Life is full of challenges that we have to face on a daily basis. It is therefor essential that we have the necessary energy and the physical and mental balance we need to help us overcome whatever challenges life throws at us. Nutritions and Supplements are vital to us in this day and age when the amount of nutrients in our food is decreasing. Nutrients are normally divided into vitamins and minerals. There are 13 essential vitamins (A, B, C, D, E and K, with 8 vitamins in the B complex) and many minerals the body requires for optimal health. Vitamins are made from living things, while minerals are found in the earth. Vitamins are much more delicate than minerals and can break down with heat or age, and they are organic while minerals are inorganic, making their chemical form more simple than that of vitamins. In this article I will explain which vitamins and minerals we need to function properly and what they are good for.
Vitamins are a group of organic substances that are essential to our metabolism, If we don’t take enough of any kind of vitamin then certain medical conditions can occur. There vitamins names and what they are good for are as follows:
- Vitamin A – Vision, Bone growth, reproduction, cell functions, immune system.
- Vitamin B1 – Break down and release energy from food, Keeps the nervous system healthy.
- Vitamin B2 – Keeps skin, nose, eyes and the nervous system healthy, release energy from food.
- Vitamin B3 – Release energy from food, keeps the nervous system and skin healthy.
- Vitamin B5 – Necessary for making blood cells, converts food into energy
- Vitamin B6 – Allows the body to use and store energy from protein and Carbohydrates in food, forms hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
- Vitamin B7 – Helps the body break down fat.
- Vitamin B9 – Helps the body form healthy red blood cells, reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
- Vitamin B12 – Makes red blood cells, keeps the nervous system healthy, release energy from food, using folic acid.
- Vitamin C – Helping to protect cells and keep them healthy, maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage, helps wound healing.
- Vitamin D – Regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, these nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.
- Vitamin E – Maintains healthy skin and eyes, Strengthens the body’s natural defense against illness and infection.
- Vitamin K – Is needed for blood clotting which helps wounds heal properly.
The body needs a great deal of minerals, these are called essential minerals. Essential minerals are sometimes divided into macrominerals (major minerals) and microminerals (trace minerals). These two groups of minerals are equally important but microminerals are needed in smaller amounts than macrominerals.
- Sodium – Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
- Chloride – Needed for proper fluid balance and creates stomach acid.
- Potassium – Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
- Calcium – important for healthy teeth and bones, helps muscles relax and contract, important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulating, immune system.
- Phosphorus – Important for healthy teeth and bones, found in every cell, part of the system that maintains acid base balance.
- Magnesium – Found in bones, needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system
- Sulfur – Found in protein molecules.
- Iron – Part of hemoglobin found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body, needed for energy metabolism.
- Zinc – Part of many enzymes, needed for making protein and genetic material, has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system.
- Iodine – Found in thyroid hormone, which helps regulate growth development and metabolism.
- Copper – Part of many enzymes, needed for iron metabolism.
- Manganese – Part of many enzymes.
- Fluoride – Involved in formation of bones and teeth, helps prevent tooth decay.
- Chromium – Works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Molybdenum – Part of some enzymes.
Other trace nutrients known to be essential in tiny amounts include Selenium, nickel, silicon, vanadium and cobalt.
As you can see from above there are a lot of vitamins and minerals that we need in order for us to function properly. In most of the food that we are eating today the nutrients in them are declining and therefor it is essential for us take supplements in order for us to get the nutrients that we need to be able to stay healthy and well-balanced.