Are you aware of the correct nutrients definition? In our fast-paced world, we are all busy with rushing from one commitment to another – whether for work, social activities, or even household errands – we tend to take our diet for granted. This is evidenced in the food we consume and the nutrition we allow our body to absorb. Read on to find out more about vitamins and minerals to help improve your diet and your health!
In This Article:
- Feeding the Body with Fast Food
- How to Keep a Healthy and Balanced Body
- Difference Between Vitamins and Minerals
- Which Is Essential
- To Cook or Not to Cook
- What Are Vitamins?
- Types of Vitamins
- What Are Minerals?
- Trace Minerals
- Methylation Minerals
- Conclusion and Recommendation
Trace Minerals and Vitamins for Better Health
Feeding the Body with Fast Food
Most people nowadays prefer to just squeeze in a quick meal somewhere between the myriad tasks and errands needing to be done before the day ends. Often, these instant meals come from fast-food places or meals that prioritize artificial flavorings over nutritional value. Worse, health is sacrificed in the end. While we get to satisfy our hunger, we are inclined to forget that we also need to ensure that our bodies are nourished properly. Our bodies require the right number of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and energized, and for our systems to function well.
How to Keep a Healthy and Balanced Body
However, even if we eat the proper food and pay close attention to our dietary intake, it is possible that we will still be unable to eat and absorb the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of minerals and vitamins in a day. One of the prevailing reasons for this is the modern-day style of agriculture and food processing. As such, you will need to consume a huge amount of food and perform a variety of exercises to keep a healthy and balanced body. However, through mineral and vitamin supplements, you can get ahead of this and stay in the picture of health.
Difference Between Vitamins and Minerals
Both vitamins and minerals are nutritional elements important for our bodies to stay healthy, fit and to function normally. However, they have different biological functions, chemical compositions, and nutritional value.
Which Is Essential for Your Body?
The primary difference between vitamin and minerals is all vitamins are important to the body, but not all minerals are essential. We can get vitamins from all types of foods, most especially in fruits, vegetables, and herbs, which is why it is advisable to include both in our daily meals. Minerals, on the other hand, are found in soil and water and are easily obtained when we include fish, meat, dark leafy vegetables, and dairy products and drinks into our diet plans.
To Cook or Not to Cook
Vitamins are destructible, as they can be destroyed easily when exposed to heat. This is why it is crucial to take extra care in handling food products during cooking or when storing them since there is a greater chance of losing their nutritional value when they come in contact with heat. Minerals, on the other hand, are indestructible. They’re stable in sunlight, heat, and chemical reactions. They will not lose their nutritional value easily when cooked or stored.
What Are Vitamins?
A vitamin is an organic compound obtained from plants and animals. Vitamins are important for the body to function properly and are present in small amounts in natural food. They support the body’s normal physiological function like growth and reproduction. The human body is not able to produce all the vitamins that it requires on a regular basis without outside sources from our environment.
Types of Vitamins
There are two types of vitamins our bodies need — fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. These types only refer to how the vitamins are best dissolved, absorbed, stored, and eventually removed from the body. Fat-soluble vitamins are dissolved by lipids like natural oils and fatty acids. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are dissolved by water.
1. Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are passively absorbed in the lymph nodes, with dietary fats transporting them all throughout the body through the bloodstream. They are usually found in cell portions that contain fat and are stored in our fatty tissues or in the liver, ready to be used by the body when needed. It is necessary to eat enough dietary fat in order to absorb these vitamins, otherwise, a vitamin deficiency due to a low-fat diet may be experienced.
2. Water-Soluble Vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins can be absorbed both passively and actively. They are transported by molecular carriers in the body. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, unlike the fat-soluble ones, but instead, they get broken down and excreted in urine and feces.
Preserving Vitamins in Foods
All vitamins, both fat-soluble ones and water-soluble, are easily destroyed, being especially vulnerable to heat, light, and chemicals. It’s for this reason that it is important to consider the right methods in preparing, cooking, preserving, and storing food to preserve as much of the vitamin in the food as possible. Examples of how vitamins can be destroyed include:
- Microwaving food
- Processing, which leaves only half percent of the vitamin value
- Undergoing radiation
Vitamins Health Benefits
Vitamins act to release the energy we get from the food we eat. They work to develop our red blood cells and help in blood clotting. Vitamins also keep our hair, eyes, and skin healthy. More importantly, vitamins have the ability to help prevent and treat a variety of diseases like high cholesterol levels and heart problems.
