The Essential Vitamin and Mineral List

Essential Vitamins and Minerals

A group of essential nutrients that our body needs are the vitamins and minerals. These perform many functions to keep us healthy. This includes strengthening our bones, bolstering our immune system, breakdown the food we eat and clotting our blood when we cut ourselves.

Without them we would be a wreck and not able to function in normal daily life.

There follows a list of the most essential vitamins and minerals we need. Each one has a link to a page which will show more detail such as where it can be found and what our daily recomended intake should be.

Have a read and stay fit and healthy !

The Vitamin List:

  1. Vitamin A – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/essential-vitamins-vitamin-a

The next ones are often put in a group called the "B Vitamins".

  1. Vitamin B1 or Thiamin – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/essential-vitamins-b1-or-thiamin
  2. Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-b2-or-riboflavin
  3. Vitamin B3 or Niacin – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-b3-or-niacin
  4. Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-b6-or-pyridoxine
  5. Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-b9-or-folic-acid-or-folate
  6. Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-b12-or-cobalamin
  7. Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid
  8. Vitamin D orCholecalciferol – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-d-cholecalciferol
  9. Vitamin E or Tocopherols – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-e-tocopherols
  10. Vitamin K – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/vitamin-k

The Mineral List:

  1. Calcium – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/calcium
  2. Iodine – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/iodine
  3. Iron – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/iron
  4. Magnesium – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/magnesium
  5. Potassium – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/potassium
  6. Selenium – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/selenium
  7. Sodium Chloride or Salt – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/sodium-chloride-salt
  8. Zinc​ – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/zinc

What are Anti-Oxidants

There has been a lot written about anti-oxidants and how we should all have more of them. What are they? and how can we consume more in our diet?

During our bodies normal processes chemicla waste is produced. This waste is known as "free radicals". Many studies have shown that too much of this substance can cause serious problems. Free Radicals have been linked as a cause in Cancer, heart disease, premature ageing and a weakened immune system.

By eating a diet high in anti-oxidants we can help our bodies to neutralize this excess chemical waste before it can do any damage.

Anti-Oxidants includemany of the vitamins and minerals written about above. Ones like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A) and Selenium. This means that a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses will be excellent at providing all you need and they key to living a long healthy life. 

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

In the preceding section, which showed the recommended daily amounts (RDA) of various vitamins and minerals – how do we know we are getting the right amounts? and if we need to take a supplement.

Generally speaking if your diet is well balanced with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, high in lean meat and fish and low in saturated fats you should be fine. In fact if you do take a supplement you may do yourself more harm then good. As we saw above taking an excess of some of the vitamins and minerals can lead to bad side-effects and be toxic to us.

Saying that there are some groups of people may need to take a supplement. This includes pregnant woman who may need more folate to help the growth of the foetus. People with anemia can be prescribed an Iron supplement to help comabt the symptoms. Post-menopausal woman may be advised to take a Calcium and Magnesium supplement to warn of oestoporosis. If you think you may need a supplement take some time and talk to a medical/health professional first.

The other thing about supplements is that they are not easily broken down by the body and thus not absorbed very well. Before you go out and waste money on pills you may not need take a look at improving your diet. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

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Vitamin D – Cholecalciferol

Vitamin D - Fish

UK – 10ug (Female), 10ug (Males)

USA – 15ug (Female), 15ug (Males)

Needed For: Helps with absorption of Calcium and phosphorous in the body.

A defieciency can lead to weak bones and teeth. It can lead to rickets in young children. A supplement may need to be given to pregnant woman, young children and babies and those over the age of 65. Seek medical advice if you are in one of these groups.

Found In: It is the only vitamin that we do not need to injest from food. The action of sunlight on skin will form the vitamin that we need. You only need a few minutes of sunlight a day to get the benefit, so there is no need to lie for hours in the sun which could cause problems.

Vitamin D is also found in oily fish, milk, offal and eggs.

Go here to find the essential vitamins and mineral list

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Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

Chillies - Vitamin C

UK – 40mg (Female), 40mg (Males)

USA – 75mg (Female), 90mg (Males)

Needed For: A healthy immune system, helps in the absorption of other vitamins and minerals such as Iron. Necessary for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Helps in the repair of wounds and fractures.

A lack of Vitamin C is associated with high blood pressure. A deficiency will also lead to bleeding gums, nosebleeds and a lower resistance to infection. 

Found In: Many fruits and vegetables. Chilli peppers are a great source, the hotter the Chilli the higher the quantity of Vitamin C.

It is worth noting that because this vitamin is water soluble over cooking and processing can see it quickly diminish in food. For example fresh peas contain 24mg/100g. Canned peas only contain 1mg/100g. This is why it is always advisable to steam vegetables if you can.

