Vitamins refer to organic compounds needed by the body for optimal performance, including ensuring a healthy immune system, tissues’ growth, and regulating metabolism. Colloquially, at times the word vitamin is utilized to refer to amino acids, fatty acids, minerals, and the 13 vitamins needed by humans for their survival. It is thus important to know the difference, particularly between vitamins and minerals. Though both are considered to be micronutrients, there are basic differences between minerals and vitamins. Typically, minerals are inorganic and tend to hold on to their chemical structure. On the other hand, vitamins are organic and can be broken down by acid, air or heat. We source minerals and vitamins from the food we eat. There are also mineral and vitamin supplements that we can buy from supplement stores. It is, however, important that we ensure we purchase them from reputable sources. Review sites such as BritainReviews will help us with Online stores reviews to find iron supplements. Always avoid the negatively reviewed stores, and this way, you will land on reputable stores. This article focuses on Important Vitamins and minerals for our bodies.
Vitamin B-12 is an important nutrient that ensures that blood cells and the body’s nerve are healthy. It also helps in the manufacture of DNA, the genetic materials found in cells. Vegetarians are at great risk of developing a deficiency of vitamin B-12 as a majority of vitamin B sources are animal-based, including:
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium by our bodies, which in turn helps in the formation of healthy bones. Inadequate amounts of Vitamin D can:
- Result in hair and bone loss
- Increase a person’s possibility of getting ill
- Increase one chance of back and bone pain
Normally, the body acquires vitamin D when it gets exposed to the sun. However, statistics indicate that there are still many persons who don’t get adequate exposure to sunlight. Living in locations that experience winter, application of sunscreen and working for long hours in an office are some of the reason that makes it hard to get vitamin D. Food sources of Vitamin D include;
- Egg yolks
- Fatty fish
- Fortified foods including cereal, juice and milk.
Calcium helps maintain strong teeth and bones. Particularly women begin losing their bone density earlier, and the best defence to protect against this loss is ensuring they get adequate amounts of calcium right from the beginning.
Some of the foods that are rich in calcium include:
- Salty fish
- Lentils and beans
- Yoghurt, cheese and milk
- nut and nut butter
- Kale and broccoli
- Fortified cereals
Folic acid or folate helps prevent defects during birth and aids in the development of the foetus. It also helps battle inflammation, depression and helps in the growth of nails,
Foods rich in folate include;
- Dark leafy greens
Iron offers various benefit such as:
- Having healthy red blood cells
- Offering increased energy
- Ensures better functioning of the brain.
Iron is found in red meats, and thus consuming them will help your body meet its iron needs. Iron is vital for growth and development. The amount of iron that the body needs also increases during pregnancy, puberty and the menstrual cycle. It is thus important to have lots of iron-rich foods during these periods. Vegans should ensure they take iron supplement’s to meet their bodies demand for this vital mineral.
This is an essential nutrient, meaning that it must be sourced from foods or supplements. It helps in the production of energy and in maintaining bone health. Magnesium also has some additional benefits, which include:
- Manufacture of DNA, bone and protein
- Regulates nerve and muscle function
- Balances the level of sugar in the blood
The main cause of magnesium deficiency is magnesium deficient foods and not the need for magnesium supplements. Try out having lots of spinach, pumpkin, beans, artichoke, tofu, soybeans, tofu, nuts, beans and brown rice before opting for supplement solutions.
People under stress, as well as the elderly, tend to have low amounts of stress. Zinc aids our body to use fats, carbohydrates and protein for energy. It boosts the immune system and helps in healing wounds. Some food with high contents of zinc include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Organ meats
- Wheat germ
- Grass-fed beef
- Brown rice
In conclusion, vitamins and minerals are important for the proper functioning of our bodies. We should always aim at obtaining a broad range of nutrients by consuming diverse diets.