Part of the 12 Aspects of Successful Weight Loss.
When thinking about your plan for successful weight loss, first, it is really important to understand the importance of good nutrition – especially vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients found in our food sources that fuel our bodies to perform hundreds of roles like build bones, boost the immune system and give us energy. Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to ensure you get the variety of vitamins and minerals needed daily. Although due to over-farming, lack of crop rotation and modern intense farming methods, there are fewer nutrients available from the soil, in which the food we eat grows. This is why it is increasingly popular to look at supplementation to fill in the gaps that your daily meals may miss.
Here is a snapshot of 10 vitamins and minerals you need everyday to maintain a healthy body and mind:
Vitamin A is a powerful, fat soluble antioxidant and plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function and healthy skin to name a few. Vitamin A plays a major role in reducing inflammation through fighting free radicle damage and can also help slow the ageing process.
The class of B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that play a role in cell metabolism. B-complex which refers to a combination of 8 individual b-vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) are renowned for helping convert our food to fuel, making sure we stay energised throughout the day.
We can’t store this water soluble vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which means we need to get it from our diet every day. Vitamin C protects our cells, keeps our cells healthy, involved in production of collagen and is important for supporting the tissue, organs, skin, bones and blood vessels.
This fat soluble vitamin is responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate which is essential for healthy bones. We get vitamin D from food, but also from sunlight.
Vitamin E has so many benefits that include preventing free-radicle damage and slowing the ageing process. This fat soluble vitamin is also responsible for enzyme activities, neurological processes, high blood pressure, blocked or hardened arteries and in some cases, chest pains.
One of the most commonly know minerals that is important for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a role in blood clotting and regular muscle contractions, including your heart beat! There is also some strong evidence that calcium has a role in managing blood pressure and preventions of certain cancers like breast and colon cancer.
The second most plentiful mineral in your body is phosphorus, the first is calcium, so it’s no wonder it’s responsible for many functions such as repairing tissue and cells, building strong bones and teeth, filtering out waste in your kidneys, helping to balance the use of vitamins such as Vitamin B and D and other minerals such as magnesium, zinc and iodine. So, you get the idea how important this is!
This mineral is also an electrolyte which helps to conduct electrical impulses through the body. Potassium also assists in normal water balance and plays a part in the function of muscle contractions, nerve impulses, digestion and ph balance.
This magnificent mineral is the forth most abundant mineral in our body and has several important roles for your body and brain function. Approximately 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in the muscles, soft tissues, blood and fluids. The fact is, every cell in your body contains magnesium and needs it to function for energy creation, protein formulation, gene maintenance and muscle movements.
About two-thirds of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin so it’s no wonder the main benefit of iron is facilitation of the production of life-giving oxygen to body systems through the role of red blood cell production. We quickly become anaemic if low in iron which is why eating iron rich foods daily should be factored in.
Food variety is essential to a healthy, balanced diet. We all lead a hectic life and balancing our work and life is a ongoing goal that we all strive for. Eating a balanced diet is part of that equation yet often at the bottom of the priority list as we’re lured into super market offers for cheap convenience foods or we default to a take-away when super busy.
Meal planning to ensure you get a variety of food is a great idea. This will help you focus when at the supermarket and reduce waste too.
- 150 Star Foods – Barbara Cox for a list of 150 Star Foods to inspire you to add variety to your weekly shopping list
- Weekly meal planner for a meal planner tool.
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