Go here to find the excellent vitamins and minerals you need

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Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin

Vegetables - Vitamin B12UK – 150ug (Female), 150ug (Males)

USA – 240ug (Female), 240ug (Males)

Needed For: Formation of blood cells and nerves, helps prevent heart disease, keeps immune system functioning well. It is also helps to process Folic Acid (B9).

A deficiency can cause anaemia. This is especially true in older people as the body becomes less efficient at absorbing B12. If this is the case supplements or injections may be prescribed by your health professional.

Found In: Wholegrains, Yeast Extract, meat, nuts and vegetables.

To find more information about vitamins and minerals have a look here – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/the-essential-vitamin-and-mineral-list​

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Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid or Folate

Vegetables - Vitamin B9UK – 200ug (Female), 200ug (Males)

USA – 400ug (Female), 400ug (Males)

Needed For: Formation of blood cells, cell growth and division. It is especially important for pregnant woman, who may be advised to take a supplement. This is because it aids the proper development of the foetus. It can also help prevent problems such as spina bifida in babies.

Found In: Wholegrains, Yeast Extract, offal, nuts and green leafy vegetables.

Go here to find the list of essential vitamins and minerals we all need

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Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine

seeds - vitamin B6

UK – 1200ug (Female), 1400ug (Males)

USA – 1300ug (Female), 1300ug (Males)

Needed For: Redistributing the amino acids round the body to create the thousands of different proteins we need. For example haemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood. It works with the other "B" vitamins to help break-down and release energy from the food we eat.

Found In: Wholegrains, Yeast Extract, nuts, meat and vegetables.

Potential Problems: Having too much B6 can lead to a loss of feeling in your legs and arms, which is called peripheral neuropathy. This can be reversible, so once you stop taking the supplements the feeling subsides.

Always consult your medical/health professional before starting to take supplements.

Go here to find information about vitamins and what they do

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Vitamin B3 or Niacin

Fish - Vitamin B3

UK – 13mg (Female), 17mg (Males)

USA – 14mg (Female), 16mg (Males)

Needed For: Keeps the nervous and digestive systems healthy, working with the other "B" vitamins to help break-down and release energy from the food we eat, helps de-toxify chemicals produced by the body and is used in the manufacture of hormones.

Found In: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Milk.

It can also be produced naturally by the body from amino acids found in proteins, but generally not enough is produced to meet our daily needs. Also it cannot be stored by the body, so it is best to make sure you are eating a balanced diet to meet your bodies needs.

Go here to find the list of vitamins and minerals

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Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin

Cauliflower - Vitamin B2

UK – 1100ug (Female), 1300ug (Males)

USA – 1100ug (Female), 1300ug (Males)

Needed For: Keeps the skin, nervous system and eyes healthy, working with the other "B" vitamins to help break-down and release energy from the food we eat.

Found In: Wholegrains, Yeast Extract, vegetables and diary products. UV light from fluorescent tubes and other light bulbs can destroy B2, so these foods should be stored out of the light.

Go here to find the vitamins for men and women

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Essential Vitamins – B1 or Thiamin

Vitamin B2 - NutsUK – 800ug (Female), 1000ug (Males)

USA – 1100ug (Female), 1200ug (Males)

Needed For: Supplying the brain and nerve cells with adequate glucose, working with the other "B" vitamins to help break-down and release energy from the food we eat.

Research has also found a link between Thiamine and good mental health (mailto:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B1) and may also helo prevents dementia.

Found In: Wholegrains, Yeast Extract, pork, nuts and vegetables.

Go here to find a list of vitamins and minerals

 

 

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Essential Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamin A

Vitamin A - Carrot

 

UK – 600ug (Female), 700ug (Males)

USA – 700ug (Female), 900ug (Males)

Needed For: Hair growth, Good vision, cell growth and maintaining a healthy immune system.

Found In: Liver, Milk, Butter, Cheese and oily fish such as Salmon and Tuna, leafy green vegetables, carrots, squash, cantaloupes and sweet potatoes.

Notes: Vitamin A is very important to the body. Much of our daily intake comes from orange coloured vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. These types of food contain beta-carotene which the body can easily convert into vitamin A.

Potential Problems: An excess of vitamin A can be toxic to the body. It can cause headaches, liver damage, double vision. An excess is classed as over 2000ug per day.

Vitamin A is fat soluble, so can easily be stored by the body mostly in the Liver. Beta Carotene on the other hand is not toxic. This means that it is better to have your Vitamin from fresh fruit and vegetables rather than from animal products.

A deficiency of Vitmain A is very rare in well-balanced diet and taking supplements may cause you problems, especially if pregnant. Always consult your health or medical professional if you are concerned.

Go here to find the essential vitamins and mineral list

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