What You Need To Look And Feel Your Best…
Exercise and eating healthy food are great ways to remain healthy and fit.
But if you want to ensure your overall health and wellness, you have to consider your daily intake of the most important vitamins and minerals.
The world has changed over the last few decades. Technology has made life and work more efficient.
But the reality is technology has made you do more things with the same amount of time.
More people are more stressed out today compared to the previous years.
The increasing problem of global warming calls to mind concerns on pollutants that continue to endanger our environment.
These factors can seriously compromise your health even if you regularly exercise and eat healthy food.
Thus, it is important to take the essential vitamins and minerals to protect your health and wellness.
These are molecules which prevent oxidation of other molecules. In simpler terms, antioxidants fight off free radicals!
These free radicals are atoms that have gone bad. They have become unstable because of an unhealthy environment. Stress, pollutants and poor lifestyle choices can create these free radicals.
Unless eliminated, free radicals can create cancer cells and lead to other debilitating conditions and illnesses.
Beta-Carotene – The body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A which is good for eyesight, muscle tissue and skin. Good sources include carrots, guava, kale and papaya.
Vitamin C – It helps heal wounds faster and produces more red blood cells. You can get vitamin C from broccoli, grapefruit and kiwi.
Vitamin E – Helps keep cells healthy and vitamin E has been shown to slow down ageing. Rich sources of vitamin E include hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and natural peanut butter.
These are essential vitamins that provide energy and improve cognition.
There are 3 types of B vitamins:
B6 – Also called pyridoxine, it helps your body convert food to energy and improves brain function. Best sources of B6 are chickpeas, avocados and bananas.
B12 – This B vitamin improves metabolism and produces more red blood cells. Good sources of B12 are fish, eggs and Greek yogurt.
Folate – Also called folic acid, it can develop a healthier brain and spinal cord. Folate also makes DNA and RNA and prevents DNA structures from producing cancer cells. Excellent sources are spinach, asparagus and melons.
It helps transport calcium and phosphorous into your blood stream. These minerals are essential for building strong bones.
There are also studies which show vitamin D can protect the heart from cardiovascular disease. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel.
This vitamin functions to keep your bones strong and improve blood clotting which is particularly helpful for older people. Good sources of vitamin K are leafy vegetables, broccoli and spinach.
Similar to vitamins, these are substances that you need to maintain optimum health.
Magnesium – Essential for normal muscle and nerve function. It can also protect your heart, regulate blood glucose levels and strengthen your immune system. Good sources are almonds, spinach and wild salmon.
Zinc – This mineral strengthens your immune system, helps heal and protect skin, improves brain activity and manages PMS symptoms. Zinc can be found in lean beef, beans and Greek yogurt.
Iron – Iron produces hemoglobin which is a substance in red blood cells that allow oxygen to be transported throughout the body. Rich sources of iron are spinach, chicken and flaxseed.
Calcium – Calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth. It can also improve muscle contraction and relaxation, blood clotting and transmission of nerve impulses. Excellent sources of calcium include kale, sardines and black beans.
Should You Take Supplements?
As you can see, many of our healthy food selections contain these important vitamins and minerals.
However, it is difficult to get our recommended daily allowance purely from food alone.
There are 3 reasons for this:
1. Certain conditions may require higher dosage. For example pregnant women require 600mcg of folate and 27mg of iron.
2. Food preparation may remove some of these vitamins and minerals.
3. Daily schedule may result in missed meals.
Thus, to ensure regular intake of these essential vitamins and minerals it would be advisable to take them in supplement form.
Here is a chart of the recommended daily allowance or RDA for these vitamins and minerals:
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Lastly, before you take any supplement always consult with your doctor.
He or she will conduct a blood test to check your level of vitamin and mineral deficiency.
You do not have to take the vitamins and minerals you are not deficient in.