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Do you know your Vitamins & Minerals?

Posted Nov 18 2009 11:54am

Disclaimer:  This post is for your information and to be used only as a guideline.   For questions or concerns please consult with your general practitioner.
References used:

Vitamins are essential for ongoing good health, internally and externally, from your hair to your toe.  It is very important to pay attention to your vitamin intake and there is a list of symptoms that are associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and some are hair loss, aging skin, blurred vision and peeling nails.  For a complete list of vitamin deficiency symptoms see; Deficiency Symptoms.

Although taking a vitamin supplement is a good way of ensuring that you are getting your vitamins, know that only small percentage of the supplement is adsorbed by the body and the rest are flushed out of our system.   Hence the best way to ensure you are receiving sufficient and regular amounts of vitamins is to have a healthy and balanced diet.  A diet full of fruits and vegetables ensures that you receive sufficient amount of vitamins on daily basis.

Here is a list of vitamins along with functions that they support and some examples of the natural sources where you can get these vitamins from;

* * * *

Vitamin A & Beta Carotene

  • Helps build healthy eyes, required for growth and bone development
  • Beta carotene, a provitamin the body converts into vitamin A, is a powerful antioxidant that has been celebrated for its possible ability to fight cancer
  • Beta carotene is thought to play a role protecting cells, boosting the immune system and helping to keep the reproductive system healthy
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 5000 IU, adult women is 4000 IU and kids 4-6 years 2500 IU, 7-10 years 3300 IU

Natural Sources:

  • Carrots, Yams, Pumpkins, Spinach, Collards, Kale, Turnip Greens, Winter Squash, Beet Greens, Cabbage

* * * *

Vitamin B1 – Thiamine

  • Helps in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production
  • Required for normal never function
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 1.5 mg, adult women is 1 mg and kids 4-6 years 0.9 mg, 7-10 years 1.2 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Whole Grains, Rice, Peas, Beans, Wheat Germ, Enriched Pastas, Fish, Poultry, Lean Meats

* * * *

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

  • Helps production of energy from foods and the formation of red blood cells
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 1.8 mg, adult women is 1.3 mg and kids 4-6 years 1.1 mg, 7-10 years 1.2 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Fortified Grains & Cereals, Leafy Greens, Dairy, Fish, Poultry

* * * *

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

  • Assists in release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Helps promote healthy skin
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 18 mg, adult women is 14 mg and kids 4-6 years 12 mg, 7-10 years 16 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Fortified Breads & Cereals, Brewer’s Yeast, Broccoli, Carrots, Cheese, Dandelion Greens, Dates, Eggs, Milk, Peanuts, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Tuna, Veal, Beef Liver, Chicken Breast

* * * *

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

  • Helps release energy from foods
  • Required for synthesis of many substances
  • No recommended dosage but 10 – 100 mg is indicated

Natural Sources:

  • Lean Meats, Whole Grain Cereals, Fish, Legumes

* * * *

Vitamin B6

  • Essential for protein metabolism and nervous system function
  • Participates in synthesis of hormones and red blood cells
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 2.0 mg, adult women is 2.0 mg and kids 4-6 years 0.9 mg, 7-10 years 1.2 mg

Natural Sources:

Whole Grain Breads & Cereals, Fish, Chicken, Bananas

* * * *

Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid

  • Essential for red blood cell formation and synthesis of DNA and protein
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 400 mg, adult women is 400 mg and kids 4-6 years 200 mg, 7-10 years 300 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Fortified Cereals, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Green Leafy Vegetables, Beef, Brown Rice, Lamb, Liver, Milk, Mushrooms, Oranges, Split Peas, Pork, Tuna, Whole Grains

* * * *

Vitamin B12 – Cynocabalamin

  • Helps maintain healthy nervous system
  • Required for normal growth and for production of red blood cells
  • Helps breakdown fatty acids
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 3.0 mg, adult women is 3.0 mg and kids 4-6 years 1.5 mg, 7-10 years 2.0 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Clams, Cooked Oysters, King Crab, Salmon, Tuna, Lean Beef, Liver, Low Fat Dairy Products

* * * *

Vitamin C

  • Helps the body maintain healthy tissues and a strong immune system, and it aids in the absorption of iron
  • It is considered a powerful ally if you’re trying to avoid or kick a cold or other illness
  • Together withcalcium and iron, it’s also an important part of a diet that counteracts lead poisoning
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 90 mg and for adult women it’s 75 mg.

