Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to perform a range of functions and ultimately keep us at our healthiest. These nutrients can help to fight off infections, prevent illness, and generally help to feel and look our best, but there’s a lot more to them than that.
There are two forms of vitamins, water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins can’t be stored in our bodies and should be replaced regularly with our diet and supplements. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored, but also need to form part of balanced diet too.
As our bodies can’t create most of these vitamins themselves, our diet and lifestyle play a huge part in how much of each we get. These vitamins all have different benefits, so each one is just as important as the next in giving us everything we need to stay healthy.
Minerals are slightly different to vitamins, but just as crucial in maintaining a healthy body and mind. Also found in food, we need these for growth and health, and they can also be found in a range of foods and supplements.
These inorganic substances are also separated into two groups: macro minerals and trace minerals. Macro minerals are those which our body needs in large amounts, and trace minerals small amounts. Both are crucial for health, and each type has their own unique function.
With far too many to list, there are some honorable mentions in the vitamin and mineral categories that we should ingest every day as healthy adults. When we become deficient in any of these, it will become instantly noticeable in our physical and mental wellbeing.
A crucial mineral, iron is responsible for delivering oxygen to our blood supply. While many people need to take iron supplements, you can also get an adequate intake from red meats, beans, lentils, and whole grains.
The key to healthy and strong bones, as well as a functioning nervous system, calcium is another important mineral. Found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens, this is essential to take from a very early age.
A truly unique mineral, chloride works to keep a healthy balance of fluid both inside and outside of your cells. Chloride can be found in salt, cheese, rye, tomatoes, and seaweed, and is an extremely important mineral for our bodies to have.
The sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is imperative for developing strong and healthy bones. While many get theirs from exposure to the sun, it’s common to take a supplement or ingest foods with high levels of D for their recommended intake, such as tuna, sardines, or egg yolks.
Crucial for boosting your immunity, vitamin C is also said to help a range of ailments such as the common cold. Found in sweet potato, carrots, berries, and more, many people also like to take a daily supplement of vitamin C to help ward off infections.
With 8 different types of vitamin B, this one is truly versatile. According to research, vitamin B is essential for getting the most out of the other foods you eat and helping to prevent disease. Foods with high levels of vitamin B include leafy green vegetables and beans.
A deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can have very serious effects on your health. As each group is different, the effects of deficiency differ quite a bit, but all can have huge impacts. In addition, taking too much of a certain vitamin or mineral can also have an adverse effect on your healthy, so eating a balanced diet is the best way to ensure you’re getting the right levels.
As some vitamin and mineral deficiency can’t be treated with a balanced diet alone, there is a need for many people to take additional supplements to increase their levels. These generally come in tablet or oil form, and can be ingested daily to help increase levels of vitamins and minerals in your body.
Some groups may be more susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiency, so it’s important to be aware of this if you believe it applies to you. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those suffering from certain diseases may have a harder time absorbing vitamins and minerals and so supplements are recommended in these cases.
Vitamins and minerals can often be more effective than medication in helping to fix potential health problems. With numerous healing and protective abilities, eating a healthy diet packed full of vitamins and minerals is your best defense against illness. Here are a few common conditions which can be alleviated with the right nutrients.
According to WebMD, Americans spend over a billion dollars each year on cold and flu supplements. These results show the effectiveness of using minerals and vitamins to treat illness, and with the right selection of vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea you can alleviate the symptoms of your cold and flu.
The most effective way to treat anemia is with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as supplements to boost your intake. For sufferers of anemia, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 are the most useful ways to naturally gain your energy and health back.
Some natural alternatives to medication can be useful in treating depression when coupled with medical help. Vitamins B12 and B6 are particularly helpful in treating mood disorders and other brain functions.
A skin rash is a common symptom of vitamin deficiency, but vitamins and minerals can also be used to treat other conditions as well. Vitamin D is great at clearing up skin conditions, and a regular intake of vitamin C and E, along with omega-3 fatty acids can all have amazing effects on your skin.