Vitamin deficiency is called Avitaminosis and diagnosing it is difficult, hence a consultation with a health professional is recommended when there are concerns about the adequacy of your vitamin intake. Examples of vitamin deficiency include:
- Vitamin D (calciferol): Rickets
- Vitamin E (tocopherols): Anemia
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone): Very rare
Symptoms of Avitaminosis
The symptoms of Avitaminosis can often be also associated with other health problems, making it necessary that the diagnosis is done by a professional to avoid a serious mistake. Some symptoms that present themselves are:
- Night blindness
- Rickets (Vitamin D deficiency)
- Beriberi (B1 thiamine deficiency)
- Pellagra (B3 deficiency)
Since these symptoms can be generic in nature, avitaminosis can easily be misdiagnosed.
Treatment for Avitaminosis
However, once properly diagnosed and identified, the treatment is pretty simple. The primary treatment will be to supplement the lacking vitamin through a well-balanced diet where proper food intake is given. Taking specialized supplements is also recommended for obtaining the needed vitamins.
Although there is a need to supplement our diet with vitamins, it is crucial to not overdo it and take an excess amount. Overloading on vitamins can put your health at risk instead of helping your body function properly. Consuming excess vitamins above the recommended daily intake is dangerous and may result in symptoms of toxicity.
Symptoms of Vitamin Overdose
The symptoms you may experience will vary depending on which of the vitamins you have in an excess amount. Although an overdose of vitamins may not be cause for immediate worry and alarm, it can become dangerous. Overdosing symptoms may include:
- More frequent urination
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Joint pain
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
- Bone pain
- Rash and dry skin
Simply reducing or discontinuing the vitamin intake may resolve the issue and will get rid of the symptoms you are experiencing.
Risk of Overdose
Generally, though, the risk of overdosing vitamins is low. The struggle is with the deficiency and insufficient vitamin intake, but sometimes, in our interest to correct our deficiency, we may not notice that we are overcompensating. It is, therefore, highly recommended to take note of your vitamin intake and seek medical advice from a healthcare professional to ensure that you are safely addressing your vitamin concerns.
What Are Minerals?
Minerals are inorganic chemical elements obtained from soil and water. Minerals are necessary for our body to carry out daily processes and functions. They create hormones, enzymes, skeletal bones, and tissues within the different parts of the body.
Minerals perform a variety of different functions in our body to help with growth, development, overall general health, and optimum performance. The body uses minerals to assist in giving strength and density to our bones, in keeping our teeth healthy and strong, in coagulating blood, and in transmitting nerve impulses to aid in muscle contraction.
Consumption of Minerals
Minerals are not naturally produced by the body so you will need to consume them on a regular basis as part of your food intake and diet plan. They are not vulnerable and are stable to heat, sunlight, or chemical reactions during food preparation, but they have a greater tendency to get lost when they bind to the other substances in food.
Minerals are classified into two groups: macrominerals and microminerals which are also called trace minerals. Macrominerals are the minerals your body needs in large amounts. This will be more than 100 milligrams per day. Minerals that are included in the macromineral group are:
Microminerals are also called trace minerals. These minerals are needed in the body but require only smaller quantity intake. Generally, our bodies will need only a few milligrams or micrograms of a trace mineral per day. Some of the minerals under this group are:
Mineral deficiency does not happen spontaneously, but instead, it happens over time and may be caused by different factors such as incorrect and insufficient diet. The difficulty of the body to absorb the trace minerals available from the food we eat may already result in a mineral deficiency. Low levels of these trace minerals can produce various symptoms:
- Magnesium deficiency can cause mood swings, cramps, dizziness, emotional imbalance, and stress.
- Calcium deficiency results in arthritis, brittle nails, cramps, and osteoporosis.
- Potassium deficiency results in muscle weakness, heart palpitations, and fainting.
- Selenium deficiency symptoms include cataracts, age spots, liver cirrhosis, and lower immune function.
- Zinc deficiency symptoms are anorexia, hair loss, acne, loss of appetite, and insomnia.
- Copper deficiency symptoms include depression, diarrhea, impaired thyroid function, varicose veins, and stretch marks.
