Thursday, 3 July 2014

Sources of Vitamin and Minerals and its Necessity

Food body and energy
Food provides all the energy needs for your body. Roughly, a person needs 2543 calories of energy per day for its metabolic activities. Women need only 2000 calories. One has to make sure that you maintain the food balance to ensure proper nutrition.
 
Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C
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Keep food balanced
Ideally, one must have foods having 40% proteins, 35% carbohydrates and 25% fats. One also needs essential vitamins and minerals that our body cannot and will not process on its own. You can find them in vegetables and fruits. Here you can see a list of essential nutrients our body needs on a daily basis.

I)             Vitamins
a)   B2 – Riboflavin: This type B vitamin is water soluble and gets flushed out of your body. This helps with production of red blood cells and body growth. It helps in liberating energy from carbohydrates. Sources are lean meats, eggs, legumes, leafy vegetables, dairy products, nuts and milk.
b)   B3 – Niacin: Niacin is another water-soluble type B vitamin that helps in nerves and skin function. It helps with digestive system and converts food to energy. You can find it in lean meats, eggs, dairy products, legumes, poultry, fish and nuts.
c)   B6 – Pyridoxine: Pyridoxine is water soluble vitamin type B that makes antibodies, maintains normal functioning of nerves, produces hemoglobin and maintains blood sugar levels in normal range. It also breaks proteins down and so you must have vitamin B6 when you consume proteins.
d)   B12 – Cobalamin: Helps in process of folate metabolism and succinyl CoA synthesis. Deficiency could lead to chronic stomach inflammation that could lead to pernicious anemia, megaloblastic anemia and neurologic disorders. Older people face risk of B12 deficiency since they are not able to absorb this from the food. Low levels of this could lead to various metabolic deficiencies like cardiovascular disease, improper formation of myelin sheath surrounding neurons, improper synthesis of neurotransmitters, cognitive impairment, depression and osteoporosis. Clams and mussels have B12.
e)   C –Ascorbic acid: Being water-soluble, your body will not try to store it. You must get your daily requirements from your food. It helps in making collagen a protein used for manufacture of cartilage, ligaments, skin, tendons and blood vessels. You can find it in citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli. It is an antioxidant.
f)    Vitamin A and beta-carotene: Vitamin A is fat-soluble occurs
       Meat is rich source of proteins
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as 
preformed vitamin A and provitamin A. You can obtain the former from fish, poultry and milk products while the latter occurs in vegetables and fruits. Most common type of provitamin A is beta-carotene. Your body uses vitamin A for formation of soft tissues like mucus membrane and pigments of the eye, skeletal tissue, skin and teeth. It also plays a part in reproduction and milk production.
g)   Vitamin D: This is useful since absorption of calcium occurs only in the presence of vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D can cause osteoporosis. You have this vitamin in muscle, immune system and nerves. Egg yolk and liver are good sources for vitamin D.
h)   Vitamin E: This is an antioxidant. It involves in metabolic processes and helps immune system. Vitamin E sources include margarine, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. 

i)     Vitamin K: Fat-soluble vitamin K is essential for blood clotting process. It helps bind calcium that is necessary for step-by-step synthesis of proteins involved in clotting process. People having high risk of stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism brought on by formation of blood clots have anticoagulant medication such as warfarin. Kale, broccoli, raw parsley and watercress are good sources of this vitamin.


II)          Minerals
a)   Sodium: You require sodium for fluid balance in your body, and for functioning of nerves and your muscles. Kidneys control sodium levels. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. You get sodium from table salt used in cooking. Vegetables like celery and beets also have sodium. Milk also provides you with this mineral.
b)   Calcium: This mineral is the most abundant in our body. Of all calcium present in the body, only 1% is required for bodily functions that include hormonal secretion, intercellular signaling, nerve transmission, muscle function, vasodilation and vascular contraction. Most calcium present is present in bones and teeth. Bones keeps on changing its structure with age and calcium is recycled constantly. In
Broccoli contains calcium essential for our body
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old people bone breakdown is more than process of formation and so they suffer bone loss. Foods containing calcium are yogurt, cheese and milk along with vegetables such as kale, broccoli and cabbage. Fruit drinks and tofu also contain calcium.
c)   Magnesium: It supports over 300 metabolic functions in the body. It helps in production of proteins and energy, regulates levels of blood glucose, maintain muscle and nerve function, keeps immune system healthy, heartbeat steady and bones strong. Good sources of magnesium are almonds, legumes, bananas, brown rice, tofu and millet. Lack of magnesium causes weakness of muscles and sleepiness. You can also have biscuits having cashewnuts and almonds.
d)   Selenium: A trace mineral your body will require this only in very small amounts. This helps with preparation of antioxidant enzymes that help prevent cell damage.
e)   Zinc: Along with antioxidants high amounts of zinc can reduce age-related macular degeneration (AMD). After iron and calcium, this is most abundant element in the body. Body’s defense system needs Zinc to work properly. It also helps in breakdown of carbohydrates, cell growth, cell division and wound healing. It has an effect on common cold too. Meats like pork, beef and lamb have high amounts of zinc. Meats have more of this element compared to fish and chicken. Zinc is also present in legumes, nuts, yeast and whole grains.
f)    Chromium: Human body requires this in trace amounts only. Chromium helps in storage of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It helps metabolic activity. It enhances insulin action. Sources of chromium are broccoli and grape juice. Potatoes have a small amount of chromium.
g)   Iron: Iron helps muscles store and utilize oxygen. Iron is part of hemoglobin that transports oxygen to different parts of the body from
Spinach and carrots contain potassium
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the lungs. It also forms part of enzymes and proteins. Dried beans, eggs, dried fruits, liver and salmon are good sources for iron.
h)   Potassium: This mineral helps communication between muscle and nerves. It pushes nutrients into cells and pushes wastes out of cells. Spinach, grapes, carrots and oranges are good food sources for potassium.
i)     Folic acid – folate: This vitamin B assists in making new cells. Food sources are fruits, cereals enriched with folic acid, leafy green vegetables, peas, nuts and dried beans.


Eating healthy food means eating sufficient quantities containing essential nutrients. You must not ignore vitamins and minerals though you require it in small quantities only. Eating good food will ensure proper health and freedom from diseases and ailments.