Vitamins and minerals are the two substances known as micronutrients. They come from macronutrients –proteins-carbohydrates and fats. We get these essential nutrients from various foods. These foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. We also get them from dairy foods and meats. As a matter of fact, these are the basic food groups that comprise our diet.
There has been a misconception about vitamins and minerals. Some believe you can obtain all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs solely through diet. However, you’ll need to obtain all your vitamins and nutrients with the help of supplements. With this in mind, below is a table to list the vitamins and minerals. Moreover it explains the functions and sources of each.
Vitamins And Minerals: The Vitamins
|Vitamin||What the vitamin does||Significant food sources|
|B1 (thiamin)||Supports energy metabolism and nerve function||spinach, green peas, tomato juice, watermelon, sunflower seeds, lean ham, lean pork chops, soy milk|
|B2 (riboflavin)||Supports energy metabolism, normal vision and skin health||spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, milk, liver, oysters, clams|
|B3 (niacin)||Supports energy metabolism, and skin health. Also the nervous system and digestive system||spinach, potatoes, tomato juice, lean ground beef, chicken breast, tuna (canned in water), liver, shrimp|
|Biotin||Energy metabolism and fat synthesis. Also amino acid metabolism and glycogen synthesis||widespread in foods|
|Pantothenic Acid||Supports energy metabolism||widespread in foods|
|B6 (pyridoxine)||Amino acid and fatty acid metabolism. Also red blood cell production||bananas, watermelon, tomato juice, broccoli, spinach, acorn squash, potatoes, white rice, chicken breast|
|Folate||Supports DNA synthesis and new cell formation||tomato juice, green beans, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, okra, black-eyed peas, lentils, navy, pinto and garbanzo beans|
|B12||Used in new cell synthesis. It helps break down fatty acids and amino acids. It also supports nerve cell maintenance||meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs|
|C (ascorbic acid)||Collagen synthesis and amino acid metabolism. It helps iron absorption, immunity, antioxidant||spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, snow peas, tomato juice, kiwi, mango, orange, grapefruit juice, strawberries|
|A (retinol)||Supports vision, skin, bone and tooth growth. Also immunity and reproduction||mango, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, tomato juice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beef liver|
|Promotes bone mineralization||self-synthesis via sunlight, fortified milk, egg yolk, liver, fatty fish|
|E||Antioxidant, regulation of oxidation reactions, supports cell membrane stabilization||polyunsaturated plant oils (soybean, corn and canola oils), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, tofu, avocado, sweet potatoes, shrimp, cod|
|K||Synthesis of blood-clotting proteins, regulates blood calcium||Brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, liver|
Vitamins And Minerals: The Minerals
|Mineral||What the mineral does||Significant food sources|
|Sodium||Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance. Also supports muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmissions||salt, soy sauce, bread, milk, meats|
|Chloride||Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance. Also aids in digestion||salt, soy sauce, milk, eggs, meats|
|Potassium||Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance. Supports cell integrity, and muscle contractions. Also supports nerve impulse transmission||potatoes, acorn squash, artichoke, spinach, broccoli, carrots, green beans, tomato juice, avocado, grapefruit juice, watermelon, banana, strawberries, cod, milk|
|Calcium||Formation of bones and teeth. Also supports blood clotting||milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, tofu, sardines, green beans, spinach, broccoli|
|Formation of cells, bones and teeth. It maintains acid-base balance||all animal foods (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk)|
|Magnesium||Supports bone mineralization, protein building, and muscular contraction. Also nerve impulse transmission, immunity.||spinach, broccoli, artichokes, green beans, tomato juice, navy beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, sunflower seeds, tofu, cashews, halibut|
|Iron||Part of the protein hemoglobin (carries oxygen throughout body’s cells)||artichoke, parsley, spinach, broccoli, green beans, tomato juice, tofu, clams, shrimp, beef liver|
|Zinc||A part of many enzymes. Also involved in production of genetic material and proteins. It transports vitamin A. It speeds wound healing, sperm production and the normal development of the fetus||spinach, broccoli, green peas, green beans, tomato juice, lentils, oysters, shrimp, crab, turkey (dark meat), lean ham, lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt, Swiss cheese, tofu, ricotta cheese|
|Selenium||Antioxidant. Also works with vitamin E to protect body from oxidation||seafood, meats and grains|
|Iodine||Component of thyroid hormones. In addition, it helps regulate growth, development and metabolic rate||salt, seafood, bread, milk, cheese|
|Copper||Necessary for the absorption and utilization of iron. Also supports formation of hemoglobin and several enzymes||meats, water|
|Manganese||Facilitates many cell processes||widespread in foods|
|Fluoride||Involved in the formation of bones and teeth. Also helps to make teeth resistant to decay||fluoridated drinking water, tea, seafood|
|Chromium||Associated with insulin. Additionally, it’s required for the release of energy from glucose||vegetable oils, liver, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, cheese, nuts|
|Molybdenum||Facilitates many cell processes||legumes, organ meats|
Vitamins And Minerals – The Decline Of Nutritious Foods
Many years ago, it was possible to obtain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs solely through foods. But, there’s been a decline of vitamins and nutrients in our modern day foods. Now, it is almost impossible to consume your daily needs and still stay under 2000 calories. Don’t get me wrong. Eating fruits and vegetables are very important. I am not saying to just take supplements to get your nutritional needs. Therefore, I am saying that you need to use them together for the highest benefit.
The level of nutrients and vitamins in our foods have decreased dramatically. You would have to eat between 10-12 modern day apples to compare to one apple 60 years ago. In fact, this is because today’s agriculture doesn’t allow the soil to enrich itself. Instead it depends on chemical fertilizers. Indeed, they don’t replace the variety of nutrients that humans and plants need. Furthermore, the long shipping and storage time between harvest and selling reduces nutrient content. In fact, all of this affects the vitamins and minerals found in foods.
The mineral content of milk and meats has also fallen significantly in the past 60 years. That’s according to a new analysis of the chemical composition of everyday food. For instance, the levels of iron recorded in the average rump steak have dropped by 55%. Magnesium fell by 7%. Looking at 15 different meat items, the analysis found that the iron content had fallen on average by 47%.
The iron content of milk had dropped by more than 60%. It’s more than 50% for cream and eight different cheeses. Not to mention, milk appears to have lost 2% of its calcium. In addition, it’s also lost 21% of its magnesium too. Furthermore, most cheeses showed a fall in magnesium and calcium levels. According to the analysis, cheddar provides 9% less calcium today, 38% less magnesium and 47% less iron. Further, this is while parmesan shows the steepest drop in nutrients. Also, magnesium levels down by 70%. Finally, iron has gone down compared with its content in the years up to 1940.
Vitamin And Mineral Research
The research was conducted by David Thomas. He’s a chiropractor and nutritionist who prescribes and sells mineral supplements. Additionally, he published an earlier historical analysis of the nutrient content of fruit and vegetables in 2000. Moreover, this showed a similar decline in those foods. Finally, he attributes the loss of nutrients to intensive farming and industrial production. (Guardian Feb.2, 2006)
Supplements Can Help
Modern day agriculture is not going to change. Therefore, that means we have to. First, the answers are to use supplements along with your food intake. Second, supplements can make a big difference. A multi vitamin/mineral supplement may not be flashy. Yet it’s foundational nutrition. Above all, it helps you achieve a state of health that’s conducive to gains. For instance, an underlying health condition will derail progress. However, the right multi can help overcome this. Therefore, supplements can help!
Finally, don’t forget to add one to your program! Not to mention, you can find them right here at illpumpyouup.com!
By: Kristy Donathan Bryant