Fat soluble vitamins are incredibly essential to your wellness and reproductive health. Unfortunately, with our “low fat, non-fat” processed food culture, many people are deficient in these vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are vitamins that dissolve in fat. And in order to have access to these vitamins, you need to eat high quality sources of fat. These vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, K.
Vitamin A is essential to men and women trying to conceive. It’s also essential to children who are growing. Vitamin A shows up in two forms in food: Retinol and Carotenoids (specifically beta-carotene). Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for the bright red and orange hues in fruits and vegetables and have antioxidant properties that are essential to our body. There are different types of carotenoids, Beta-Carotene, which is one type of carotenoid converts in the body to vitamin A. Retinol is found in animal source foods and its advantage over carotenoids is that the body doesn’t need to work too much in order to convert it to Vitamin A. Both sources of vitamin A are necessary for good health. Just take into account that you truly need both. Vitamin A deficiency in expectant mothers has been linked to birth defects.
Best sources for vitamin A:
Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Liver from pastured animals
Egg yolks (choose eggs from pastured chickens)
Butter and heavy cream from grass-fed cows
Vitamin D is considered a “pro-hormone” vitamin because it’s necessary to produce hormones. It’s also essential for bone health and for the immune system. Vitamin D is linked directly to calcium absorption, vitamin D deficiency is very common.
Best sources for Vitamin D:
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and is also involved in immune health and function, cell signaling and is required for the proper function of many organs including the brain.
Sources of vitamin E include:
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts
Seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Vitamin K is a very interesting vitamin because bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract naturally produces it, so in a compromised gut, the body might be deficient in vitamin K. Vitamin K1 and K2 are naturally occurring vitamins although there are other types of vitamin K, (K3, K4, K5 which are synthetic). Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, bone health and has been linked to preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Sources of vitamin K include:
Cooked leafy green vegetables such as kale, chard, spinach, dandelion greens. To get the BEST absorption of vitamin K, I always sauté my leafy greens with unrefined coconut oil.
So to summarize, the BEST sources for fat soluble vitamins are:
1- Animal organs/fat
2- Seafood and shellfish
3- Eggs and dairy
4- Green leafy vegetables