In an ideal world, we would get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our diet – in reality, our diets are often deficient in a variety of essential and useful vitamins that our bodies need. We’re going to have a look at a few different ways that vitamins and minerals are beneficial and necessary to our body.
Nutritional supplements can serve to enhance the health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Indeed, they can serve to prevent the serious health consequences that vitamin deficiency can cause.
Nutrition is especially essential for children, as their minds and bodies are growing and developing. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you may want to consider the complete, safe and reliable nutrition that dietary supplements can provide.
Each and every bodily process has its base in the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are consumed, and the process of growth is no exception. From the growth and development that takes place in the uterus to infants growing into children to children growing into adolescence and then adulthood, nutrition influences every level of growth. Improper nutrition not only can slow growth, but also can cause birth defects and malformed limbs, as well as a variety of other physical deformities.
The vitamins that make up the Vitamin B complex are truly an amazing group. necessary to many physical and mental structures and functions of the body, including cognitive and emotional functioning, the Vitamin B complex is also essential to the proper growth of children.
In particular, Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, due to its cobalt content, is an important part of normal growth in children. It also serves to build genetic material and to maintain the central nervous system. Children need .9 micrograms to 2.4 micrograms, depending on size and age. Folic acid, or Vitamin B9, is also essential to growth, especially in the uterus.
Sufficient folic acid taken during the earliest parts of pregnancy can prevent serious birth defects, specifically neural tube defects of the sort that result in spinal bifida. It also serves to create and form DNA.
The mineral zinc is also essential to the normal growth of children, as is iodine, which is essential to the functioning of the thyroid, and thus influences body weight. In the developing nations, specifically where the soil that crops are grown in lack iodine and iodized salt is not common, retarded growth is all too common. Children, depending on age and size need 10mg to 15mg of zinc daily and 70 micrograms to 150 micrograms of iodine each day.
The quality of the growth of bones rests firmly upon the levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K present in the body. These nutrients work together, each according to its specific capacities, complementing each other in the creation of the hard surfaces of the bones and teeth.
Because the bones are constantly losing calcium, which needs to be continuously replaced, and the rapid growth that occurs from the development in the uterus right through adulthood, maintaining the levels of these nutrients is essential to normal growth.
It can sometimes be difficult to get children and adolescents to consume all the nutrients that are so essential to their growth and health. Nutritional supplements can be a safe and reliable means of seeing that children and adolescents reach the standard recommended daily intake levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients each and every day.
However, because taking too much of certain vitamins and minerals can cause serious health problems, it is advisable to have the child’s primary health care provider serve as an active participant in devising a nutritional supplement plan that is specific to your child’s dietary needs.
Always keep dietary supplements well out of reach of children to avoid any potentially harmful accidents.
The muscles of the body depend heavily on the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we provide them for their health and performance. By being sure to consume the standard recommended daily intake levels of the nutrients our bodies need, we can help to keep our muscles strong and healthy, able to perform their important tasks.
Muscles do far more than help us to look good and lift things. The heart is the essential muscle of the body, as it runs the circulatory system. Our muscles help to keep our internal organs in place and to perform each and every movement we make, from chewing and swallowing to controlling our bladder to sitting, standing and walking.
Healthy muscles are essential to our day-to-day lives. There are several vitamins and minerals that directly affect the health and performance of our muscles.
Potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus work together in seeing to it that the muscles are able to contract smoothly and effectively, as they should. This is, of course, essential to keeping the heart beating in a regular and efficient fashion.
However, that is not the only place in the body that the ability to contract is important. Each muscle needs this ability.
Vitamin C is essential to the health and performance of muscles because it works with potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus in their muscle regulation tasks. Vitamin C is also necessary to the formation of collagen and elastin, which are important connective tissues of the body, forming the structure of muscles. Vitamin C also is responsible for the health of the blood vessels, which support the muscles need for oxygen and nutrients.
Naturally, as with most of the important processes and systems of the body, the vitamins that make up the powerful and essential Vitamin B complex have a role in the health and function of the muscles.
In fact, deficiencies in the B vitamins can lead to all sorts of muscle problems, including a lack of coordination. The B vitamins are greatly responsible for the creation of the red blood cells that support the entire body.
Nutrition is an essential part in seeing to it that the muscles have what they need to function efficiently and to be strong. Exercise is also an important part of muscle health and strength, and should be a part of any health plan that is seeking to increase the health, strength and endurance of the muscles.
However, before beginning any exercise program after a period of inattention to physical activity, it is a good idea to have a general physical and to increase your level of physical activity gradually.
