Vitamins, Minerals and Essential Fatty Acids – Why You Should Use Them To Supplement Your Diet
We have all heard about how good vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids are for us but what exactly are they good for and why should we be interested?
Vitamins and minerals are what makes our bodies function efficiently and they are essential for life such as growth, regeneration, repairing, renewal, pumping blood around – in fact everything!
Vitamins are substances that occur naturally and they are involved in all the body’s functions.
There are 13 major vitamins that we need to obtain from the food we are eating as they cannot be produced by the body itself and are in such small amounts as to be negligible.
These come in two different categories and these are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins only dissolve in water and therefore cannot be absorbed by the body. This means that the body cannot store these vitamins so they need to be continually replenished by your diet and can be mostly found in vegetables, fruit and grains.
These vitamins are vitamins C, and B-Complex (8 vitamins)
Fat-soluble vitamins can dissolve in fat and as such are able to be stored in the body. They are obtained from animal fats, meat, oily fish, liver, dairy and vegetable oils.
You do not need to eat these fats every day.
These are vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Minerals are elements and as the name suggests are literally mined from the earth.
Minerals have many benefits among which is they build strong bones and teeth, act as antioxidants and maintain daily cell and hormone function.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are the “good fats” and are another vital daily requirement for our bodies.
Lack of EFAs can also lead to imbalances such as brittle nails and hair, dry, pimply skin, rheumatoid arthritis, low sex drive and prostate problems.
Small amounts are produced by the body but these amounts are insufficient so it is essential to get EFAs from food. Oily fish is a way of dealing with this shortfall.
The daily reality of lack of vitamins and minerals in most diets
Ideally we should get all our vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids from our daily diet but very few of us manage to achieve this.
For a start the majority of people fall well short of the recommended 5 servings of fruit and vegetables (and that often includes me).
Today, even if you are not eating junk food and following a healthy diet you can still suffer from malnutrition as due to intensive or factory farming the soils in which we grow our food or food for animals are so depleted of nutrients compared to that just a few decades ago.
The overuse of chemicals to right this lack of nutrients just exacerbates the problem.
Both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have stated that today we should supplement our diets with vitamins and minerals if we are not getting enough nutrients from our diet and still wish to have the best health.
So many of us end up in a situation where we eat too much, but are still hungry, we’re always on the go yet we seem to achieve very little, we are always tired but sleep doesn’t seem to make us less tired.
The question is what can we do about this shortfall of nutrients?
Lack of the right vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids are the main contributors to these problems so if we want to live a healthy life we need to take supplements to fill the gap.
However, this needs to be done in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
There are numerous supplements on the market and like most things in life you get what you pay for!
Supplements found on supermarket and drug store shelves can be cheaper but these are often not quite what they seem.
These ‘supplements’ are often padded out with low quality ingredients, fillers, preservatives and imported ingredients from countries such as China which has little or no pharmaceutical control. These ‘supplements’ can often do more harm than good.
As a comparison, strict controls exist in USA, Europe or countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand where it is easier to find a reputable supplier of quality supplements.
This is not to say that there are other countries that produce good quality supplements!
However, it pays to do due diligence when health is the issue and this can be done in a number of ways:
- A reputable supplier creates quality supplements by blending ingredients together synergistically in which all the ingredients are in balance.
- The best suppliers are both the manufacturer and the supplier and as such control the whole process.
- They will manufacture to standards as defined by the US Food and Drug administration (FDA).
- They have an internet site on which they give full disclosure of their products, their operation plus full contact details such as email address, telephone number and postal address.
- They are happy to discuss and give you more information on their products.
- Their ingredients are sourced from a clean, unpolluted place
- The company is located in a clean, unpolluted area.
- The products are tested by an independent laboratory.
- The supplements come in measured doses so there is no chance of over-dosing.
To summarize all of us need to supplement with vitamin and mineral supplements to a greater or lesser degree.
We need to appraise how good our diet and lifestyle is and decide on what we need on a regular basis:
- For example the older we get the more we need as we cannot absorb these life-giving nutrients as well as we do when younger.
- If you are a woman do you have heavy periods and need more iron or more calcium to keep osteoporosis away.
- Is your eyesight failing or you are worried about dementia, or fertility? http://leadingahealthylifestyle.com/improve-your-eyesight/
- Are you stressed? Stress uses up a lot of nutrients and we need to top up to replace this loss and get our bodies back in sync.
Nutritional tweaks or fine tuning are possible and can help with a whole range of conditions.
This is all quite complicated but as mentioned above there are supplement suppliers that you can have full confidence in, and more to the point they have a wealth of qualifications and experience at hand which is freely available for customers, or potential customers, questions or queries.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Our family uses a company like this, a company which has a wealth of information, and we are more than happy to recommend it if you feel you want to check things out with vitamin and mineral supplements, or have a health problem you wish to discuss freely with experts which you can do either by telephone or email.