The human body has thousands of chemical reactions happening every day, with the integral part played by minerals and vitamins, both of which are essential for a healthy body, but differ in biological functions. Even though capable of astonishing things, the human body cannot produce substantial amounts of these nutrients and we need to consume them.
Vitamins and minerals differ. Vitamins are organic compounds, made by living things and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid, thus easily destroyed when cooked or frozen. The body needs all vitamins. Inorganic minerals are found in the earth. With a much simpler composition, they hold onto their chemical structure. Both vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs function.
Obtained from plants and animals, vitamins release energy from the food, develop red blood cells, help in blood clotting and assist in maintaining healthy skin, eyes and hair.
The following is some of the 13 essential vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K, with 8 vitamins in the B complex).
- Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function. Eat meat, poultry and fish.
- Vitamin C can’t be produced by the body, yet the bodies tissues will readily break down with low levels, resulting in Scurvy.
- Vitamin D is best absorbed through sun exposure thus tuning the body to absorb calcium. Poor bone health will result in Ricketts. Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D.
- Vitamin E fortifies the immune system and forms red blood cells and assists the body to use vitamin K. Eat nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin K is fat soluble and helps the body make blood clotting proteins.
- Vitamin A is imperative for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. It also helps the major organs work properly. Eat carrots, spinach and sweet potato.
The body gets minerals from soil and water. Minerals aid bones, teeth, blood clotting and keeping acid-alkaline blood balance. Macrominerals are required in substantial amounts, whereas trace minerals need only small quantities.
Only some minerals are required for optimal nutrition. The following is a list of what is considered to be the 16 essential minerals: calcium, phosphorus, manganese, iodine, potassium, sulfur, iron, zinc, copper, sodium, chloride, magnesium, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, and fluoride. Many diseases can be attributed to mineral deficiencies.
8 essential minerals are found in dried fruits, including copper, potassium and magnesium. Eat dried apricots, prunes, raisins, figs, and dates, which are high in mineral content.
Pink Himalayan salt also has higher amounts of minerals. Be sure to use that instead of iodised table salt.
50 years ago, eating ‘meat and 3 veg’ per day was considered the optimal way to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. 21st-century thought is engineered towards the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and calories. Natural unprocessed foods — such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, meats, fish and poultry are the top selections.
But given the debate over the last half-century, regarding soil degradation and scientific studies revealing that some 80% of adults are not meeting the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, is it wise to consider supplementation?
Youngevity founder Dr Joel Wallach has groundbreaking research (over decades examining nutritional deficiencies in animals and humans) that discovered good health can be found through nutritional supplementation using a specific blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids: 90 essential nutrients for life! A small capful of this magic liquid supplement is all you require each day.
If you eat a balanced, healthy diet, you still may not be getting adequate amounts of the essential nutrients needed for your body to function at an optimum level. Modern intensive agricultural practices have led to nutrient stripping and soil depletion with contentious soil quality.
In a landmark 2004 study on the topic, by the University of Texas, students studied nutritional data from 1950 and 1999. 43 different fruits and vegetables were found to have mineral decline, with an average drop of 15-30%.
Profits for farmers require producing maximum yield per acre. In their efforts to breed new plant varieties, the ability for plants to manufacture nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth. Fertilizers cause mineral depletion. Forgoing pesticides and fertilizers in favour of organic farming methods is the alternative. So, while organic is currently only a small scale farming method, it is still wise to supplement your vitamins and minerals.
Do check out information on Dr Wallach’s supplements. Fuelling your body with addiotional minerals and vitamins, is the best way to keep bones, muscles and organs working properly.