Sometimes, at the rapid pace of today’s life, it can be difficult to obtain all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the body and its muscles need through diet alone.
Nutritional supplements, when used with care and attention to standard dosage practice, can be an effective and reliable way to see to it that each and every day you are able to meet the standard recommended daily intake levels of nutrients you need for the health and well being of your body and your mind.
The Nervous System
The health and performance nervous system is essential to that of the body, and the daily intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients affects the ability of the nervous system to perform its many necessary functions.
There are several vitamins and minerals that directly influence nervous system functioning and health, and it is important to see to it that these are consumed at adequate levels.
The Vitamin B complex is one of the most important of the vitamins that influence the health and performance of the nervous system, as it is members of this powerful group that are responsible for the creation of some of the most basic structures within the nervous system. Vitamin B12, also referred to as cobalamin because of its cobalt content, has a significant role in both the formation of the nervous system and in the maintenance of its efficient and healthy operation.
It helps in the formation of the nerve cells themselves, the most basic of the nervous system structures. In fact, deficiencies in vitamin B12 can lead to irreversible spinal cord degeneration. Adults need 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 per day, with pregnant and breastfeeding women increasing their intake to between 2.6 and 2.8 micrograms daily. Children, depending on age and size, should have between .9 micrograms and 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 per day.
The other B complex vitamins important to the nervous system include B9, also called folate or folic acid, which, in addition to its role in the upkeep of the adult nervous system, is involved in the production of neurotransmitters.
Adults should have at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, with pregnant women increasing their daily intake to 600 micrograms and breastfeeding women increasing their daily intake to 500 micrograms. Children should have, depending on size and weight, between 150 micrograms and 300 micrograms of folic acid each day.
Among the minerals that serve to enhance nervous system function is calcium. In addition to its other functions, it also has a role in the health of nerves and their ability to communicate. Magnesium is a mineral that helps the body to use calcium effectively, giving it a role in nervous system function as well. Deficiencies in magnesium contribute to nervousness and confusion. A lack of potassium can lead to nervous disorders.
Proper nourishment affects every aspect of the body’s efficiency and function, and thus affects quality of life as well. The body functions on a delicately balance system of chemical reactions.
The nutrients we consume make up a large part of these essential chemicals, and it is important to do the best we can to achieve the standard recommended daily intake levels of the vitamins, mineral and other nutrients that our body needs. Nutritional supplements can offer a safe and effective means of achieving those daily intake levels.
If you are unsure of the best dietary supplements for you, or are inexperienced in using then, a consultation with a licensed nutritionist can help you to devise a personalized nutritional supplement plan that is best suited to your individual dietary needs and health goals.
The Digestive System
It is through the digestive system the body is able to make use of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are consumed. The digestive system breaks down the material until it is in a form that can of use on the cellular level.
There are several vitamins and minerals that directly affect the quality and efficiency of the process of digestion. Making sure to achieve the standard recommended daily intake levels of these nutrients will help to ensure that your body is able to make the best use of the foods consumed.
The digestive process begins in the mouth, with the saliva and the teeth. Healthy teeth are essential to proper chewing, which breaks the food down so that it can pass through the esophagus, but also puts it into a form in which the enzymes can start their work.
Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamin D and Vitamin C are essential to the health of the teeth, as their very structure depends on these vitamins and minerals.
Calcium and phosphorus are the primary building blocks of the teeth, with Vitamin D serving to enhance calcium absorption by the body and magnesium and Vitamin C being necessary to the processes by which those substances come together to form the structure of the teeth.
As with all of the important body functions and systems, the powerful vitamins that form the Vitamin B complex have a significant role in the digestive system. Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, serves to help the body have a good appetite, and also keeps the nerves in good working order. Nerves, the communicators of the body, are important to the process of digestion, as much of it is the result of involuntary movements that are regulated in part by the nervous system.
Niacin, or B3, is necessary for the health of the digestive tract, serving, in addition to the general health and functioning of the digestive tract, to keep its surfaces healthy. Niacin also helps to keep the tongue in good health, able to perform its role in the digestive process efficiently.
Vitamin B9, also called by the names folate, folic acid and folacin, is also important to the maintenance of the gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria in the digestive tract help to produce Vitamin K, essential to the blood’s ability to clot.
There are many minerals that serve as cofactors to the enzymes that break down food, meaning that without those minerals the enzymes would be incomplete and digestion poor.
Manganese is just one of the minerals that serves this purpose, not only serving as a cofactor in the enzyme processes that break down food, but also in those that allow the body to utilize it. Chromium is a mineral that helps to regulate appetite, important for food intake.
