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How To Determine What Vitamins Your Body Needs

Jun 18, 2008
Our bodies need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals to function. Many people wonder if they need to be taking a supplement because they are concerned that they are not getting the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. In most cases, healthy eaters are getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals. For pregnant women and elderly people, a supplement (such as a multivitamin) is not a bad idea, because the needed amount of these vitamins increases.

There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, and E, and these are stored and moved around in fat. These are not needed every day because they stay in your body longer. The water-soluble vitamins are B and C. These vitamins you do need every day, because the excess is passed through your urine, not stored.

As said before, a balanced diet will include all of these vitamins, and following is a list of foods you can find them in.

Vitamin A

Function: Stimulates growth of white blood cells and improves immunity.
Found in: Milk, eggs, fruits, and green vegetables.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Function: Converts carbohydrates into energy, important for proper functioning of heart,
muscles, and nervous system.
Found in: Pasta, meat, and fish.

Vitamin B6

Function: Required for normal functioning of brain and nerves; also helps with blood cell
Found in: Potatoes, bananas, nuts, and beans.

Vitamin B12:

Function: Makes DNA, helps with red blood cell formation, and helps with nerve cell
Found in: Fish, meat, poultry, and milk.

Vitamin C

Function: Strengthens teeth, gums, bones, and blood vessels.
Found in: Broccoli, kiwi, guava juice, grape fruit juice, oranges, tomatoes, and spinach.

Vitamin D

Function: Enables body to absorb calcium, which leads to bone strengthening.
Found in: This can be formed from the presence of sun light in your skin, but foods
that also include it are egg yolks, milk, and fish oils.

Vitamin E

Function: Protects cells from any damage; also required for blood cells.
Found in: Vegetable oils, nuts, leafy green vegetables.

There are many more vitamins that your body needs, but these are the main ones that facilitate a lot of bodily functions.

Minerals are different from vitamins, but just as important, because minerals help vitamins work. Calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, and zinc are the most important minerals to the human body. For people who eat a balanced diet, the recommended intake for minerals is achieved.

Unless you have a different diet, or specific dietary needs, such as a gluten-free diet or a vegetarian diet, vitamin and mineral supplements are unnecessary. If you feel that you need to take one, you should consult a doctor first because high levels of certain vitamins or minerals can cause severe health problems. Some dietary supplements can also interfere with other medication, so always check with your doctor first.

Vitamins and minerals are very important to maintaining your body. Each vitamin and mineral plays a crucial part in the body, and not having enough or having too much in your body can be bad. By eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you can ensure that you will get the recommended daily amounts of all of the vitamins and minerals.
About the Author
Michael Greeves, CEO and founder of Hyperstrike, wanted to develop an affordable fitness program for individuals and athletes that could be customized to their personal abilities and goals, and be delivered to any one, any where, any time. Learn more about HyperStrike exercise and workout programs.
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