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Nutrients - Vitamins & Minerals - Group Talk - Week Commencing 20th March 2023.



By eating a healthy, balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, cereals, lean meats and reduced fat diary products we can achieve the right level and balance of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need.


In total there are 13 Vitamins - 8 are from the B - Vitamin Group.


Vitamins and minerals are imperative for bodily functions, for example, fighting infection, wound healing, making our bones strong and balancing our hormones.


However if we consume excessive amounts we can cause toxicity so balance is key.


Vitamins and minerals are organic elements that our bodies require in very small amounts for a diversity of metabolic functions, they basically keep us healthy and help our bodies to process.


Vitamins and minerals are known to us as Micronutrients - which don't give us energy but are involved in the metabolic process that enables us to get energy from carbohydrate's, Protein, and Fat, known as Macronutrients.


Vitamin A - Fat Soluble

  • Makes the immune system work constructively allowing it to help us fight disease and infection.

  • Keeps our skin healthy

  • Assists reproduction and growth

  • Aids vision

We find Vitamin A -

  • Orange fruit and vegetables

  • Leafy green vegetables

  • Liver

  • Eggs

  • Some fortified milk and milk products

Vitamin A deficiency risks-

  • Heightened risk of infection

  • Night blindness and irreversible blindness

  • Excessive Keratin build-up of the skin.

Vitamin B - Water soluble

There are 8 types of Vitamin B.

  • thiamin (B1)

  • riboflavin (B2)

  • niacin (B3)

  • pantothenic acid (B5)

  • pyridoxine (B6)

  • biotin (B7)

  • folate (B9) (also known as folic acid)

  • cyanocobalamin (B12)

Most of the B vitamins are not stored in our bodies except for B9 and B12 which are stored in the liver. B vitamins are needed to assist cells to multiply by making new DNA.


We find Vitamin B -

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

Vitamin C is heat sensitive, so some nutrition benefits can be lost in cooking.


Adults require 45mg of Vitamin C per day, any surplus i.e. above 200mg is excreted.


Vitamin C deficiency risks -


*Scurvy

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and Diarrhoea

  • Fever

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Small 'pinpoint' bleeding around hair follicles visible in the skin.

Vitamin D - Fat soluble


Is imperative for strong bones, muscles and overall health. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is important to produce Vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of Vitamin D. But not excessively as can cause skin cancer.


We find Vitamin D -

  • Fatty Fish

  • Eggs

  • Margarine and some fortified Milk Products

Vitamin D deficiency -

  • Osteoporosis

  • Falls

  • Bone Fractures

  • Rickets

Vitamin E - Fat soluble


Is an antioxidant that assists protecting our bodies from 'free radicals' such as exposure to cigarette smoke or radiation it also supports our vision, immune system and skin.


We find Vitamin E -

  • Meats - Liver

  • Egg yokes

  • Leafy green vegetables

  • Nuts and Seeds

  • Unprocessed Cereals and Wholegrains

Vitamin E deficiency -


Deficiency's are very rare but can happen, if you have cystic fibrosis or other fat malabsorption disease.


Vitamin K - Fat soluble


Is imperative for healthy bones, blood clotting, wound healing and within new born babies to prevent 'haemorrhagic disease of new born' (HDN).


We find Vitamin K -


  • Within gastrointestinal bacteria/tract

  • Leafy green vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Some vegetable oil - Soybean Oil

Babies are given a booster when born


Vitamin K deficiency -


Are very unlikely except when fat is not absorbed properly or when certain medications are used i.e. antibiotics that kill gastrointestinal bacteria.


There are hundreds of minerals these are classified as either macro or trace mineral. Your body requires larger amounts of the macro minerals than the trace minerals.


Macro Minerals for example

  • Calcium

  • Phosphorus

  • Potassium

  • Sulphur

  • Sodium

  • Chloride

  • Magnesium

Trace Minerals

  • Iron

  • Zinc

  • Copper

  • Manganese

  • Iodine

  • Selenium

These are some of the important minerals that keep us healthy.


Calcium - Essential

  • Strengthened bone and teeth

  • Regulate muscle and heart function

  • Blood clotting

  • Enzyme function

  • Transmission of nervous system messages

We find Calcium:

  • Milk

  • Yoghurt

  • Cheese

  • Plant-based foods with added calcium (i.e. Soymilk, Tofu and Cereals)

  • Almonds

  • Bok Choy

  • Kale

  • Parsley

  • Broccoli

  • Watercress

Iodine:

Essential to make thyroid hormones which manage your metabolic rate and assist your brain and body growth and development.


We find Iodine:

  • Diary Products

  • Seaweed (Kelp)

  • Seafood

  • Eggs

  • Some Vegetables

  • Iodised salt

Iron:

Is an imperative mineral for our bodily functions i.e. the transportation of oxygen in our blood and the provision of energy to cells. Its also important to assist our immune system to fight infection.


We find Iron -

  • Red Meat and Offal

  • Fish

  • Poultry

  • Legumes

  • Eggs

  • Cereals with added iron

Zinc -

Is an imperative mineral integral within many bodily functions - growth and development as well as immune function.

Zinc also helps to produce the active form of Vitamin A and transports it around the body.


We find Zinc -

  • Red meat

  • Shell fish

  • Poultry

  • Milk and Cheese

  • Wholegrains

  • Cereals with added zinc

Magnesium -

Is important for maintaining bone health and using glucose for energy, it also assists immune function and supports regulation of blood pressure and lung function.


We find Magnesium -

  • Nuts (Cashew)

  • Legumes

  • Dark green vegetables

  • Seafood

  • Wholegrain

  • Chocolate and Cocoa

Potassium -

Is significant for nerves, muscles and heart to work appropriately, it also assists in lowering blood pressure.


We find Potassium -

  • Fruit

  • Vegetables

  • Lean meat

  • Eggs

  • Fish

  • Other healthy, everyday foods

Very high Potassium foods;

  • Bananas

  • Apricots

  • Mushrooms

  • Spinach

  • Nuts and Seeds

The very high potassium foods should be avoided if you suffer with Kidney disease.


Sodium -

Is important for good health as it assists to maintain the right volume of circulating blood and tissue fluids within the body.


Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other health conditions.


We find Sodium -

  • Salt

A healthy balanced diet containing a variety of whole foods should provide all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to work properly.


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