There are many digestive disruptions that can be traced back to poor nutrition. Meeting the standard recommended daily intake levels of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs is a good way to avoid inefficient and incomplete digestion. Nutritional supplements can offer a safe and effective means of meeting your dietary needs and health goals.
The Reproductive System
Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential to the development and performance of the reproductive system. Nutrition plays a role in the development and maturation of the reproductive system through childhood and adolescence, and can affect the endocrine system, which regulates the hormones that rule the functions of the reproductive system. Nutrition can affect fertility and fetal development, as well.
Striving each day to consume the standard recommended daily intake levels of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that the body needs is an important part of the good health and proper functioning of the reproductive system.
The nutrients that a child consumes while growing up can affect the developing reproductive system. Zinc, for example, is essential to the development of the reproductive organs themselves.
A deficiency in zinc can result in significantly delayed sexual maturation. Zinc also serves in the regulation of male hormones and has a role in prostate functions and sperm production. Iodine helps to regulate thyroid function, which in turn helps to regulate growth and body weight. Body weight has to do with the onset of puberty, which will not begin until the appropriate threshold of body weight and fat has been crossed.
The endocrine glands secrete hormones, and hormones are essential to the functioning of the reproductive system. Thus, endocrine gland health is a precursor to mature reproductive functioning and health.
While several nutrients are directly associated with the production of hormones, like manganese, which serves to maintain the production of sex hormones, many others act as cofactors to a variety of complicated chemical reactions that carry out the tasks of the reproductive system.
Proper nutrition is essential in fetal development, as well. Folic acid, for example, can serve to prevent serious birth defects by reducing the incidence of neural tube defects, such as the type that cause spinal bifida.
However, this defect occurs so early in fetal development that at the point at which it occurs, the woman has yet to find out that she is pregnant. Therefore, it is best for any woman of childbearing age to be especially careful to get enough folic acid each day.
The vitamins that make up the Vitamin B complex have a primary role in red blood cell production. The developing fetus gets all nourishment and oxygen via the mother’s blood stream. Therefore, making sure to keep red blood cell production up to par is important to the reproductive system, particularly during pregnancy. The nutrients received by the developing fetus will affect every aspect of his or her being.
Proper nutrition is essential to each part and every stage of the reproductive system, from development to maturation to the creation and nurturing of new life. It can be difficult, particularly at the rapid pace of life today, to get the full amount of each and every vitamin, mineral and other nutrient that serves to support the reproductive system.
However, nutritional supplements can offer a safe and reliable way to achieve your dietary goals, when used with care and attention to standard dosage amounts. It is important to remember that too much can be as damaging as too little.
Benefits of Vitamins For Vegetarians
There are millions of people on vegetarian diets throughout the world, some by circumstance and some by choice. Those that are vegetarians by choice can be divided into two general groups, those that do not eat meat, poultry or fish, but do consume dairy products as – in theory – the animals are not harmed or killed by the gathering of those products. Vegans, however, use no animal products whatsoever.
There are many health benefits to a planned vegetarian diet, as opposed to the unplanned vegetarian diets that result from poverty and a lack of food availability. However, there are also some special precautions that need to be taken to safeguard nutrition, as adequate amounts of some of the most important nutrients can be more difficult to obtain. This is especially true for those following the more restrictive vegan diet.
The body is a complex and delicate system, and the foundation of all of its functioning is chemical and electrical actions, interactions and reactions. The operation of this system rests firmly upon the balance of these chemicals.
The majority of the chemicals in these essential physical processes come from the food that we eat, from the nutrients that come from its consumption. Thus, nutrition has a deep influence of the health of the body and the quality of its functioning.
Because the brain, like the body, functions on chemical reactions and electrical impulses, the processes of cognition, emotion, and so on, are also affected by nutrition. In fact, deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can result in mental illness and retardation, as well as cognitive dysfunction and difficulties and emotional instability.
The Vitamin B complex offers a perfect example of how vegetarians must pay special attention to their diets to ensure peak performance of body and mind. The Vitamin B complex is involved with every major system in the body and has a role in almost every important bodily process.
It is essential to mental health and functioning, and essential to life itself. However, there are certain Vitamin B complex vitamins that need special attention by vegetarians, as vegetarians do not consume the richest sources of these vitamins.
The richest sources of Vitamin B2 are milk and organ meats. It is available in enriched breads and cereals, but care must be taken to consume the right amount daily. Niacin and Vitamin B6 are other B complex vitamins in which the richest sources are meats and, again, are available in smaller concentrations in enriched breads and cereals.
Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. It is important to note that vitamin B12, in addition to being important to the production of red blood cells, is essential for the normal growth of children.
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