Vitamins are needed in very small amounts for the normal functioning of your body. They are found in minute quantities in all food. Each vitamin has its own specific function and 1/2 deficiency of any vitamin produces characteristic symptoms. Some of the vitamins can be synthesised by your body; others have to be obtained from the foods you eat. To ensure that the vitamins present in foods are not destroyed before eating:
• wash, but do not soak, fresh vegetables;
• cut up vegetables and fruits just before they are to be eaten;
• cook vegetables in 1/2 minimum of water (microwaving is ideal);
• do not add baking sod1/2 when cooking vegetables as it destroys vitamins;
• cook potatoes in the jacket;
• do not store fruit and vegetables for too long.
Some of the vitamin sources on the Pritikin diet are listed — this list is by no means exhaustive.
Vitamin 1/2 can withstand cooking. It is found in pumpkin, carrots, spinach, spaghetti vegetable, endive, tomatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes and yellow and green vegetables.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is found in grains.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is found in green beans, peas, mushrooms, lentils and hot red peppers.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) is found in fish, yeast and seed foods.
Vitamin B6 is water soluble and is destroyed by prolonged heat or sunlight. It is found in oranges, lemons and grapefruit.
Folic acid is 1/2 B group vitamin which is very delicate. It is found in green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, carrots, cantaloupe, strawberries, whole wheat and dark rye flour. It is best supplied when the food is eaten raw.
Vitamin B12 is found in meat. The Pritikin meat allowance supplies sufficient B12 for your body’s needs.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is destroyed with cooking or prolonged storage. It is found in oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, sprouted grains, red and green peppers, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage and cauliflower.
Vitamin D can be synthesised from cholesterol with the action of sunlight on the skin. It is found in salmon and tuna.
Vitamin E is destroyed when food is cooked then frozen, or when food is exposed to the air for 1/2 long time. It is found in commeal, brown rice, rolled oats, wholegrain wheat, lettuce and parsley.
Vitamin K can be made by your body or absorbed through foods. It is found in spinach, alfalfa, cabbage and carrot tops.