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Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Essential Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Needs

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients since they perform hundreds of body roles. There is a fine line between getting enough (which is healthy) of those nutrients and getting too much (which can end up harming you). Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get enough of the needed vitamins and minerals.

Essential Body Nutrients

Your body breeds skin, muscle , and bone every day. It churns out rich red blood to remote outposts carrying nutrients and oxygen, and it sends nerve signals skipping along thousands of miles of brain and body pathways. It also formulates chemical messengers shuttling from one organ to another, issuing the instructions that help sustain your life. But your body needs some raw materials to do all of this. These include at least 30 vitamins , minerals, and dietary components that your body needs but can't produce in sufficient quantities on its own.

Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients, because they play hundreds of roles in the body while acting in concert. They help shore up bones, cure wounds and strengthen your immune system. They also transform food into energy, and repair damage to cells. But it can be confusing to try to keep track of what all those vitamins and minerals do. Read enough articles on the subject, and your eyes may swim with the alphabet-soup references to these nutrients, which are mainly known to be their initials (such as vitamins A,B,C,D,E and K — to name just a few). You will gain a better understanding in this article of what these vitamins and minerals actually do in the body, and why you want to make sure you get enough of them.

Micronutrients which play a major role in the body. Vitamins and minerals are also referred to as micronutrients, since the body only requires minimal quantities of them. Yet inability to get even such small numbers practically assures sickness. Below are a few examples of vitamin deficiencies-causing diseases:

  • Scurvy:  Old-time sailors have found that life without new fruits or vegetables for months — the primary sources of vitamin C — causes scurvy's bleeding gums and sloppiness.
  • Blindness: In some developing countries the deficiency of vitamin A still makes people blind.
  • Rickets:  vitamin D deficiency may cause rickets, a condition characterized by brittle, frail bones which can lead to skeletal deformities such as bent legs. Since the 1930s, the U.S. has fortified milk with vitamin D in part to combat rickets. Much as a shortage of essential micronutrients can cause significant damage to the body, it can be of considerable advantage to have adequate amounts. Types of such advantages include:
  • Strong teeth: A mixture of calcium , vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and phosphorus stops cracks in the bones.
  • Avoids birth defects: Taking folic acid supplementation early in pregnancy helps to avoid childhood abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord.
  • Good teeth: The mineral fluoride not only helps in the formation of bones, but also keeps the dental cavities from starting or getting worse.

The Vitamin and Mineral Ratio

While both are called micronutrients, vitamins and minerals vary in essential ways. Vitamins are synthetic, and can be sun, rain, or acid breakdown. Minerals are inorganic and maintain the chemical composition thereof. It means minerals can easily find their way into your body through the plants , fish, animals and fluids you consume in soil and water. Yet shutting vitamins from food and other products into the body is harder, as cooking, transport, and basic air penetration will inactivate these more delicate compounds.

1. Interacting-in positive and bad respects

It is associated with other micronutrients. Vitamin D allows your body to pluck calcium from food sources that pass through your digestive tract, rather than from your bones. Vitamin C helps in processing carbon. And the micronutrient interplay is not always cooperative. Vitamin C for instance inhibits the capacity of the body to assimilate the essential mineral copper. And even a small excess of mineral manganese can worsen the iron deficiency.

2. Water-soluble supplements 

In the watery portions of the food you eat, water-soluble vitamins are mixed in. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down or dissolved during digestion, or as a supplement. Some of the water-soluble vitamins circulate readily in your bloodstream because all of your bloodstream is made up of liquids. Your kidneys are actively regulating water-soluble vitamin levels, shunting the excesses of the urine out of the bloodstream.

While water-soluble vitamins have several roles in your body, one of the most important tasks is to help release the energy stored in the food you consume. Some support preserving healthy tissues. Below are few examples of how multiple vitamins help keep you healthy:

3. Deliver energy: Several B vitamins are key components of certain coenzymes that help release energy from food.

4. Power generate: Energy production involves thiamine, riboflavin, niacin , pantothenic acid, and biotin.

5. Create cells, and proteins: Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid metabolize amino acids (the protein building blocks) and help to replicate cells.

