Most medical doctors believe that you can get all the vitamins you need from a healthy, well-balanced diet, however there is also much evidence that that taking extra amounts of certain vitamins can make you feel better, get sick less and live longer. The best source for vitamins will always be good food, but there are times when a calorie-reduced diet or an increased strain on our bodies makes it difficult to get everything we need from food.
WHAT ARE VITAMINS?
Vitamins are organic substances that are essential (the body cannot make) to our diet in small amounts. Vitamins are needed for building body tissues (bone, skin, etc.), assist in the metabolism and play a primary role in healing and promoting good health.
There are two main types of vitamins:
Water soluble vitamins are carried in the blood and are not stored to any great extent in the body; regular intake of them is necessary to prevent deficiencies.
Fat soluble vitamins are dissolved in fat and carried throughout the body. They are stored in body fat, so it is important to manage consumption to avoid potentially damaging amounts to be absorbed.
WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS with details on benefits and food sources that will provide them to you.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) - Healthy nervous system - Seeds, beans, nuts
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - Enhances metabolism - remove toxins - Milk, broccoli
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - aids in formation of red blood cells & steroid hormones - Meat, eggs, fish
Vitamin B5 - Effects steroid hormones & energy stores - Fish, whole grains
Vitamin B6 - Healthy cardiovascular system - Bananas, oats
Vitamin B12 - Functioning of cells & nervous system - Poultry, fish, liver
Folate - Cell division and nervous system growth - Beans, spinach
Vitamin C - Essential for blood clotting - Kiwi, mango
FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS with details of benefits and food sources.
Vitamin A - Normal vision, healthy skin, immunity - Fish oils, green leafy veggies
Vitamin D - Calcium absorption and bone growth - Fortified milk, fish liver oils
Vitamin E - An antioxidant to protect from cell damage - Olive oil, almonds, wheatgerm
Vitamin K - Essential for blood clotting - Raw cauliflower
In cases where supplements are needed, it is important to consult with professionals regarding your requirements. Always inform your medical advisors and pharmacist about any supplements that you take as they can have interactions with medications.
What are minerals?
Minerals are inorganic substances that are essential to our diet in small amounts; are also a crucial component to cell function. Minerals are available in a wide variety of foods, therefore deficiencies are rare.
Some major minerals that are essential to health are:
Calcium - For healthy bones, teeth & muscle contraction - Dairy products, tofu
Magnesium - Component of bone, muscle relaxation - Whole grains, fish,
Phosphorus - Formation of bone and red blood cells - Processed food
Sodium - Main electrolyte for cellular function - Typically we have too much in our diet
Chloride - Electrolyte for cellular function - Too much in diet
Potassium - Transport nerve impulses, maintain water balance - Fruit, vegetables, fish
Iron - Element to help carry oxygen in blood - Meat, spinach, prunes Selenium - Helps create key enzymes, an antioxidant - Tuna, vegetables
Chromium - Insulin production and protein metabolism - Shellfish, whole grains
Zinc - Forms enzymes for cell growth, immunity - Eggs, wheatgerm, fish
You may notice that we do not provide suggestions on dosage sizes or list the numerous additional health benefits that a variety of supplements may offer for health and healing.
Individual needs and circumstances vary greatly, so if you believe you may need some supplements, it is wise to seek professional assistance in making wise choices.
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