If you realize healthy eating is actually about eating smart, you've landed on the right page! Medindia's interactive nutritional tool 'Vitamins and Minerals in Food Items' can help you calculate the right amount of vitamins and minerals present in your diet.
Why do we need vitamins and minerals?Our body needs a fresh supply of vitamins and minerals everyday to function properly and for normal growth and development. Vitamins and minerals obtained from a healthy diet work together and separately to maintain the health of tissue, organs, muscles, nerves, bones and blood. In addition, certain vitamins are necessary to absorb certain minerals. For example Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron needed to prevent anemia, and Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth.
Why do our body need minerals? Minerals help in forming bones, making hormones and regulating heartbeat. Some minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium are needed in large amounts and they are termed as macrominerals. On the contrary, trace elements like chromium, copper, selenium, iron and zinc are very essential, but needed only in small quantity every day.
|❖||Vitamins can be fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K dissolve in fat and are stored in the body. Water-soluble vitamins like the B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B12) and Vitamin C that dissolve in water, cannot be stored by the body for long, pass through the kidneys and lost in urine. Except vitamin B12, which is stored in the liver, water soluble vitamins should be taken daily.|
|❖||Vitamin E and vitamin C act as an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by the action of free radicals.|
|❖||Vitamin B12 plays a major role in forming red blood cells, synthesizing DNA and proper functioning of neurological system. Deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite and weight loss. It can even cause numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.|
|❖||Vitamin C requirement is increased by 35 mg for smokers and those who are exposed to second hand smoke.|
|❖||Only 1% of the total body calcium is needed for the metabolic functions while remaining 99% is utilized to provide strength and structure for bones and teeth.|