In many ways, the body can function properly on its own, but the body can’t make its own vitamins and minerals. Of course, we can get vitamins and minerals from the food that we eat. It is essential to eat a wide variety of different foods to be sure that we get the full spectrum of nutrients. Let’s take a look at exactly why vitamins and minerals are so important to the body and also some of the foods that you can eat to get more of them into your diet.
Minerals make up our body tissues and work with a broad array of our body’s vital functions include hormones, vitamins and enzymes. They help with our nerves, cells, blood formation, fluid regulation, blood pressure, and energy. The most essential minerals in the macromineral category include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chlorine, sodium and sulphur.
Trace minerals including zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, cobalt, and iron, are also equally necessary to the body. They activate enzymes in the body that keep cells functioning smoothly. This category of minerals are called trace minerals as your body just needs a little of each one. Iron is very necessary to form hemoglobin and carry oxygen through the body. Foods rich in iron include meat, especially red meat, tuna and salmon, eggs, dried fruit, leafy greens and beans. Potassium helps the muscles and nervous system to work smoothly, and it also maintains water balance in the body. Zinc helps to fight illness and infection and helps with cell regeneration and wound healing.
Vitamin A is an extremely important vitamin for the body. It helps with healthy skin, as well as maintaining eye health. Natural sources for vitamin A include liver, orange fruits and vegetables and leafy greens like kale and spinach.
Next on the list of essential vitamins is Vitamin B. This group includes B1, B2, B6, B12, biotin, folic acid, and panthothenic acid. These vitamins help with metabolism as well as the production of red blood cells. The B vitamin spectrum makes sure that your body receives the proper amount of oxygen. Foods that are rich in vitamin B include fish, whole grains, lean meats, eggs, beans, leafy greens and dairy.
Everyone has heard that it is important to get Vitamin C during the winter to prevent the onslaught of colds and flus. However, that isn’t the only function that Vitamin C serves in the body. It also assists to keep tissues healthy and ensure that you heal quickly. Great sources of Vitamin C include citrus, tomatoes, broccoli, kiwi and red peppers.
Vitamin D, E, and K
While A, B and C represent the beginning of the alphabet; these aren’t the only essential vitamins. For example, Vitamin D helps with strong bones and teeth. It also assists with the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D occurs naturally in fish, eggs, and liver. You can also find it in fortified cereal.
Vitamin E also maintains the body’s tissues; it helps with the eyes, skin and protects us against pollution. Foods that are rich in Vitamin E include whole grains, leafy greens, sardines, and nuts and seeds. Vitamin K also assists with stopping bleeding and can be found in leafy greens, broccoli and dairy.
As it is difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals that we need from food sources alone, many people take a multivitamin to supplement their efforts. However, if you regularly consume enough of the foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, you will be giving yourself a serious leg up!
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