19 Jul The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals
Do you find yourself sick often or tired on a daily basis? Your diet may be to blame! Many patients believe they have chronic conditions because of viruses or genetics, when what they are eating is the cause of their health symptoms. Not getting enough vitamins and minerals leads to nutrient deficiencies in the body. Each nutrient allows the body to perform specific tasks, and the lack of one can cause many health problems. Find out what different vitamins and minerals do and why they are so important to your health!
What Are Vitamins?
You hear about vitamins and minerals all the time, but what are they really? They are very similar to one another, but also different at the same time. Essentially, vitamins and minerals are the compounds that help build your body’s cells. You need vitamins and minerals for your body to repair cells, synthesize fat, create energy, remineralize tissues and bones, and much more. Without the main essential vitamins and minerals your body needs, you will have chronic health problems, stunted growth, develop diseases and much more.
Vitamins cannot be created by the body, yet they are vital to a healthy, functioning body. Vitamins are organic compounds that build the body’s tissues. They are organic, in that they can easily be broken down by heat, acidic substances or air, which helps the body break them down. Essential vitamins include vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. However, there are 7 B-vitamins and folate as well. In total, there are 13 essential vitamins the body needs, and they are all either water-soluble or fat-soluble. The best way you get your essential vitamins is through eating healthy foods.
What Are Minerals?
Minerals are also vital for health and growth, but they are considered “inorganic” compounds. That means that they keep their chemical structure. Minerals are the building blocks for your bones, teeth, tissues, skin, hair, nerves, muscles and more. They help your metabolic processes work correctly and keep the body running. Some minerals you need a lot of (like calcium), while others (like copper) you only need a tiny bit of.
You need the following minerals in your diet:
It can be very difficult to keep up on how much of each mineral you need each day. The easiest way to ensure you are getting enough is to take a vitamin supplement, and get professional assessments on your health. A professional assessment will tell you what nutrient deficiencies you have and advise you on what to do to make your body healthier.
Nutrient Deficiencies Cause Major Problems
You must eat healthy, nutritious foods if you want to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Eating a diet poor in nutrition will quickly lead you to have health problems—sometimes many of them, and some very chronic. Nutrient deficiencies—or not getting enough of the vital nutrients—leads to problems such as:
- Fatigue that is ongoing, day after day
- Constipation or reoccurring diarrhea
- Fluctuating blood sugar levels, which affects energy and metabolism
- A poorly-functioning immune system
- Aches and pains with no apparent cause
- Digestive upsets, such as heartburn and diarrhea
- Dizziness, headaches, migraines, and brain fog
- Mood issues such as irritability and depression
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that many Americans don’t get enough calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium or vitamins A, C, D, and E. A full list of all the essential vitamins and minerals you need, plus what each one does in your body is found here from Harvard Health Publishing. If you find that you are having health symptoms such as those listed above, make sure you have a health assessment right away to avoid chronic problems.
Avoiding Certain Foods
There are countless foods that will provide you great nutrition and health benefits. However, some foods simply won’t work well with your body, so despite the nutritional benefits they provide, you might have to skip them. We are talking about foods that you are allergic to or ones that cause you negative health problems. For example, foods such as shellfish, nuts, strawberries, soybeans, eggs and more can all cause severe allergic reactions in many people. You want to avoid any and all foods that you are allergic to, because some foods can even be fatal to your system depending on how severe your allergy is.
If you don’t have food allergies, you may have food intolerances. An intolerance to a food is when you get inflammation, digestive upsets and other low-grade symptoms, but you don’t necessarily get a life-threatening allergic reaction. You still want to pay attention to how your body reacts to certain foods and avoid foods that cause you to feel somewhat sick. A common intolerance is lactose. Some people can’t digest milk proteins well, which means they will get sick with dairy products, but the sickness is not usually life-threatening.
However, inflammation and low-grade health problems can actually cause you to age faster than you otherwise would, as inflammation is directly related to aging. If you don’t know what foods you are allergic to or if you have a food intolerance, come into our center for comprehensive testing.
Getting Better Nutrition Each Day
Getting healthier can be difficult at first, but it will pay off over time. When you get enough vitamins and minerals to have good health, your body works better, has more energy, and you have fewer health problems. Let us help you get healthier today! Call Mile High Spine & Pain Center at (720) 507-0080 for your free health consultation!