (bean curd), legumes, spinach, Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli.

Bioavailability of Calcium

Calcium absorption by the body is enhanced by the presence of vitamin D and decreased in the presence of oxalic and phytic acid in foods. Thus, foods with high content of calcium that are also rich in oxalic acid (e.g., spinach, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, and beans) or phytic acid (e.g., seeds, nuts, grains) will result in a lower absorption of calcium compared to foods with no inhibitors, such as milk and milk products. Diets high in sodium or phosphorus (e.g., cola beverages) also negatively affect calcium levels in the bone.

Risks Related to Inadequate Intake of Calcium

Because calcium is critical to muscle contraction and nerve impulses, the body tightly regulates blood calcium levels. If calcium intake is low, the body will draw on calcium in the bones. Poor chronic intake in calcium results in osteomalacia, in which bones become weak owing to lack of calcium. Insufficient calcium in bones can also result from an inadequate supply of vitamin D, which is essential for absorption of calcium and its deposition in the bones. Thus, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is vital for bone integrity and for bone growth.

Find more information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate calcium into your next meal by trying the delicious recipe below…

Cheese & Spinach Penne with Walnut Crumble*

Ingredients

500g pack penne
2 large leeks, sliced
85g butter
85g plain flour
2 tsp ready-made English mustard
good grating nutmeg
1l milk, plus a bit extra
350g pack mature cheddar, grated
4 slices French bread, diced
85g walnut piece
400g bag spinach

Method

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5. Boil the pasta with the leeks for 10 mins, then drain.

Meanwhile, put the butter, flour, mustard, nutmeg and milk in a large pan with some seasoning. Gently heat, stirring all the time, until bubbling and thickened, then cook for 2 mins more, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in two-thirds of the cheese. Toss the remaining cheese with the bread and walnuts.

Cook the spinach in the microwave, or pour a kettle of boiling water over it to wilt, then squeeze out the excess water. Stir into the sauce with the pasta, leeks and some seasoning. If necessary, add a little extra milk to loosen. Divide between 2 ovenproof dishes and scatter the bread mixture on top. If eating straight away, bake for 40 mins until golden, or cool to freeze.

*Adapted from BBC Good Food 

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Introducing Vitamin C

The Healing Nutrient

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Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is often referred to as the healing vitamin. Why? Well, it has a very important role in wound healing by aiding the synthesis of collagen which is required for the normal structure and function of connective tissues such as skin, cartilage and bones.

Vitamin C has other important qualities for the human body. It is an antioxidant, potentially protecting cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, vitamin C is involved in the normal structure and function of blood vessels and neurological function and assists in the defense against infections and inflammation. Lastly, vitamin C is often recommended for people who have iron deficiency or anemia as it aids the  absorption of non-haem iron (iron from plant sources) in the gut.

The Primary Sources of Vitamin C

Fruits (especially citrus fruits), cabbage-type vegetables, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and liver (ox /calf).

Bioavailability of Vitamin C

Levels of vitamin C in foods depend on the growing conditions, season, stage of maturity, cooking practices, and storage time prior to consumption. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat and oxygen. Absorption levels depend on the amounts consumed. About 70–90% of vitamin C is absorbed. If intakes exceed 1000 mg/day, absorption levels drop to 50%.

Risks Related to Inadequate Intake of Vitamin C

Individuals who do not consume sufficient quantities of fruits and vegetables are at risk for inadequate intakes of vitamin C. Because smoking generates free radicals, individuals who smoke have elevated requirements for vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy; signs of scurvy are bleeding gums, small hemorrhages below the skin, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight, and lowered resistance to infections.

Find more information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate vitamin C into your next meal by trying the delicious recipe below…

Chickpea, Spinach and Tomato Curry*

Ingredients
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3cm/1¼ in piece  ginger, grated
6 ripe  tomatoes
½ tbsp oil
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp yeast extract
4 tbsp red lentils
6 tbsp coconut cream
1 head of  broccoli broken into small florets
400g can chickpeas, drained
100g bag baby spinach leaves
1  lemon, halved
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
1 tbsp chopped cashew to mix with the sesame seeds

Method

Put the onion, garlic, ginger and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and whizz to a purée.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add the spices, fry for a few secs and add purée and yeast extract. Bubble together for 2 mins, then add lentils and coconut cream. Cook until lentils are tender, then add the broccoli and cook for 4 mins. Stir in chickpeas and spinach, squeeze over lemon and swirl through sesame and cashew mixture. Serve with brown rice, if you like.

*Adapted from BBC Good Food.

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Introducing Vitamin B7

What are the Benefits of this Water-soluable Vitamin?

