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The benefits of Vitamin B1

By Lela Rabie

Vitamin B1 - Thiamin - Thiamine.

Also know as Co-enzyme thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), Vitamin B1 is needed in regular supply by the body and its odor and flavour are similar to those of yeast. It is needed by the Central Nervous System the Gasto-intestinal system and the cardiovascular system. It helps convert carbohydrate to fat for storage for potential energy and plays a role in glucose metabolism. It is thought that adequate amounts of Vit B1 may help reduce the progression of atherosclerosis by preventing the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, thus it is also helpful to the heart.

Deficiency symptoms of Thiamine:

Beri-Beri (childhood, dry and wet forms), edema, weight loss, muscle wasting, nerve degeneration, brain degeneration, Wernicke- Korsakoff syndrome, skin problems, fatigue, instability, prickling sensations in the legs, inflamation of the optic nerve(affecting vision), schizophrenia.

Toxicity symptoms of Thiamine:

When taken orally there have been no known cases of Thiamine toxicity in humans, thiamine injections however have sometimes been associated with edema or trauma.

Food Sources of Vitamin B1:

Wheat germ, bran, rice husks (unpolished rice), outer husks of other grains, blackstrap molasses, oats millet, spinach, cauliflower, some nuts, sunflower seeds, peas, beans, avocado, pork, some dry fruits contain B1 but the sulphur dioxide which is sometimes added as preservative can destroy this vitamin.

Information taken from: Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson Haas MD.

The benefits of Vitamin A

By Lela Rabie

Vitamin A

Vitamin A; also known as retinol or beta-carotene was the first vitamin to be named, thus the letter A. Preformed Vitamin A is known as retinol because of its importance in vision (retina-part of the eye) and beta-carotene is one of several carotenes (found in mainly orange and yellow vegetables and fruits) which can be converted into Vitamin A in the body and are known as provitamin A, beta-carotene is the one that gives the most Vitamin A.

Top ten health foods for your store cupboard

An edited version of this article, written by Lela, was first published in The South African Journal of Natural Medicine, available in stores nationwide.

Here are ten healthy, easy-to-store basics you can use in all sorts of ways. Stock up, and you’ll be able to create and enjoy delicious dishes with the knowledge that they are providing you with good health from the inside out!

I love food, it’s no secret – ask any of my friends or family! I do know, however, that what I have in my cupboard inevitably influences what ends up on my table, so it makes sense to stock up on healthy staples in order to ensure healthy meals. To this end I’ve come up with ten store-cupboard basics, which are both nutritious and easy to store in bulk.