Let's talk about essential vitamins!

February 15th 2019

Hi there and welcome to another ingredients post. This one will be slightly different than the previous ones. Why? Well, because we’re going to tell you all about the vitamins that are present in our products.

Normally, when we talk about one single ingredient, one of the questions we answer is “why do we use it?”, now let that be one thing these vitamins mentioned below have in common: because they’re essential and an important part of proper nutrition. Simply said: if you want to have a nutritionally complete meal, you have to make sure that everything essential is in it. To determine which vitamins should be present in our meal shakes, bars and instant oatmeal, and in which quantities, we follow the guidelines set by the EFSA.

In the following paragraphs, you’ll find an overview of our vitamins. We’ll mention what they are called, what they do, why they are important for your health, and if they’re naturally present in the ingredients we use or not. If not, they are added separately through our custom vitamin- and mineral mix. More info about how this mix is produced and how it eventually ends up in our products can be found on the Supply Chain page.

If you are interested in the minerals we use in our complete meals, please visit our minerals blog post.

Queal's essential vitamins overview.

Vitamin A - Often referred to as “Retinol” - is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that they are absorbed along with fats and that your body will store them in your fatty tissue. Vitamin A is needed for the proper functioning and development of your eyes, skin and immune systems. If you’re getting in too much from it, this will be excreted through your urine.

In our products, we use a standard accepted dietary supplemental form of Vitamin A, as it’s not present in the ingredients we use. This supplement is called Acetate.

Vitamin B5 - In contrast to vitamin A, Vitamin B5 - also called “pantothenic acid” - is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that they dissolve in water and your body does not store them. Therefore, you need to continuously complement them through your diet.

As one of the eight B vitamins, B5 is necessary for the production of blood cells and is used to turn what you eat into energy.

The natural source of B5 in Queal is our oat- and soy flour, but we add Calcium D-pantothenate in a supplemental form too.

Vitamin B6 - Another highly essential and water-soluble vitamin is B6. This one is needed for your metabolism and the handling of amino-acids but also takes care of regulating certain hormones, your immune system and the central nervous system. Also, just like B5, B6 is important for the production of blood.

Some of the B6 in Queal comes from the soy- and oat flour we use, but to meet the EFSA reference the main part comes from Pyridoxine HCI, a dietary supplement.

Vitamin B12 - A vitamin important for a well functioning nervous system and the creation of red blood cells, and one you have to get out of food since your body is not able to create it on its own. Naturally, vitamin B12 is found in animal products as salmon, tuna, beef or ham. As our products are either vegetarian or vegan, and we do not use any animal products except for whey protein (in some of our products) and vitamin D3 (soon to be replaced by D2/ ergocalciferol, which we use in Ready and Steady Vegan already), we add B12 in dietary supplemental form.

Vitamin C - Another water-soluble vitamin, required for the protection of your cells, maintaining healthy skin, proper wound healing, strong bones, blood vessels and cartilage. Just like the B vitamins, you need to it from food as it can’t be stored in your body. Along with a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables, a good source of vitamin C can be found in oranges, potatoes, broccoli and strawberries.

The vitamin C in Queal comes from Sodium Ascorbate, at it does not naturally occur in any of the ingredients we use.

Vitamin D - Your body needs vitamin D to process calcium. Therefore, it is highly essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy, strong bones and teeth. An easy and reliable way to get vitamin D is sun exposure. Not surprisingly, deficiencies are more common in fall and winter.

As getting enough vitamin D from both sunlight and food can be difficult, especially for vegetarians, elderly and people who spend much time indoors, some food products are fortified with this nutrient.

So are the Queal products, as our natural ingredients do not contain this vitamin. For our products, we use vitamin D2/ergocalciferol as it is vegan. Vitamin D3, which is sourced from sheep’s wool, is generally a more bioavailable source, but a grey area with regards to whether or not it is considered vegan.

