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Nutrients 'Vitamins and Minerals' - Group talk week commencing 26/07/2021


Nutrient's are compounds in foods essential to life and health, providing us with energy, building blocks for repair and growth and substances necessary to regulate chemical processes.


There are seven main classes of nutrient's that the body needs. These are Fibre which we covered last week, carbohydrates, protein's, fats, vitamins, minerals and water, it is important that everyone consumes these seven nutrients on a daily basis to help build their bodies and maintain their health.


This week we are going to look at vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and Minerals are essential nutrients because they perform hundreds of roles in the body. However there is a fine line between being healthy and getting enough of these nutrients, and possibly ending up causing harm by getting too much. Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals you need.


Everyday, our bodies produce skin, muscles and bone and create rich red blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to remote outposts, and it sends nerve signals along thousand of miles of brain and body pathways. It also formulates chemical messages that pass from one organ to another, issuing instructions to sustain our lives.


To do this our bodies need some raw materials, these include at least 30 vitamins, minerals and dietary components that our bodies need but do not produce on its own in sufficient amounts.


Vitamins and minerals are considered an essential nutrient, as they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster our immune system. They convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage.


Trying to keep track of what all these vitamins and minerals do can be confusing. Researching them all can feel like your eyes are swimming in an alphabet-soup, references these nutrients, mainly by their initial's i.e. Vitamin A, B, C, D, E and K to name a few.


Another name for vitamins and minerals is micronutrients because your body only needs tiny amounts of them. Yet not meeting the bodies needs virtually guarantee's disease resulting from vitamin deficiencies.

i.e. Scurvy - Vitamin C

Blindness - Vitamin A

Rickets - Vitamin D


Getting sufficient quantities can provide substantial benefits:-

i.e. Strong bones - Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Magnesium and Phosphorus

Prevents birth defects - Folic Acid

Healthy teeth - Calcium and Fluoride


The difference between Vitamins and Minerals is that vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure. Why does this matter? It means the minerals found in the soil and water easily find their way into our bodies through the plants, fish, animals and fluids we consume. But its harder to ply vitamins from food and other sources into your body due to cooking, storage and just exposure to air can deactivate these fragile compounds.


Water soluble Vitamins

They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves.

Water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C, the B vitamins and folic acid) are mainly found in

*fruit and vegetable's

*Grains

*Milk and diary foods

These vitamins are not stored in our bodies, so we need to have them more frequently.

If you eat more than you need your body gets rid of them when you urinate.


Fat Soluble Vitamins

Are not as easily absorbed by the bloodstream like water soluble vitamins they gain entry via Lymph channels in the intestinal wall.

Fat soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K) are mainly found in

*Animal Fats

*Vegetable oils

*Dairy foods

*Liver

*Oily Fish

While your bodies need these vitamins to work properly, you don't need to eat foods containing them every day.


Major Minerals

Our bodies need, and store, fairly large amounts of the major minerals. These minerals are no more important to your health than trace minerals; they're just present in your body in greater amounts, minerals including calcium and iron amongst many others are found in

*Meat

*Cereals

*Fish

*Milk and Dairy foods

*Fruit and Vegetables

*Nuts


Trace Minerals

A thimble could easily contain the distillation of trace minerals normally found in the body, However their contributions are just as essential are major minerals.

Trace elements include iodine and fluoride.

Trace elements are found in small amounts in a variety of foods such as

*Meat

*Fish

*Cereals

*Milk and Dairy Foods

*Vegetables

*Nuts


Bottom line

Continue to eat a healthy varied balanced diet.


Resources

www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/food-and-nutrition/eating-well/vitamins-and-minerals

www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm



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