Everybody knows that minerals and vitamins are necessary nutrients for the body but only a few know what each vitamin does and which food items are packed with vitamins.
For people who are not dieticians, nutritionists or experts of health, the numbers and letters that explain an entire world of healthy food may seem quite daunting. One principle should be followed; fueling body with healthy food before turning towards supplements for help. The best thing a person can do is maintain a balanced diet that includes all essential minerals and vitamins in appropriate quantities. Following are a few most essential vitamins and minerals along with their sources and benefits.
1. Vitamin A
It is good for eyes, teeth and skin along with overall growth and development. Some of the natural sources of Vitamin A include carrots, cantaloupe melons and sweet potatoes as all these get hue from carotene pigment.
2. B Vitamins
B Vitamins are good for immune function, iron absorption, and energy production. This is an important group of nutrients and can be obtained through unprocessed foods like whole grains, bananas, lentils, potatoes, beans, yeast, molasses and chili peppers.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is great for adding a glow to skin, strengthening of blood vessels, iron absorption and anti-oxidant function. The best and most commonly known source of Vitamin C is oranges while other sources include green and red peppers, guava, grapefruits, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, cantaloupe and strawberries.
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the most important nutrient for healthy bones. Besides spending some time in sunlight, which stimulates the production of Vitamin D, a person can get it from other sources like fish, mushrooms and eggs.
5. Vitamin E
This vitamin is essential for promoting blood circulation and protecting from the free radicals. The best source for Vitamin E is undoubtedly almonds. Besides, some other nuts, tomatoes and sunflower seeds are also good sources of Vitamin E.
6. Vitamin K
It is beneficial for blood coagulation (a process through which the blood clots). The natural souces for Vitamin K are leafy greens. Therefore, if a person is looking forward to stay fit and healthy, they must include spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale.
7. Folic Acid
Folic acid is particularly beneficial for women who are trying to get pregnant and it helps preventing birth defects in unborn child. Besides, folic acid is good for cell renewal also. As for the natural sources of this useful nutrient, folic acid can be obtained from leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, beans, citrus fruits, lentils, nuts, seeds, peas, beets, corn and cauliflower.
It is a must for healthy bones and teeth. The sources of this mineral is not a secret and widely known; dairy products like cheese, milk and yogurt along with black molasses and tofu.
Iron is essential for maintaining healthy blood and naturally building up muscles. Clams being the biggest one, oysters, soybeans, pumpkin, cereal, beans, seeds, spinach and lentils are the major sources of iron.
Zinc is good for fertility, growth and immunity. Seafood like oyster is rich in zinc besides other food items like cashews, spinach, beans and dark chocolate.