6. Making collagen: Some of the functions vitamin C plays is to help produce collagen, which knits wounds together, strengthens the walls of the blood vessels, and provides a foundation for teeth and bones.

Things to know:

Contrary to popular belief, some water-soluble vitamins may remain in the body for extended periods. You definitely have a reserve of vitamin B12 in your liver for many years. Yet also storehouses of folic acid and vitamin C will last more than a few days. Generally however, every few days water-soluble vitamins should be replenished. Just be aware that there is a small risk that it can be quite harmful to consume large amounts of some of these micronutrients through supplements. For example, extremely high doses of B6 many times the normal dosage of 1.3 milligrams ( mg) a day for adults can affect nerves, causing numbness and fatigue in muscles. Together this vitamin quartet helps to maintain good repair of your eyes , skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. Here are some of the other important roles which these vitamins play:

  • Create bones. Without the vitamins A, D, and K, bone formation would be impossible.
  • Vision Protect. Vitamin A also helps to preserve healthy cells, which preserves the eyes.
  • Good interaction. Without vitamin E the body will fail to consume and retain vitamin A.

Protect your body. Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant (a compound which helps protect the body from unstable molecules from damage). Because you store fat-soluble vitamins in your body for long periods of time, toxic levels can build up. If you take supplements this will most likely happen. Having so much of a vitamin from food really is very rare.

A closer look at essential minerals

The body requires very large quantities of the main minerals, and retains them. These minerals are no more important for your health than the trace minerals; they are only present in greater amounts in your body. Big minerals migrate in different directions across the body. For example, potassium is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, where it circulates freely and is excreted through the kidneys, much like a water-soluble vitamin. Calcium is more like a fat-soluble vitamin, because it requires an absorption and transportation carrier.

Essential minerals
  • Calcium Virus
  • Salt salt
  • Magnesium Disease
  • Phosphate
  • California
  • Sodium Water
  • Sulphur

Maintaining the correct water balance in the body is one of the main activities of large minerals. Sodium, chloride, and potassium are taking the lead in this. For healthy bones, three other main minerals-calcium, phosphorus , and magnesium-are essential. Sulfur aids in stabilizing protein molecules, like those that make up blood, skin and nails. Having too much of one major mineral can lead to another deficiency. Generally these kinds of imbalances are caused by surcharges from supplements, not food sources. 

Two examples below: Running over the water. Calcium binds in the body with excess sodium, and is excreted when the body senses the need to lower sodium levels. That means that if you eat too much sodium from table salt or fried foods, you may end up lacking the calcium required while your body rids off the extra sodium itself. So much phosphorus. Equally, too much phosphorus can inhibit your ability to absorb magnesium.

Looking closer at the trace minerals

A thimble may easily hold any of the trace minerals that are usually present in your body. However, their contributions are just as important as those of major minerals like calcium and phosphorus, each accounting for more than a pound of your body weight.

Spinning minerals
  • Chromium 
  • Copper
  • Fluoride 
  • Iodine
  • Iron 
  • Manganese 
  • Molybdenum 
  • Selenium 
  • Zinc

Trace minerals perform a diverse range of activities. Here are only few examples:

  1. Iron is best known for bodywide ferrying of oxygen.
  2. Fluoride strengthens teeth and stops tooth loss.
  3. Zinc helps filter the blood, is necessary to taste and smell, and strengthens immune response.
  4. Copper helps to form several enzymes, one of which helps with the metabolism of iron and the formation of hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood.

Bottom Line

The other trace minerals perform equally vital jobs, such as helping to block damage to body cells and forming or enhancing parts of key enzymes. To those of us who aren't nutritionists, dietitians or natural health specialists, the letters and numbers that describe the balanced food world may sound pretty overwhelming. One thing is for sure, doctors urge you to fill your body with nutritious food before turning to supplements. The best bet is to ensure you consume a healthy diet that contains as many whole foods as possible.  

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