Natural Sources:

  • Guava, Red & Green Sweet Pepper, Kiwi, Orange, Grapefruit, Strawberries, Brussels Sprouts, Cantaloupe

* * * *

Vitamin D

  • Aids in normal bone growth and tooth function; facilitates calcium and phosphorus absorption
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 400 IU, adult women is 400 IU and kids 4-6 years 400 IU, 7-10 years 400 IU

Natural Sources:

  • Sun Exposure, Sardines, Salmon, Fortified Milk, Fortified Cereals, Liver, Tuna, Cod Liver Oil

* * * *

Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and could play a role in preventing a range of diseases
  • It helps maintain normal red blood cells
  • It’s also considered important for maintaining healthy, youthful skin
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 15 IU, adult women is 12 IU and kids 4-6 years 7 IU, 7-10 years 7 IU

Natural Sources:

  • Fortified Cereals, Sunflower Seeds, Nuts, Vegetables Oils, Turnip Greens, Wheat Germ, Avocado

* * * *

Vitamin H – Biotin

  • Assists in metabolism of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and protein
  • It is also helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level
  • Adults 300 microgram (0.3 mg) per day and pregnant and lactating women 300 micrograms (0.3 mg) per day

Natural Sources:

  • Legumes, Nuts

* * * *

Vitamin K:

  • Essential in the blood clotting process
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 80 IU, adult women is 65 IU and kids 4-6 years 20 IU, 7-10 years 30 IU

Natural Sources:

  • Green leafy vegetables like Kale, Spinach, Broccoli and Cauliflower

* * * *

Calcium:

  • It provides strength and stability to the bone structure
  • A small amount of calcium is carried out to the blood stream, where it helps prevent serious haemorrhages
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 1000 mg, adult women is 1000 mg and kids 4-6 years 800 mg, 7-10 years 800 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Almonds, Asparagus, Avocados, Blackstrap molasses, Brewer’s yeast, Broccoli, Cabbage, Collards, Dairy Foods, Fig, Dulse, Kale, Oats, Prunes, Salmon, Sardines, Soybeans, Whey

* * * *

Iron:

  • It is necessary of many functions in thebody including formation of haemoglobin, brain development and function regulations of body temperature, muscle activity and catecholamine metabolism
  • Lack of iron directly affects the immune system, it diminishes the number of T cells and production of anibodies
  • It is essential to built healthy muscles
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 10 mg, adult women is 18 mg and kids 4-6 years 10 mg, 7-10 years 10 mg, post menapausol women 10 mg and vegetarian/vegans 36 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Beef, Organ Meat, Clams, Oysters, Soy Beans, Pumpkin Seeds, White Beans, Blackstrap Mollases, Lentils, Spinach

* * * *

Magnesium:

  • Forms bone of tooth
  • Activates enzymes, Mg ions activate the enzyme phosphate
  • The distribution and function of Mg ion is generally antagonistic to calcium ion
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 350 mg, adult women is 300 mg and kids 4-6 years 200 mg, 7-10 years 250 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Green Leafy Vegetables, Legumes, Nuts & Seeds, Whole Grains

* * * *

Zinc:

  • Helps metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, fats
  • It is necessary for healthy immune system and is also of use in fighting sking problems such as acne
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 15 mg, adult women is 15 mg and kids 4-6 years 10 mg, 7-10 years 10 mg

Natural Sources:

  • Dairy Products, Beans, Yeast, Nuts, Seeds, Whole Grains, Pumpkin Seed
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