Is your body getting enough vitamins and minerals? Many people don’t get a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals, and as a result, their health suffers. Vitamins and minerals perform a variety of functions within the body, and the best way to get a sufficient amount of them is by eating a healthy diet.
Why Do We Need Vitamins and Minerals?
Every day, your body is responsible for producing muscle, bone, and skin, along with generating red blood cells that transport oxygen and nutrients. Your body also formulates chemical messengers that transfer messages between organs. In order to accomplish all of this, your body needs the necessary raw materials, including the proper vitamins and minerals that it is simply not able to manufacture on its own.
Vitamins and minerals are referred to as essential nutrients because they are precisely that: essential to proper health. Along with helping heal wounds, build strong bones, and boost your immune system, vitamins and minerals are also important for repairing cellular damage and converting food into energy.
The Vitamins Your Body Needs
Even so, it can be difficult to keep up with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Among the vitamins your body needs to maintain optimal health is Vitamin A, which is good for the growth of healthy teeth and skin, as well as maintaining healthy eyes. Carrots and other foods orange in color, such as sweet potatoes, are a good natural source of Vitamin A.
B vitamins are important for healthy immune function, energy production, and iron absorption. This vital group of nutrients can be found in whole grains, bananas, potatoes, chili peppers, lentils, molasses, and beans. Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, is important for preventing birth defects during pregnancy, as well as ensuring cell renewal. There are many natural sources of this important vitamin, including asparagus, leafy greens, beans, citrus fruits, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, beets, cauliflower, and corn.
Vitamin C is important for iron absorption, antioxidant function, and strengthening blood vessels. This important vitamin can be found in citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, as well as strawberries, guava, cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, and red and green peppers.
Your body also needs ample amounts of Vitamin D, which is important for strong, healthy bones. The best way to get plenty of Vitamin D is to spend some time outdoors, as well as eating eggs, mushrooms, and fish.
Vitamin E is important for protecting your body from free radicals, as well as blood circulation. The best natural sources for Vitamin E are almonds, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes.
To ensure healthy blood coagulation, your body needs Vitamin K. Leafy greens are the best way to get good sources of Vitamin K, so make sure you eat plenty of spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Along with the vitamins listed above, your body also needs major minerals and trace minerals. Among the minerals necessary for optimal health are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Minerals are responsible for helping your body maintain a proper balance of water. The most important minerals responsible for maintaining proper water balance include potassium, chloride, and sodium. Magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus are also vital for maintaining healthy bones, while sulfur is responsible for stabilizing protein structures.
Trace minerals are also essential for a number of diverse but important tasks in the body. Vital trace minerals include chromium, fluoride, copper, iron, iodine, selenium, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc. Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body, while fluoride is important for strengthening your bones and preventing tooth decay. Zinc is responsible for healthy blood clotting and is also essential for smell and taste. In addition, zinc is good for boosting your body’s immune response. Another trace mineral essential for health is copper, which assists in forming several important enzymes. Among those enzymes is one that helps with metabolizing iron as well as the creation of hemoglobin.
Although you can get many vitamins and minerals in a daily supplement, by eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet, you should be getting all the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly and to stay healthy.