Fruit is delicious and full of vitamins and other nutrients, but it is very high in sugar. If you are on or considering a ketogenic diet, you might be concerned about how you are going to get all those nutrients without fruit. That is an understandable concern. So how will you get your vitamins?
COMMON VITAMINS IN FRUIT
Before you can try to substitute them, you need to know what vitamins are usually found in fruit. Many fruits are well-known for their vitamin A and C content, but they also have nutrients like folate and anthocyanin.
Vitamin deficiency is a bad thing, so alternative sources must be found to prevent serious health issues. Fortunately, there are keto-friendly options for all of these things.
This fat-soluble vitamin is important for neurological function, immune function, gene regulation, strong bones, clear skin and more. There are enough keto foods that have vitamin A that you will have no problem meeting the daily value (DV).
Just one ounce of beef liver will give you nearly the daily requirement. If you don’t care to taste it, you can chop it finely and add it to another dish. One cup of chopped kale will also set you up for the day, and the same amount of spinach will get you to 56 percent DV.
Broccoli, butter and eggs all have vitamin A too. Though the amount is lower, they’ll add up quickly enough. Carrots are well-known for their vitamin A content, but they are fairly high in carbs. However, since the full daily value is present in just a quarter cup of sliced carrots, a little bit of carrot added to soup or shaved onto a salad can boost your vitamin A without adding too many carbs.
This water-soluble vitamin is essential. It acts as an antioxidant, and it also keeps your immune system, connective tissue and cardiovascular system healthy. It’s easy to find keto-friendly foods that will completely meet the daily requirement.
Just one cup of kale, broccoli or Brussels sprouts will exceed your daily need by a third. The same amount of cauliflower has about 77 percent DV. While sweet peppers are a medium-carb food, they are very high in vitamin C (1 cup is 3x DV for red and 2x DV for green). A little of them will go a long way.
FOLATE AND OTHER B VITAMINS
There are many B vitamins, and they have many functions. You are dependent on them for converting food into energy, producing sex and stress hormones, creating and repairing tissues, brain development and so much more! They are naturally available in many of the same keto-friendly foods, and that list is topped by liver.
Liver will provide you with large portions of many B vitamins, and it doesn’t matter what animal it comes from. Pork, beef, venison, salmon, tuna, chicken and eggs all contain a good serving of B vitamins. Vegetable sources include asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green beans and sunflower seeds.
While they are technically flavonoids (not vitamins), these nutrients are very important for their antioxidant function. They are pigments that are present in foods that are red-orange to blue and purple. They scavenge harmful free radicals that would otherwise alter DNA, damage cells and cause us to age faster.
Anthocyanins are largely available in fruit, though there are a few vegetable sources. Those include purple asparagus, red cabbage and eggplant. However, there are quite a few fruits that are both high in anthocyanins and low in carbs. Small dark berries are usually fairly low in sugar and starch and can be enjoyed in small quantities. This can include strawberries, blueberries, mulberries and many more. Generally speaking, berries that are more tart have less carbs.
While you may think of fruits first when you think of these vitamins, you can see here that there are great protein and vegetable sources of them all. You probably noticed several food items that repeated throughout the vitamin lists above. That comes in handy – you won’t have to stuff yourself with endless courses to reach the daily recommended value.
If you eat a varied diet of liver, meat, eggs and fish with dark leafy greens, avocado, seeds and some nuts, you can get all the B vitamins, A, C and antioxidants you need. You’ll also nurture health in your body while getting to enjoy some really delicious food!