Vitamins and Nutrients
The Vital Role of Vitamins and Minerals
Over the years we've learned about our body's need for adequate vitamins and minerals in order to have optimum health. We know that their role in preventing and treating illness is vital. There is growing evidence supporting the critical role vitamins and minerals play in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
Although it is possible to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat daily, our lifestyles don't always lend themselves to eating the foods that hold the highest density of necessary nutrients.
What Are Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins?
In this section on vitamins and minerals, you will learn about the two categories of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are the fat-soluble vitamins that dissolve in fat and are stored in your body. The water-soluble vitamins, which include C and all of the B-complex vitamins, need to dissolve in water in order to be useful to your body. Since your body can't store the water-soluble vitamins, they are passed out of the body daily, so it is necessary to refresh the supply every day. Find out how you can best do this in these pages.
The Need for Minerals in Our Bodies
Minerals are inorganic elements, meaning they are not plant or animal based. They come from water or soil. We all know how vital calcium is to bone strength and that magnesium is a "secret weapon" against leg cramps. Minerals, along with vitamins, boost the immune system and help cells and organs function. Learn more about the various trace minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, and selenium through the articles in this section.
Vegetarians may be challenged when it comes to getting an adequate and balanced intake of vitamins and minerals through their diet. Our section will help vegetarians plan diets that offer alternate food sources - other than meats, fish, and poultry - to ensure the important trace minerals are available through food.
Sometimes a person's lifestyle does not allow for proper intake of vitamins and minerals through the food they eat. We'll talk about the various methods of supplementation and investigate some of the supplements available in the market place today. Learn why it is important not to exceed the recommended dietary allowance for a particular vitamin or mineral and why more is not necessarily better.
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An essential component of a healthy diet is adequate vitamin and mineral intake. We know you'll find the information in this section useful when determining how you can best improve your diet and supplementation for optimal health benefits.