Vitamin E - A very important vitamin for a strong immune system, a healthy skin and good functioning eyes is E. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means that it’s best absorbed by the body when takes as or with food. Vegetable oils, eggs, nuts and some vegetables are good food sources, and for our products the soy- and oat flour and linseed oil are responsible for part of the vitamin E content.

The other part we add through a supplemented alpha-tocopherol, the form that is most efficiently absorbed and accumulated by the human body.

Vitamin K - This nutrient has an important role in the good coagulation of your blood. Its main compounds are vitamin K1 and K2, the first can be found in vegetables and legumes and the second is largely obtained from cheese, meat and eggs.

A large part of the Vitamin K content in our products comes from the soy- and oat flour. But to be sure you’ll meet your daily recommendations we’ve also added some in dietary supplemented form.

Thiamine - Thiamine - also called vitamin B1 - makes sure our body can properly transform carbohydrates into energy. Also, it is essential in the proper functioning of our heart muscle and the central nervous system. It’s found in many types of foods, including whole grains, beans, nuts and meats. For our products, the main part of Thiamine or B1 comes from the soy- and oat flour. But, to make our products nutritionally complete we also add Thiamine Mononitrate.

Riboflavin - Riboflavin or vitamin B2 supports different energy-storage systems as well as brain function, healthy and strong skin and lining of the digestive tract. It is one of the eight B vitamins essential for human health and can be found in foods like eggs, green vegetables, dairy, mushrooms, almonds and grains. In Queal, part of the Riboflavin comes from our oat- and soy flour and the other part is added in the pure form.

Niacin - Niacin - also referred to as nicotinic acid or vitamins B3 - is important for our body’s energy supply as well as for the production of fatty acids. Also, this nutrient is essential for hormone synthesis-related systems. Niacin can be found in meats, fish, whole grains, greens and potatoes and just like with Riboflavin, part of it in Queal comes from the oat- and soy flour we use. The remaining part, needed to make our products nutritionally complete, comes from Nicotinamide.

Folic Acid - Folic acid - also called folate, folacin or vitamin B9 - is part of the Vitamin B family and helps your body with the creation of new (blood) cells. Among other foods, it is most abundant in lentils, beans and egg yolk. In Queal, most of the folic acid is naturally occurring in the soy but we also supplement a little bit.

Biotin - Biotin, Vitamin B8 or Vitamin H is part of the enzymes that help break down food (carbohydrates, fats, etc) and so transform it into energy. It is important in the creation of fatty acids and supports healthy hair and skin. Small amounts of Biotin are persistent in foods like cauliflower, mushrooms, cheese, potatoes and eggs. For our products, however, we add D-Biotin in a supplemental form.

Choline - Then choline, last but not least in this blog about essential vitamins in Queal products. At times of our 4.0 recipe, choline was not a part of the dietary guidelines of the EFSA, so we used the American ones instead. Now, however, the EFSA recommended 400mg per day. Choline is a vitamin-like nutrient, which means it was once called a vitamin but later on it was discovered that they can be synthesized by the human body itself.

Nevertheless, it is still grouped with the Vitamin B complex because of the similarities. Choline is essential in for a proper liver function and can be found in foods such as whole grains, vegetables and foods. In Queal, Choline partly comes from our oat flour. The other part is added in form of Choline Bitartrate.

Can you be allergic to vitamins?

Although very uncommon, yes you can. Of all people suffering from an allergy or intolerance though, most actually have troubles with the side-ingredients of supplements, as whey or soy and not with the vitamin itself. Our powdered vitamin and mineral mix consists out of, well, the quantity of vitamins and minerals needed to make a nutritionally complete product, and maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate. If you’re allergic or have an intolerance for maltodextrin, we’d recommend not to consume Queal products as it is not only in the vitamin and mineral mix but we use it in bigger quantities as a source of carbs as well.

Thanks for reading this long article about the vitamins we use, next month it’s time to tell you all about our minerals!

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