process. Vitamin E is found in a wide variety of foods,
and most people get enough. Vegetable oils and whole
grain cereals are particularly rich sources.
Vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential because it
indirectly helps blood to clot. Vitamin K is widely
distributed in a variety of foods such as the green and
leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cauliflower, egg yolks,
soybean oil, and any kind of liver. It is also
manufactured in the body.
Three of the best known B vitamins-riboflavin,
thiamine, and niacin-release the energy in food. They
also have a role in the nervous system, keep the
digestive system working calmly, and help maintain a
Thiamine (B1). Thiamine is abundant in only a
few foods. Lean pork is one. Dry beans and peas, some
of the organ meats, and some nuts supply some
A lack of thiamine (vitamin B1 ) causes beriberi.
Fortunately, this disease is now almost nonexistent in
the United States, although it is still seen in some
Riboflavin (B2). Riboflavin is easy to find and
extremely important in the diet. It is plentifully supplied
by meats, milk and whole grain or enriched breads and
cereals. Organ meats (liver, kidney, and so on) also
supply this vitamin.
Niacin.Niacin (nicotinic acid) prevents a disease
called pellagra. It aids in digestion and the health of the
Whole grain and enriched cereals and bread are
dependable sources of niacin. Niacin also can be
found in meat and meat products and peas and
Other B Vitamins. Other B vitamins, such as B6,
BIz, and folacin, are needed to maintain normal
hemoglobin-the substance in blood that carries oxygen
to the tissues. Vitamin B12 occurs in foods of animal
origin. Folacin helps in the production of red blood cells
and is available in many foods but in small quantities.
Sources of folacin are liver, green vegetables, whole
grains, and dry beans.
Strict vegetarians run a risk of developing the
symptoms of Blz deficiency; these include
soreness of the mouth and tongue, numbness and
tingling in the hands and legs, anemia and loss of
WATER. Water is often called the forgotten
nutrient. It is needed to replace lost body water, Water
helps transport nutrients, remove waste, and regulate
CONSERVING NUTRIENTS. It is not enough
just to select the proper foods for the menu. They must
be prepared in such a way that valuable nutrients are not
lost. Table 7-1 presents summary information about
In addition to listing foods that are good
sources of vitamins, it also shows conditions under
which the vitamin content may be reduced and the effect
of their deficiency in the diet. This information will be
valuable to you in making and analyzing menus, and
also in conserving vitamins during cooking. The term
stability used in the illustration refers to the ability of
the various substances to withstand destruction under
the conditions mentioned.
The following cooking rules, if followed, will make
your meals more nutritious and add to the general health
of the crew.
Serve fresh fruits and vegetables as soon after
you receive them as possible.
Handle fresh fruits and vegetables carefully
because bruising causes a rapid loss of
Store fresh fruits and vegetables properly until
they are to be used.
Do not soak vegetables in water longer than
necessary to freshen or clean them. Water will
dissolve vitamins Bl, Bz, C, and minerals.
To cook vegetables, place them in rapidly boiling
water. Bring the water back to a boil and reduce
to a simmer.
Cook vegetables quickly and just until tender in
order to leave them with some of their original
Cook vegetables in as little water as possible.
Do not throw away cooking water. Save it for
use in soups, sauces, and gravies.
Heat canned vegetables quickly just before
Shred outer leaves of lettuce, cabbage, and
green leaves of celery for use in flavoring
Serve fruits and vegetables raw in salads.