Daily vitamin and mineral intake is not usually a hot topic and yet millions of people are vitamin and mineral deficient. Many people have no idea which vitamins and minerals their body needs or how much is required to maintain balanced wellness. There are also a lot of misconceptions as to the proper sources of essential vitamins and minerals. It’s time to set the record straight and educate!
Supplements can be fine as nutritional insurance, but eating a healthy and well balanced diet is the best way to feed the body vitamins and minerals for optimal health. So what are essential vitamins and minerals the body requires to function? Vitamin A, B Complex (B’s 1, 2, niacin, 6 and 12), C, D, E, K and, Folic Acid. Not too hard to remember. The mineral list is just as easy and even shorter naming Calcium, Chromium, Iodine, Iron, and Zinc.
A common question asked is “what is the difference between vitamins and minerals?” According to Helpguide.org vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure. There are two classes of vitamins; water-soluble and fat-soluble. They are classed by how they dissolve in the body. For instance, all vitamin Bs, C and folic acid are water-soluble, so the body uses what it needs and discards the rest through urine. It is important to get these vitamins through diet. The remaining vitamins are fat-soluble and these are absorbed in the body’s fat and many minerals need both types to fully absorb.
Just like vitamins, minerals also have two classes; trace and macro. Trace minerals are only required in small amounts whereas macrominerals are needed large quantities. All of these essential nutrients work together to feed the body for optimal health and function.
All of this is great information, but the real learning is knowing what each nutrient provides the body, identifying the deficient signs and knowing which foods contain these vitamins and minerals. To simplify this, see the slideshow naming the vitamins and minerals along with their benefits, deficiencies and their natural food sources.
Knowledge is power, so arm the mind with information that helps make the best health decisions possible. When we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us!
Tara, CPC, ACC, CNWC