This article will guide you through the importance of various minerals and vitamins and why their consumption is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our modern lives take a toll on our health in a number of ways and most of us keep on ignoring them and only pay attention when the problem has magnified into a troublesome health condition.
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic components of every food item and are present in them in a very small amount which is essential to our bodies and maintain health. Their consumption is very important in regular diet because they support important functions of the body like growth and reproduction; both these systems are critical to survival. Their deficiencies can cause a number of health concerns which are best avoided.
Classification of Vitamins
Vitamins are classified in two categories and are either water soluble or fat soluble; this depends on the rate with which they dissolve in ether fats or water. One of the most important vitamins which everyone is familiar with is Calcium which helps in strengthening of bones.
Some important water soluble vitamins
Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is found in a wide range of vegetables including spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, sunflower seeds, lettuce, tomatoes, soybeans, eggplant, peas, and Brussels sprout etc.
Due to its deficiency a number of chronic issues can arise including gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, nausea, selling a various parts of the body, anorexia, weakness of an uncontrollable level, burning of feet, increased heart rate and other similar bodily symptoms.
Vitamin B2 (also known as Riboflavin)
It is found in mushrooms, soybeans, spinach and other green vegetables. Its deficiency is known to cause a range of symptoms which include sores at the corner of mouth, dermatitis and other skin issues, cracked skin, conjunctivitis, glossitis of tongue, fatigue and loss of appetite. What needs to be taken care of is that, Riboflavin is toxic if consumed in excessive quantities. With its excess there is a risk of DNA strand break up, intensification in the color of urine etc.
Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin)
Like most vitamins it is found in green and leafy vegetables, asparagus, mushrooms, sweet potato, carrots, turnips, celery, corn etc. Its deficiency also causes a number of a number of health issues in a human body like dementia, stomatitis, diarrhea and other issues of a similar nature. Its consumption in excess is not known to cause many adverse affects but may still result in gastrointestinal upset and glucose overdose.
Vitamin B5 (also known as Pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B5 is found in a number of green vegetables including split peas, broccoli etc and a number of mushrooms, sunflower seeds, cauliflower etc. Since it is found in a wide range of natural products especially vegetables, its deficiency is has a very rare probability to occur. In case someone has to go through a severe case of malnutrition they may have a slight tingling sensation in their feet. In case of Vitamin B5’s excessive consumption people may feel severe cases of nausea, heartburn and even diarrhea. Its excessive consumption should be avoided as much as possible.
Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 is an essential component that ensures smooth health of an individual. It is found in considerable amounts in a wide range of green and leafy vegetables, potatoes, spinach, Lima beans, bell peppers and tomatoes. Its deficiency may cause chelosis, stomatitis, dermatitis and glossitis. It may also affect ones nervous system, cause sleep deprivation, nervousness, confusion and other psychological issues. It may also limitation individual’s muscle movement, cause blood disorders in new born babies and even cause prenatal deprivation.
If Vitamin B6 is consumed in excess quantities it may be toxic and cause neurological disorders.
Vitamin B9 (also known as Folic acid)
It is found in a number of natural foods and is even used to make supplements that help recover a lot of its deficiencies. Its deficiency is characterized by a number of cancers and neural tube disorders. Found in a very wide range of green and leafy vegetables including broccoli, asparagus, green peas, lettuce, spinach etc. Its deficiency results in blood disorders like anemia, leucopenia and other disorders including thrombocytopenia, weight lose, fatigue, cracked tongue and lips, diarrhea. If occurs in pregnant women it may result in babies with low weight and preterm delivery.
Vitamin H (also known as Biotin)
Found in green and leafy vegetables carrots, cauliflower and many other vegetables. Its deficiency is very uncommon in human beings and may be caused if egg whites are consumed in a large amount over a considerable period of time. In this deficiency the absorption of biotin is prevented. It is not known for any toxic tendencies.
Vitamin A (also known as Retiniods)
Their deficiency causes skin to become dry and rough. In excessive amounts they are toxic and result in dizziness, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, severe headache, and rough skin. In pregnant women, it can cause birth defects. It is very commonly found in carrots, Chinese cabbage, sweet potatoes and green and leafy vegetables.
Vitamin E (tocopherol)
It deficiency is very uncommon and only occurs in cases of severe malnutrition. If taken in excessive amounts is can result in problems related to blood clotting and particularly affects infants. It is commonly found in green and leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, olives and tomatoes etc.
Why is Mineral intake so Important?
Minerals are an important component of a balance diet and can lead to a range of severe health conditions if they intake is lower than a required amount.
Following are some of the 5 important macro minerals that need to be included in your daily diet.
It deficiency can lead a number of bone disorders and cause their weakness. Some of the major bone disorders are rickets, osteoporosis and osteomalacia. If consumed in more than required quantity it can cause severe vomiting, nausuea, increased urination, stones in kidneys, dry mouth and soft tissue calcification.
Calcium is found in green and leafy vegetables, okra, sesame seeds and Chinese cabbage.
Deficiency of Magnesium is not very common is human beings, however, those with kidney disorders, gastrointestinal disorders and alcoholism are at a particular risk. Their excessive consumption and result in lowered blood pressure, damage of kidney function in the long run, diarrhea, muscle weakness and even cardiac arrest.
Magnesium is fund in a considerable amount in a number of vegetables and fruits
Deficiency of phosphorus is very rare; those at risk a risk of its deficiency commonly include premature infants, people who regularly use antacids, those who consume alcoholic products in excess, and an uncontrolled case of diabetes mellitus. Its consumption in excessive amounts may result in soft tissue calcification.
Phosphorus is found in a number of green vegetables and many other foods.
Potassium deficiency is not caused due to dietary intake but die to protein wasting conditions. Diuretics make potassium loss through urine; low level of potassium in blood can cause cardiac arrest. Potassium consumption in excessive amounts may result in kidney failure and many other health conditions. Symptoms include tingling and muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Potassium is commonly found in sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and a wide range of green and leafy vegetables.
Salt (also known as sodium chloride)
Its deficiency is not caused due to low intake but due to other factors. One of the most common factors is fluid retention in the body due to which you may feel nausea, headaches, cramps, fatigue and sever disorientation. Its excessive consumption leads to abdominal cramps, diarrhea and nausea. It is commonly found in green and leafy vegetables and many other vegetables as well.
Some common micro minerals include
Iron is found in green and leafy vegetables, broccoli, lima beans and other foods. Its deficiency causes anemia and other related blood disorders. On the other hand it excessive consumption can cause a number a cancers and cardiovascular issues.
Due to deficiency of zinc, the immune system of an individual may be affected; they may also go through growth retardations and other developmental disorders. Its excessive consumption may cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It is commonly found in mushrooms, green peas and a range of green and leafy vegetables.
Its deficiency is not very common but still happens in some cases. A common symptom is hypochromic anemia, neutropenia, leucopenia and hypopigmentaion of hair and skin. Usually it is the infants that go through its deficiency. Its excessive consumption may lead to severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, lover damage, abdominal pain and many other health conditions. Copper is very commonly found in a range of green and leafy vegetables, mushrooms, barley and other food items.
The importance of vitamins and minerals in our daily diet cannot be taken lightly as they affect our daily routines and may also lead to cause severe health conditions. Instead of going through long therapy sessions and doctor visits, it is advisable to balance our diet through the consumption of important vitamins and minerals.