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Look at the ingredients in cosmetic products and you may be surprised to see that vitamin B7 or biotin is a key component! Thanks to vitamin B7’s role in a multitude of cellular reactions, particularly interactions keeping your hair, finger nails, and skin healthy, it is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. Vitamin B7 is involved in metabolism as a coenzyme that transfers carbon dioxide, an important step in breaking down food including carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. This role is critical.

The Primary Sources of Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 can be found in: vegetables; cereals; nuts such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts; yeast; and soybeans. It is also sourced from animal products such as eggs, milk, liver, and kidney or synthesized by intestinal bacteria.

Bioavailability of Vitamin B7

In foods, biotin is found as the free form or bound to dietary proteins. The bioavailability of biotin depends on the ability of protein enzymes in the stomach to convert protein-bound biotin to free biotin. Biotin is not sensitive to light, heat, or humidity.

Risks Related to Inadequate or Excess Intake of Vitamin B7

Experts have yet to quantify the amount of biotin in natural foods. Deficiency due to lack of dietary intake is rare in healthy populations. Symptoms of deficiency include general fatigue, nausea, neurological problems, poor skin, and hair quality. No adverse effects have been reported with excessive intakes of biotin.

Find more information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here. Here is a delicious way to incorporate biotin into your diet – enjoy!

Banana and Walnut Loaf*

Ingredients

100g softened butter plus a little extra for greasing
140g caster sugar
1 beaten egg
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 very ripe bananas
85g chopped walnuts
50ml milk

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan) and 160C (gas). Grease a 2lb loaf tin with some butter and line the base with baking parchment, and then grease this as well.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and egg together and then slowly mix in flour and baking powder. Peel, then mash the bananas. Now mix everything together, including the nuts. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before removing from the loaf tin. The loaf can now be wrapped tightly in cling film and kept for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost and warm through before serving. Serve in thick slices topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with a little chocolate sauce for a dessert.

*Adapted from BBC food Online
 

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Introducing Vitamin B6

Interacting in the Majority of Biological Reactions

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While looking at diet and cardiovascular disease risk many of us immediately consider our saturated fat intake however Vitamin B6 should not be overlooked. Together with folate and vitamin B12, vitamin B6 is required for maintenance of normal blood homocysteine levels. Raised homocysteine is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin B6, comprises 3 forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. All three forms of B6 can be converted to the coenzyme PLP. Vitamin B6 in its coenzyme form is involved in more than 100 enzyme reactions, many concerned with protein metabolism. 

Along with its central role in the metabolism of amino acids (protein), it is fair to say that Vitamin B6 is required for the majority of biological reactions in our body including neurotransmitter synthesis, red blood cell formation and metabolism and transport of iron.

Vitamin B6 is stored in muscle tissue.

The Primary Sources of Vitamin B6

There are many good sources of vitamin B6, including chicken, liver (cattle, pig), fish (salmon, tuna) from animals.

In addition, chickpeas, maize and whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, bananas, potatoes and other starchy vegetables are ideal sources from fruits and vegetables. Vitamin B6 can also be found in nuts and chickpeas. 

Bioavailability of Vitamin B6

If consuming a mixed diet, the bioavailability of vitamin B6 is about 75%. Vitamin B6 is destroyed by heat but it remains stable during storage.

Risks Related to Inadequate or Excess Intake of Vitamin B6

Deficiency of vitamin B6 alone is uncommon; usually it occurs in combination with a deficit in other B-vitamins. Individuals at risk for poor intakes are alcoholics and those taking tuberculosis medication. Signs of vitamin B6 deficiency include microcytic anemia due to inadequate synthesis of hemoglobin, depression, nerve problems, and irritability. No adverse events have been observed with high intakes of vitamin B6 (from food or supplements).

Find more information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate vitamin B6 into your next dinner with this delicious recipe below. 

Casserole Roast Chicken with Autumn Herbs*

(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

1 chicken (3½ lbs (1.575kg) free range if possible
1 oz (30g) butter
4-6 teasp. chopped fresh herbs eg. Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon, Chervil, Chives, Marjoram
¼ pint (150ml) light cream
¼ pint (150ml) home-made chicken stock
*Roux, optional
1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs
1 oval casserole

Method

Remove the wish bone and keep for the stock. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper and stuff a sprig of tarragon inside. Chop the remaining tarragon and mix with two-thirds of the butter. Smear the remaining butter over the breast of the chicken, place breast side down in a casserole and allow it to brown over a gentle heat. Turn the chicken breast-side up and smear the tarragon butter over the breast and legs. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover the casserole and cook in a moderate oven for 13-12 hours.

