Essential Minerals for a Healthy Life

minerals


Busy people need all the help they can get. Whether it’s a pair of extra hands or words of encouragement, anything that would make work-life easier is much appreciated.

But what people need the most is energy to keep them going. Have you ever thought that eating properly can help you perform better at work? What are the essential vitamins and minerals that you need for the day? And what food will give you the greatest health benefits?

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body and one does not need to consume these vitamins on a daily basis. There are four fat-soluble vitamins:

* Vitamin A

This vitamin helps in the proper functioning of the immune system. It also plays a critical role in maintaining good vision, which is great for people who are always in front of the computer.

Foods that are rich in vitamin A include liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, mangoes and eggs, among others. The spice paprika is also a good source of vitamin A and you can use a small amount to flavor your dishes.

* Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential in building and maintaining bones and teeth. It also helps in enhancing calcium absorption. You can get the required dose of vitamin D from egg yolk and milk.

Spending some time out in the sun also helps the body produce vitamin D. You can take walk from 6 AM to 8 AM. But avoid getting outdoors when the sun is too hot or you’ll be at risk for heat stroke or skin cancer. Lack of vitamin D puts one at risk of osteoporosis.

* Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body fight off free radicals. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells, muscles and tissues, and helps preserve fatty acides. Vitamin E is also great for those who want to have great skin. Foods rich in vitamin E are brown rice, soybean, corrn, etc.

* Vitamin K

This vitamin K helps in normal blood clotting. You can get your vitamin K from green vegetables.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble are easily released by the body and therefore, these must be consumed daily.

* B-Vitamins

Vitamin-B complex provides a lot of health benefits like promotion of proper nerve function, helps in maintaining a healthy digestive and nervous system tract, lower cholesterol, among others. These vitamins are also important in carbohydrate metabolism, and protein metabolism and absorption.

Vitamin-B complex includes thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), and B12. These are commonly found in pork, liver, milk, spinach, mushrooms, tuna, chicken, brocolli, and bananas, among others.

* Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body ward off certain illnesses like cough, colds and the flu. We must take our daily dose of vitamin C to avoid getting sick. Ascorbic acid also helps in strengthening blood vessel walls and helps in maintaining healthy gums.

Vitamin C deficiency can result to muscle weakness, bleeding gums, and in extreme cases, scurvy. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, strawberries, brocolli, etc.

And Then, There Are Minerals

Just like vitamins, minerals are essential to ensure normal body functions. These are commonly found in organic products and should be taken in recommended doses.

* Calcium

Calcium is present in milk, cheese, yogurt, brocolli, sardines, etc. This mineral helps in building stronger bones in the body. It also helps in conversion of food into energy. Calcium is great for busy people to ensure that they stay active and energetic in the office.

* Potassium

Potassium can be found in bananas, mushroom, oranges, brocolli, and green beans. This mineral is essential in maintaining regular fluid balance and for nerve and muscle function. Lack of potassium in the body may result to muscle weakness, irritability and nausea.

* Iron

Iron helps in making hemoglobin. It is found in liver, kidney beans, raisins, etc. Lack of iron may result in weakness, fatigue and headaches.

It is important that busy people consume a balanced diet to get the right vitamins and minerals to function properly. A balanced diet helps them stay focused at work, give them enough energy, and ward off illnesses.

Some people may not be able to always stick to a balanced diet. If such is the case, doctors recommend supplementation. With enough attention, the right food choices, and a little knowledge about minerals, we might just get what we need to work properly.

How do you manage staying busy and healthy?

Photo by VinothChandar via Flickr.


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Rochelle is a Corporate Communication Officer for a major pharmaceutical company in Southeast Asia. She has more than 10 years of experience in Journalism and Corporate Communication work. She loves reading, writing, travelling and blogging.
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Discussion

  1. Leigh Harris on the 8th June

    I always need reminders about why I eat certain fruits and vegetables. I think I’ll print this out and post it on my fridge for a while.

    One “supplement” that most of us don’t get enough of is water. If we drink enough water we have more energy, have fewer headaches (for some) and even sleep better. Plus I think (but not certain) that it helps our bodies to absorb those other supplements better. Right or no?

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Edward L. Parkins on the 8th June

    Good article. However, it’s potassium, not “pottasium.”

  3. Al Pittampalli on the 8th June

    Vitamin D is huge. What is your opinion on sunscreen? Some like Dr. Mercola warn against it, because it blocks Vitamin D.

  4. paolo on the 10th June

    You forget a more important mineral, for the nerve functions, the muscles and the relaxation, magnesium, which is requied by over 300 important enzymes in our body.
    Magnesium deficiency cause ansiety, depression and poor sleep quality, and is relatively common, despite the fact that magnesium should be present in many aliments, because the quality of food is getting worse, and other factors, like stress, pregnancy, alcohol, can inhibit magnesium absorption

  5. Rochelle del Callar on the 11th June

    Hi, Al. I’m all for sunscreen to block UVA and UVB rays. Most dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping out. Yes, vitamin D is important. You can get your vitamin D by soaking up the sun’s ray between 6 AM – 8 AM.

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