Random Health Fact:



Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are substances that are found in foods we eat. If you eat a balanced diet, thee is a good chance you are getting plenty of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Your body needs these in order to work properly, there are two types of vitamins fat soluble and water soluble. Since people's lifestyles are very much on the go, many people have traded in good nutrition for fast food, robbing them of the vitamins and mineral our bodies need. This ironically causes increases in obesity and in malnutrition; yes obese people can be malnourished because junk food is providing them with very little of the essential nutrients.

Fat Soluble:

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins. When you eat foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins, the vitamins are stored in the fat tissues in your body and in your liver. They go and wait around in your body fat until your body needs them. They are then released as needed and when it's time for them to be used, special carriers in your body take them to where they're needed.

Water Soluble:

Water soluble vitamins include : vitamin C (ascorbic acid), the B group of vitamins: nicotinamide, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine (vitamin B1), vitamin B12, biotin and folic acid. When you eat foods that contain water-soluble vitamins, the vitamins are not stored in fat cells in your body. Instead, they travel through your bloodstream and are absorbed, and whatever your body doesn't need, then is processed by your kidneys where they are excreted in your urine when you urinate.

Minerals

The main minerals are calcium, magnesium, iodine, chromium, phosphorus, iron, copper, selenium, fluoride and zinc.

Other Supplements

There are other supplements such as Amino Acids, which your body gets from eating protein. These are the building blocks of muscle, so many competitive weightlifters and muscle builders eat these shakes and supplements to have enough protein and amino acids to build muscle tissue fast. They also avoid carbohydrates as these carbohydrates tend to be stored as fat if there are in excess in your body.

Drug Interference

More folic acid is needed by people on anti-epileptic and anti-tuberculosis drugs (who also need more pyridoxine). People taking certain long-term antibiotics also need it. Epilepsy medication, particularly phenytoin increases the need for folic acid: you may need extra amounts of folic acid. Your doctor will advise. Iodine will interfere with the action of thyroid-blocking drugs in the treatment of an overactive thyroid: bigger doses are then needed. Iron may prevent certain antibiotics from getting into the bloodstream. If on both of these preparations, they should be taken several hours apart.

This is not a full list . You should ask your doctor if the vitamins and minerals you wish to take react with any other medication you are taking. Do not change the dose of any drugs you are taking unless your doctor tells you.

What Do these Vitamins and Minerals Do and Where Can you get them?

Vitamin A

This vitamin plays a really big part in eyesight. It's great for night vision, like when you're trick-or-treating on Halloween. Vitamin A helps you see in color, too, from the brightest yellow to the darkest purple. In addition, it helps you grow properly and aids in healthy skin.

Which foods are rich in vitamin A?

  • eggs

  • milk

  • apricots

  • nectarines

  • cantaloupe

  • carrots

  • sweet potatoes

  • spinach

B Vitamins

There is a whole family of B Vitamins, they are:

  • B1

  • B2

  • B6

  • B12

  • niacin

  • folic acid

  • biotin

  • pathenoic acid

The B vitamins are important for metabolic activity. These vitamins help make energy and release it when your body needs it. This group of vitamins is also involved in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body. Every part of your body needs oxygen to work properly, so these B vitamins are essential to your good health.

  • Which foods are rich in vitamin B?

  • fish and seafood

  • leafy green vegetables

  • whole grains, such as wheat and oats

  • poultry and meats

  • eggs

  • dairy products, like milk and yogurt

  • beans and peas

Vitamin C

This vitamin is important for keeping body tissues, such as gums and muscles in good shape. Vitamin C is very important if you get a cut or a wound because it helps your body heal the wound along with your clotting factors. This vitamin also helps your immune system fight off infections, and while it can not always prevent illness, there is clinical proof that Vitamin C makes it harder for you to get sick.

Which foods are rich in vitamin C?

  • strawberries

  • cantaloupe

  • citrus fruits, like oranges

  • tomatoes

  • broccoli

  • cabbage

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for strong bone development and maintenance. Vitamin D is so essential for bone and tooth development many milk producers enrich their milk with this vitamin. Exposure to sunlight is the only natural way for the body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D also is important to the absorption of Calcium in the body.

Which foods are rich in vitamin D?

  • milk and other dairy products fortified with vitamin D

  • fish

  • egg yolks

Vitamin E

Everybody needs E, because it maintains many of your body's tissues such as your eyes, skin, lungs and liver. Vitamin E is also important for the formation of red blood cells.

Which foods are rich in vitamin E?

  • wheat germ

  • leafy green vegetables

  • whole grains, such as wheat and oats

  • sardines

  • egg yolks

  • nuts

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is very important in helping the blood to clot, in fact most infants get a shot of vitamin K in order to help their blood to clot in case of injury. Vitamin K is also needed to maintain proper bone density, and it plays a key role in proper development of the fetus.

Which foods are rich in vitamin K?

  • leafy green vegetables

  • liver

  • pork

  • dairy products, like milk and yogurt

Minerals

calcium, magnesium, iodine as well as others.

Calcium

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the human body, and almost all of the calcium in your body is stored in the teeth and bones. The rest of the calcium is stored in the muscles where it is used for muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction and expansion, the secretion of hormones and enzymes, and sending messages through the nervous system. A constant level of calcium is maintained in body fluid and tissues so that these vital body processes function efficiently.

Sources of Calcium

  • Yogurt

  • Milk

  • Cheese

  • Chinese cabbage

  • Kale

  • Broccoli

  • Magnesium

Magnesium

About 50% of Magnesium is found in bone and the other half is found in other body tissues. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, it keeps the heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxer, which can help those who suffer from back pain and spasms.

Sources of Magnesium

  • whole grains

  • nuts

  • green leafy vegetables

  • Halibut

  • Raisins

  • Iodine

Iodine

Iodine is an element that is vital for good thyroid function, and in the United States is added to certain brands of salt to avoid deficiencies. Salt with iodine added is called iodized. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy and early infancy can result in cretinism (which is irreversible mental retardation and severe motor impairments). In adults low iodine intake (or very high intakes) can cause hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can result in systems such as low energy levels, dry or scaly or yellowish skin, tingling and numbness in extremities, weight gain, forgetfulness, personality changes, depression, anemia, and prolonged, heavy periods in women. Often this causes the development of a Goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid gland visible between the Adam's apple and the collar bone. Hypothyroidism can lead to significant increases in cholesterol levels and homocysteine levels and correcting hypothyroidism can correct these increased level.

* Note: it is important to note for vegetarians that eating certain vegetables actually increases the need for iodine. These vegetables are: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, especially if consumed raw. Soy beans, raw flaxseed, cassava (used in tapioca), sweet potatoes, lima beans, maize and millet also increase the requirements for iodine. It is also important to note that too much iodine is also not good and can cause imbalances that can increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Sources of Iodine

  • Iodized Salt (Has virtually eliminated iodine deficiencies in the United States)

  • Kelp

  • Seaweed

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