These Vitamins and Minerals Are Essential to Health
By Paul Rothbart
Much like a machine, the human body needs fuel and water to function properly. But food does more than just supply energy. It also contains nutrition, which the body uses for a myriad of reasons and needs to stay healthy. Health-conscious people are aware of this and strive to get the necessary nutrients through food and perhaps supplements. While all vitamins and minerals play a role in good health, these are the most essential.
Iron is typically found in red meat, so vegans and vegetarians must be careful when choosing supplements. Most multivitamins include iron, but it's best to read labels and be sure. Iron is vital to healthy red blood cells, an important part of the circulatory system. It also increases energy and is helpful to brain health. When choosing a multivitamin, look for one with about 18 milligrams of iron.
Calcium is essential to strong bones and teeth. About 40 percent of Americans don't get sufficient amounts of this important mineral in their diets. It helps maintain bone density which is especially important to middle-aged women who are at risk for bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium. Orange juice and many kinds of cereal are often fortified with the nutrient. It is recommended that adults get about 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.
Although it is one of the most important vitamins, Vitamin D is also one of those that many people are deficient in. A lack of Vitamin D can cause bone and hair loss, back and joint pain, and cause you to be ill more frequently. The best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. The skin manufactures it when exposed to the sun. Many people are not outdoors enough, especially in the winter in cold climates. Milk is typically fortified with this vitamin and there are also supplements. Six-hundred IU per day is the recommended amount of Vitamin D for good health.
Zinc is another essential nutrient that many people don't get enough of. Recommendations for zinc are 5-10 milligrams per day. This mineral boosts the immune system and aids with healing. It also helps the body derive energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The body cannot store zinc and it's not common in the average diet, so check on your supplements.
Vitamins and minerals are important to a healthy functioning mind and body. Some of the most vital are ones that many people still don't get enough of. Be mindful of your daily intake of these nutrients and take supplements if necessary.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Carlsbad, Calif.