(To test if the chicken is cooked, pierce the flesh between the breast and thigh. This is the last place to cook, so if there is no trace of pink here and if the juices are clear the chicken is certainly cooked.) Remove to a carving dish and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Spoon the surplus fat from the juices, add a little freshly chopped tarragon, add in the cream and stock if using* boil up the sauce until it thickens slightly. Alternatively bring the liquid to the boil, whisk in just enough roux to thicken the sauce to a light coating consistency. Taste and correct seasoning.

Carve the chicken into 4 or 6 helpings, each person should have a portion of white and brown meat. Arrange on a serving dish, nap with the sauce and serve.

*Adapted from Daria Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School

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Introducing Vitamin B5

The Stress Reducer

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Feeling stressed? Your vitamin B5 intake may have an important role to play. Vitamin B5, also know as Pantothenic acid, is critical to the development of stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands, small glands that sit on top of the kidneys.

Vitamin B5, like all B vitamins, helps convert food into glucose and break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for energy generation. Additionally, this essential nutrient is important for maintenance and repair of tissues and cells of the skin and hair, helps in healing of wounds and lesions, and pantethine, which is a form of vitamin B5, normalizes blood lipid profiles. Vitamin B5 also helps in the production of red blood cells.

Sources of Vitamin B5

The primary sources of vitamin B5 in animal products are found in offal (liver, kidneys), meat (chicken, beef), egg yolk, milk, fish. While pantothenic acid can also be derived from produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms, it can also found in whole grain cereals. 

Bioavailability of Vitamin B5

The bioavailability of pantothenic acid from food sources is about 50%. Although vitamin B5 is quite stable if heated, extended cooking times and prolonged high temperatures (such as boiling temperatures) can cause greater loss of the vitamin. Pantothenic acid is also destroyed in the process of freezing, canning, or refining.

Risks Related to Inadequate or Excess Intake of Vitamin B5 

Vitamin B5 deficiency is very rare and symptoms involve a general failure of all the body’s systems. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and tingling sensations know as “burning feet” syndrome. No adverse effects have been reported with high intakes of vitamin B5.

Additional information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies is available though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate vitamin B5 into your next dinner with this delicious recipe below. 

Irish Beed Stew*

Ingredients

1½kg/3lb 5oz stewing beef, cut into cubes
175g/6oz streaky bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
12 baby onions, peeled
18 button mushrooms, left whole
3 carrots, cut into quarters or 12 baby carrots, scrubbed and left whole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tbsp chopped parsley 
10 cloves of garlic, crushed and grated
425ml/15fl oz red wine
425ml/15fl oz chicken or beef stock

For the roux

50g/2oz butter
50g/1¾oz flour
champ, to serve

Method

Heat a casserole or heavy saucepan and then add the olive oil to brown the beef and bacon. Remove the meat and toss in the onions, mushrooms and carrots, one ingredient at a time, seasoning each time with salt and pepper.  Place the meat back in the casserole, along with the herbs and garlic. Cover with red wine and stock and simmer for one hour or until the meat and vegetables are cooked.

 To make the roux, in a separate pan melt the butter, add the flour and cook for two minutes. When the stew is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables. Then bring the remaining liquid to the boil and add one tbsp of roux. Whisk the mixture until the roux is broken up and the juices have thickened, allowing to boil. Replace the meat and vegetables, and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with champ.

*Adapted from Rachel Allen online

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Introducing Vitamin B3

A Partner in Energy Production

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Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, helps release energy from the foods we eat by acting as coenzyme in energy-transfer reactions, especially the metabolism of glucose, fat, and alcohol. Niacin also helps keep the nervous system and skin healthy. There are two forms of niacin – nicotinic acid and nicotinamide – both of which are found in food.  Niacin is unique in that it can also be synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan.  

The Primary Sources of Vitamin B3  

Primary sources are offal (liver), fish, meat, milk, eggs, whole grain cereals, legumes, fruit (avocados, figs, dates, prunes), and nuts. Vitamin B3 can also be synthesized from tryptophan.

Bioavailability of Vitamin B3  

Absorption of niacin depends on the food source. Niacin from meat, liver, beans and fortifed products is highly bioavailable. About 30% of the niacin in grains is bioavailable, though additional niacin can be released if the food undergoes alkali treatment (limewater/calcium hydroxide).

Compared to other water-soluble vitamins, niacin is less susceptible to losses during food storage. It is fairly heat resistant, so it can withstand reasonable cooking times. However, like other water-soluble vitamins, it will leach into cooking water.  