- Chromium deficiency results in weight loss, fatigue, and impaired glucose tolerance.
- Vanadium deficiency symptoms are kidney stones, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and hypoglycemia.
- Molybdenum deficiency symptoms are gout, weight gain, gum disease, anemia, and acne.
- Iodine deficiency results in goiter, heart disease, slow growth, and lower IQ level.
- Silicon deficiency symptoms include depression and slow growth.
Health Problems of Mineral Deficiency
Often, we tend to overlook our body’s need for sufficient mineral supply, leading to mineral deficiency and the body becoming unable to function properly. Mineral deficiency can lead to different health problems:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle cramps
- Vomiting and nausea
- Weak bones
- Getting tired easily
- Numbness in the extremities
- Weak immune system
Here is a list of health problems associated with macro mineral deficiency:
- Emotional disturbances
- Loss of memory
Mineral Deficiency Diagnosis
A healthcare professional will help determine if a mineral deficiency is present, by conducting a physical exam and recommending routine blood tests like complete blood count (CBC) and measuring electrolytes (minerals) in your blood. Once diagnosed, treatment can be started. A change in diet may be recommended when there is a need to incorporate food that provides the essential minerals. Supplements may also be required as there are certain mineral deficiencies that cannot be treated by a well-balanced diet alone. In severe mineral deficiency cases, minerals can be administered intravenously at the hospital.
There are Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) for mineral intake, and these recommendations provide generous allowances to prevent a potential overdose of any mineral nutrients. However, similar to vitamins, overloading of essential minerals will always have harmful effects on the body.
Symptoms of Mineral Overdose
Large doses above the recommended daily intake will cause health issues. Though symptoms will be different because it depends on the mineral that is taken in excess. Here are some examples of symptoms when excessive minerals are absorbed by the body:
- Calcium – excess may cause constipation, nausea, bloating, intestinal gas and in extremely high dosages, kidney damage.
- Magnesium – an overload may result in difficulty in breathing, weak muscles, and irregular heartbeat which can lead to cardiac arrest.
- Iron – an overdose of iron can cause death, especially for young children.
- Zinc – high dosages of zinc will cause vomiting, gastric discomfort, and will interfere with the immune system.
- Iodine – an excess may cause goiters since thyroid glands are stimulated to produce more thyroid hormones.
- Selenium – an excess of this mineral makes your nails fragile and can cause body odors.
- Fluoride – ingesting too much fluoride causes brittle bones, fatigue, and brown patches to appear in your teeth.
Check Your Food Intake
Similar to a vitamin overdose, it is hard to overload minerals from food and supplements. However, it is always advisable to regularly check your food intake and diet plan. Make sure to read the labels on your supplements to ensure that you avoid exceeding the recommended daily allowances. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional is always recommended to ensure safety.
There are many different amounts of minerals required for our body. On a daily basis, our body will need some minerals in large amounts – these are called macro-minerals. On the other hand, there are some minerals we are advised to take only in small amounts, and these are called microminerals or “trace minerals.”
Consumption of Trace Minerals
Trace minerals are inorganic compounds that cannot be destroyed by cooking or heating, so you can actually get them from following a specifically designed dietary plan. However, as mentioned before, you will need to consume a large amount of food before you can meet the recommended daily amount for each of the essential trace minerals. This might make you bloat without even getting the proper amounts of them.
Why Are Minerals Important
Trace minerals are the ones that help our body perform its regulatory and structural functions like nerve transmission and hormone production. The amount needed by our body is less than 20 milligrams per day, but our body only has 5 grams or less of the mineral stored. It is therefore recommended and necessary to take supplements to augment the lack of trace mineral.
Importance of Trace Minerals
Why do we need minerals? Trace minerals, even though they only make up a small fraction of our total body weight, are crucial to the proper and normal body functions. Trace minerals work in many different functions like:
- The regulation of the thyroid
- Blood clotting
- Forming of body tissues
- Enzyme function
- Absorption of glucose
- Oxygen transportation in the red blood cells
- Improving bone health
- Normalizing the nervous system
- Promoting the growth and repair of tissues
Benefits of Trace Minerals
Other benefits of trace minerals include:
- Improving concentration
- Increasing energy levels
- Helps in mental clarity
- Improving a sense of well-being
- