We have been blaming carbs, fats or overeating for our weight problems, but none of us or at least I never blamed my weight issues on vitamins. There is a link! Yes, some vitamin deficiencies could be the reason why you’re not losing the weight you’d like to (provided you are eating well). Before you run to the first multivitamins bottle you see, let’s take a look at what specific vitamins play a role in weight management and where we could find them naturally.
Vitamin E – isn’t only for your skin, but this powerful antioxidant can boost your immunity therefore ensuring there is no distraction when trying to burn calories. Some research has shown that individuals who consume enough vitamin E rich foods tended to have a higher metabolism in comparison to individuals within the same age group that were deficient. Now, it makes sense that people consuming healthy fats would have a higher metabolism than those deficient in Vitamin E and therefore consume a lot of empty calories. This study could have many interpretations. It doesn’t hurt to make sure you get your dose of vitamin E though.
What to eat?
Think of oily foods when you think of this vitamin. Almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin E. Aim for 1/2 a cup to avoid excess calories.
Vitamin A – also commonly known as beta-carotene can actually help with fat regulation. Yes, you are not seeing things, this vitamin can actually help control the hormones secreted by your body and further help you to maintain a healthy body weight. With vitamin A you should be careful of toxicity, therefore getting it from a food source is always better than a supplement and also keep in mind that Vitamin A deficiency is somewhat rare.
What to eat?
1/2 cup of cooked spinach, 1 cup lettuce, 1 cup carrots or 1 medium sweet potato will all give you a good dose of vitamin A for the day. Remember it’s a form of beta-carotene so aim for greens, reds and oranges in your food.
Vitamin D – is probably one of the most common and frequent of deficiencies in Kuwait. Almost everyone I’ve met has a deficiency. Leptin, the hunger hormone, is controlled by levels of vitamin D. Meaning, enough vitamin D levels can help control how hungry you feel and research is still being conducted on whether or not it can help control where fat is stored. Again, you can get toxicity from over-consuming vitamin D, so be careful if you choose to go the supplement route.
What to eat?
Vitamin D is best obtained from the sun, but if you have a job that requires you to spend most of your time indoors then you might be in need of a supplement. Otherwise, 1 egg, 3 ounces of wild salmon or 1 cup of fortified milk can give you small doses of vitamin D.
I’m definitely heading to the grocery store to make sure my fridge is filled with greens.
Keep in mind that all the information provided for you here is based on research being conducted, and with research many things change over time. The main message that I am trying to deliver is that having a variety of fruits and vegetables can help change your lifestyle into a healthier one, which could improve your overall health and perhaps your weight. Weight is definitely not the most important marker of someone’s health. Not all weight is the same. I hope this helps!
Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.