Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins

Vitamins are organic chemicals that containe carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and they occur naturally in all living things. Vitamins are essential for building body tissue (bones, glands, nerves and blood), they also assist in metabolising carbohydrates and proteins. Vitamins are essential for preventing nutritional deficiency diseases, promote healing and ensuring good health.

While we are on the topic of good health I have noticed a lot of people that are always ill, whether it be a cold or an infection, have a very poor diet, drink too much alcohol (remember alcohol has very little nutritional benefits), don't get enough sleep and don't spend enough time outside. Just saying!

Anyway back to vitamins, the body needs at least 11 specific vitamins: A, D, E, K, C and the members of the B family. Now all of these vitamins can be found in food, all you have to is eat a varied diet. Don't worry I'm not going to bore you with what all these vitamins do for you!

Minerals

Minerals are substances that are found in water, rocks and soil, minerals and are inorganic (unlike vitamins) and usually don't contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Obviously we don't eat rocks and soil so how do we get these minerals? Minerals are imported into plants through soil and animals get minerals from eating plants or other animals, we then eat these plants and animals we then in turn receive these minerals.

The major minerals are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, sulphur, flourine, sodium, potassium and chlorine. The less important minerals (trace elements) are idoine, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium and molybdenum.

To summarise vitamins are like tint maids and butlers making sure the lights are turned off and the windows are closed to keep heat escaping. Minerals are the more study stuff, the bricks and mortar that strengthen the frame, and the current that keeps the lights working.

Deficiencies are quite rare but if you lack vitamins or minerals you are at risk of health problems including infections and illnesses. So keep your diet varied!

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals means chemicals from plants. New research is being carried out daily on phytochemicals and are likely to play a significant role in people diets. All that can really be said at the moment is make sure you eat your fruit and vegetables! Phytochemicals perform beneficial chores within the body including:

  1. Keeping cells healthy
  2. Slow tissue degeneration
  3. Prevent cancer producing substances
  4. Reduce cholesterol 
  5. Protect your heart
  6. Maintain hormone balance
  7. Keep bones strong

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