Saturday, 18 October 2014

Vitamins and Minerals – Importance and Functions

The maintenance of your body health depended up on the foods you consume.  Many different items are required by the body to maintain the health and functionality, which are not manufacturing in the body.   Normal functions of the body and the prevention of diseases are largely depended on the adequate supply of these vital substances.

When you eat foods, it will convert into various items that are required for the functioning of the body.  For this, you have to eat balanced diet; eating the only foods that you feel as tasty will not be sufficient for the requirements of the body.  

Vitamins and Minerals

Body needs a lot of vitamins and minerals for its proper functioning.  Vitamins are organic items that are available from animals and plants.  Minerals are inorganic elements that come from earth; soil and water and are absorbed by plants.  Normally body gets these elements sufficiently if you are taking balanced food regularly.  Deficiency of any of these items affects the normal body functions and the disease prevention capacity of the body.

In addition to the carbohydrates and proteins, the body also requires some vitamins and minerals such as calcium, chromium, folic acid, iron, magnesium selenium, sodium, iron, copper, iodine, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K etc.

Functions of Vitamins and Minerals

Each of these items has their own functions to complete.  Functions of some of them are as given below:

Calcium is very much required for the health of the bones and teeth; its deficiency will decrease your bone health and you will get cracked bones and teeth.  Many diseases like osteoporosis are the result of calcium deficiency.
Vitamin A keeps your skin healthy and helps you to see in dim light.
Vitamin B1 maintains the health of muscles and nerves.
Vitamin B2 keeps your skin, eyes and nervous system health.
Vitamin B3 protects your nervous system and digestive system.
Vitamin B5 breaks down and releases energy from the foods you consume.
Vitamin B6 produces hemoglobin.
Vitamin B12 produces red blood cells.
Vitamin C helps to absorb carbon.
Vitamin D is required for the absorption of the calcium to the body.  But at the same time overconsumption of vitamin D will be a cause of the skin disease called rickets.
Vitamin E protects your body from the damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin K helps blood clotting.
Minerals like chromium, magnesium, selenium, iodine, copper, iron and zinc are called trace minerals because there are required by the body only in very small quantities.  But the deficiency of any of these items will obstruct the proper functioning of the body.
Folic acid is B vitamin and it helps in the construction of the cells in the body.  If a pregnant woman has the deficiency of folic acid, it will affect the health of the new born baby.
Sodium regulates your body fluids.  You will get enough sodium through the salt you consume with the food.  But too much presence of salt will become a reason for high blood pressure. 
Potassium regulates body fluids and lowers your blood pressure.
Magnesium keeps your parathyroid glands functioning. 
Copper produces red and white blood cells.
Manganese makes and also activates enzymes.
Selenium helps the functioning of the immune system.
Chromium improves the action of insulin.
Iodine produces thyroid hormone.
Phosphorus builds bones and teeth.
Iron is an important mineral that is carrying oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of the body.  It also helps to produce blood cells.  Deficiency of iron will weaken your body and this situation is called anemic condition.  
Zinc produces new cells and enzymes and repair tissues.

Watch video below by Nancy O'Sullivan about the Role of Vitamins and Minerals:

The supply of minerals and vitamins are commonly got from the foods you consume but if there is a deficiency of any of these items, it can be supplied by taking the adequate supplements that is available in the market.  But before using any of the supplements, consult your doctor for advice and also take care not to consume the items more than your body required.

Proper body functioning and resistance of the diseases are mainly depend on the regular supply of adequate quantities of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals etc.  You should take care to organize your food intake in such a manner, so that your body gets each and every ingredient that is required for its normal functions.

Also you may like to Read:
Vitamin D – How Much It Helps Our Immune System?

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