Risks Related to Inadequate or Excess Intake of Vitamin B3  

Individuals whose diets to not meet their energy needs are therefore at risk of deficiency, as are individuals whose staple diet relies primarily on (untreated) maize or barley, and chronic alcoholics. Severe niacin deficiency results in a disease called pellagra and its symptoms are dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and eventually death.  

Risk of excessive intake is unlikely if niacin is consumed from food sources. However, consumption of niacin in the form of nicotinic acid from multiple sources at high levels, including dietary supplements, pharmaceutical doses, and fortifed foods, may result in adverse effects such as flushing, nausea and vomiting, liver toxicity, blurred vision and impaired glucose tolerance.  

Additional information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies is available though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate vitamin B3 into your morning routine with this A perfect breakfast recipe below. 

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Chorizo, Chilli and Cheese*

Ingredients 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 large ripe tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped 
Salt 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 
A good pinch of crushed chilli peppers 
(dried chilli pepper flakes) 
8 large eggs 
8 slices of chorizo 
50g (2oz) manchego or Parmesan, grated 
4 slices of bread, toasted and buttered, 
to serve 
 
Directions
Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Put a frying pan on a medium-low heat, add the olive oil then add the skinned, chopped tomatoes, see my tip, above left. Season with a good pinch of salt and cook for about 15 minutes, until the tomato sauce is thick and viscous. 
  
Remove from the heat, stir in the chopped parsley and the crushed chilli peppers. Divide the tomato sauce between four ovenproof ramekins and break 2 eggs into each dish. Place a slice of the chorizo on top of each egg and divide the grated manchego or Parmesan cheese, whichever you’re using, between the ramekins. 
  
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the whites are set, but the yolks are just ever so slightly soft. Just before the eggs are ready, toast the slices of bread and butter them. 
  
Remove the eggs from the oven and serve with the buttered toast. 
*Adapted from Rachel Allen 

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Introducing Vitamin B2

A Key to Converting Food into Energy

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Vitamin B2, like all B vitamins, has an important role in producing energy for the body. Vitamin B2, commonly referred to as riboflavin, helps the body convert food, such as carbohydrates, into fuel or glucose, which provides us with energy. It also aids the body in metabolizing fats and proteins.

Additionally, riboflavin acts as an antioxidant to fight the damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. These free radicals can impair cells and DNA, which may contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as riboflavin, have a potential health benefit by fighting free radicals and preventing some of the damage they may cause.

Vitamin B2 also helps the body change vitamin B6 and folate into useful forms. Moreover, it is important for growth, reproduction, and plays a role in vision.

The Primary Sources of Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is found in animal products such as offal (liver, kidneys, heart), eggs, meat, milk, yogurt, and cheeses while other sources include whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and brewer’s yeast.

Bioavailability of Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 from foods is highly available; bile salts, which are released when we consume fats, increase the rate of absorption of vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 is sensitive to light but remains stable under heat and refrigeration. The milling process reduces the content of vitamin B2 in cereal grains.

Risks Related to Inadequate Intake of Vitamin B2

Individuals whose food intake relies primarily on refined cereals from the elderly and chronic dieters to individuals who exclude milk products from their diet are at risk for inadequate intakes. Vitamin B2 requirements are increased during periods of strong growth, such as in pregnancy and lactation. Vitamin B2 deficiency co-occurs with other nutrient deficiencies and it may precipitate deficiencies in vitamin B6 and niacin. People with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer are at risk for vitamin B2 deficiency.

Additional information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies is available though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Enjoy this recipe for your next dinner…

Liver and Bacon Sauté with Potatoes*

Ingredients 

400g new potato
2 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions trimmed and cut into 2-3 pieces on the diagonal
4 rashers of unsmoked bacon cut into pieces
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp paprika
155g lamb’s liver, sliced into thin stripes
150ml hot vegetable stock
4 tbsp creme fraiche

Method

Start by cutting the potatoes in half and simmer in salted water for 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Next, heat the oil in a wok and add the potatoes. Fry them for 4-5 minutes over a high heat until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Then tip the spring onions and bacon into the pan and stir and sizzle for 3-4 minutes or until the bacon gets crispy. Meanwhile, season the flour with paprika, a little salt and plenty of black pepper and use the mixture to coat the liver.

Stir the liver into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss in the potatoes and quickly reheat. Remove everything from the pan and divide between 2 plates. Keep warm.

For the finishing touches, quickly pour the hot vegetable stock into the pan and scrape all the crispy bits up from the bottom. Let it bubble for 1-2 minutes, then pour around the liver and potatoes. Serve each portion topped with creme Fraiche and a sprinkling of paprika.

*Adapted from bbc food recipes

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