Monday, March 21, 2016

The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals

Eating Whole foods or unprocessed foods is often stressed when we talk about eating healthy.  Foods often lose some of their antioxidants and trace minerals along with vitamins and minerals when they are processed.  Do you know why we need these vitamins and minerals?  Here is a list from Food and Health Communications, Inc.  They also have a handy chart, you can pin.

Vitamin A: Prevents eye problems. Necessary for normal vision, immune function, and reproduction.
B-Vitamins: This group includes B-1 Thiamin, B-2 Riboflavin, B-3 Niacin, B-5 Pantothenic Acid, B-6 Pyridoxine, B-7 Biotin, B-9 Folic Acid, and B-12 Choline. Necessary to metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids. Activates B-6 and folate, which is essential for red blood cell growth and maturity.
Vitamin C: Antioxidant that protects against cell damage; boosts immune systems; forms collagen in the body.
Vitamin D: Aids absorption and usage of calcium and phosphorous ; necessary for growth and calcification of bones and teeth. The best source is the sun.
Vitamin E: Acts as an antioxidant that protects cells against damage.
Vitamin K: Important for blood clotting and bone health.
Calcium: Essential in bone and teeth formation, muscle contraction, absorption of B-12, blood clotting, and growth.
Copper: Necessary for absorption, storage, and metabolism of iron; key to formation of red blood cells.
Iodine: Regulates rate of energy production and body weight. Promotes growth and health of hair, nails, skin, and teeth.
Iron: Hemoglobin and myoglobin formation, oxygen and CO2 transfer, red blood cell formation, and energy release.
Magnesium: Helps heart rhythm, muscle and nerve function, and bone strength.
Phosphorous: Helps cells to function normally. Helps your body produce energy. Key for bone growth.
Potassium: Important in maintaining normal fluid balance; helps control blood pressure; reduces risk of kidney stones.
Selenium: An essential trace element; protects cells from damage; regulates thyroid hormone.
Sodium: Primarily controls the body’s osmotic pressure, hydration, and electrical activities.
Zinc: Supports the body’s immune and nerve function; important in reproduction.
Protein: A necessary major nutrient in the diet, providing amino acids, which are necessary for growth and development.
Carbohydrate: Provides basic source of energy; stored as glycogen in all tissues of the body, especially the liver and muscles.
Fat: Also known as adipose tissue. Serves as an energy reserve.
Fiber: Aids digestion, helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.

Vitamin and Mineral Handout

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