Vitamins are micronutrients that offer a range of health benefits, including boosting the immune system helping to prevent or delay certain cancers, such as prostate cancer strengthening teeth and bones aiding calcium absorption maintaining healthy skin helping the body to metabolize proteins and carbs supporting healthy blood aiding brain and nervous system functioning
There are 13 essential vitamins that nutritionists divide into two groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins are:
Water soluble vitamins are:
vitamin B-1 (thiamine)
vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)
vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid)
vitamin B-3 (niacin)
vitamin B-9 (folate, folic acid)
vitamin B-7 (biotin)
Typically, a person who eats a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins can get all the vitamins they need in their food. However, those who eat less fruit and vegetables, and those with digestive conditions may need to take a vitamin supplement to reduce or avoid a deficiency.
Minerals are the second type of micronutrient. There are two groups of minerals: major and trace minerals. The body needs a balance of minerals from both groups for optimal health.
Major minerals are:
Sodium is an electrolyte that helps:
maintain nerve and muscle function
regulate fluid levels in the body
Too little can lead to hyponatremia. Symptoms include lethargy, confusion, and fatigue. Too much can lead to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Table salt, which is made up of sodium and chloride, is a popular condiment. However, most people consume too much sodium, as it already occurs naturally in most foods.
Experts urge people not to add table salt to their diet. Current guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, or around one teaspoon. This recommendation includes both naturally-occurring sources, as well as salt a person adds to their food. People with high blood pressure or kidney disease should eat less salt.
Major minerals help the body to do the following:
balance water levels
maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails
improve bone health
Trace minerals are:
Trace minerals help with:
preventing tooth decay
aiding in blood clotting
helping to carry oxygen
supporting the immune system
supporting healthy blood pressure
A person can ensure they consume enough minerals by including the following foods in their diet:
red meats (limit their use and choose lean cuts)
Natural sea salt
milk and other dairy products
nuts and seeds
fortified bread and cereals
beans and legumes
Why do you need nutritional supplements?
Vitamins and minerals are essential to helping your body develop and function as it should. While most people get all of what is recommended by eating healthy, others need a little extra nutrient boost. That is where supplements come in — providing you with the support your body needs to stay healthy.
The typical family today eats majorly fast foods. Fast food is about the worst excuse for fuel we can ingest into our bodies! Knowing something and doing something are two different realities. So much lip service is given to losing weight and eating healthy.
Today, not only are children not getting the proper nutrition for their growing bodies, they are establishing poor eating habits in childhood that usually persist into their adult years. Many teenagers already have full-blown insulin resistance.
In a recent study, it was discovered that 17 percent of the population did not eat any vegetables. Only 41 percent consume fruits regularly. Less than 5 percent actually eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
So many people still eat fried and processed foods. The ground in which the foods are grown has also been subjected to unhealthy processes, thereby depleting the soil of essential nutrients. Organic fertilizers are expensive, so farmers manage costs by using fertilizers that replenish the soil with only nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (called NPK). With these NPK fertilizers, farmers are able to grow good-looking grains and produce, though the crops remain depleted in all the other necessary minerals.
Sadly, economics is the driving force behind most agriculture worldwide. Emphasis is now more on quantity per acre than quality/nutrient content of the food harvested. Few can argue about the quality of our foods now compared to foods of a generation or two ago.