Page ID: 1214

Vitamins & Minerals

The Basics

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients because they perform hundreds of roles in the body. Getting enough nutrients is a must. Special caution must be taken when taking supplements, and the mentality that more is better is not the case when it comes to giving your body these essential nutrients. Too much can damage your body long term. Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform these functions. So, lets dive into what some of these Vitamins and Minerals are and their functions. 

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Minerals

Calcium

Makes up bones & teeth, blood pressure, clotting and nerve function

Magnesium

Helps nerves function, immune system strength, healthy heartbeat and strong bones.

Sodium

Major mineral and also an electrolyte. It assists nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction.

Manganese

Supports enzyme functions, helps us absorb nutrients, important for joint and bone health.

Chromium

Helps insulin move glucose (sugar) from blood into cells.

Phosphorus

Plays a role in bone health, and assists in providing energy to cells.

Zinc

Helps promote a strong immune system, plays a role in growth and development.

Molybdenum

Triggers enzymes in the body to help us break down proteins, and promotes normal growth and development.

Iodine

Important component of various thyroid hormones, helps regulate metabolism, growth and development.

Potassium

Major mineral and also an electrolyte. Regulates transportation of nutrients and waste to and from cells.

Sulfur

Assists with healthy nervous system functions, produces healthy hair, cartilage, skin & nails.

Chloride

Balances fluids in your body, and plays an important part in production of digestive juices.

Iron

Essential element in blood production. It's part of hemoglobin and carries oxygen in blood.

Selenium

Required for healthy heart function, antioxidant, works with Vitamin E.

Copper

Used to produce connective tissue and healthy bones. Also used to absorb iron.

Cobalt

Essential to Vitamin B12 structure.

Silicon

Helps regulate the deposition of calcium and phosphorus in bone tissue, and is essential for the formation of articular cartilage.

Water Soluble Vitamins

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Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves. Because your body consists of lots of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins. Your body discards what it doesn't need, and it is excreted in your urine.

Functions

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Releases & Produces energy

Several B vitamins are key components of certain coenzymes (molecules that aid enzymes) that help release energy from food. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B7 engage in energy production.

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Builds Proteins & Cells

Vitamins B6, B12, and Vitamin B9 metabolize amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and help cells multiply.

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Makes Collagen

One of many roles played by vitamin C is to help make collagen, which knits together wounds, support blood vessel walls, and form a base for teeth and bones.

Contrary to what a lot of people may think, some water-soluble vitamins can stay in the body for long periods of time. You may have several years’ supply of vitamin B12 in your liver, and even Vitamin B9 and Vitamin C can be stored for more than a couple days. Generally, water-soluble vitamins should be replenished every few days. 
Its important to note that there is a risk when consuming large amounts of some of these micronutrients through supplements, and it may be harmful. For instance, very high doses of B6, many times the recommended amount of 1.3 milligrams (mg) per day for adults can damage nerves, causing numbness and muscle weakness.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

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Fat soluble vitamins differ from water soluble vitamins because rather than slipping into the bloodstream like most water soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins gain entry to the blood via lymph channels in the intestinal wall. Many fat soluble vitamins travel through the body only under escort by proteins that act as carriers. Fatty foods and oils are reservoirs for fat soluble vitamins. Within your body, fat tissues and the liver act as the main holding place for these vitamins and release them as needed.

Functions

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Builds bones

The formation of bones would be impossible without Vitamins A, D & K.

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Protects vision

Vitamin A helps keep cells healthy and protects your vision.

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Interacts favorably

Without Vitamin E your body would have a difficult time absorbing and storing Vitamin A.

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Protects your body

Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant and protects the body from damage from unstable molecules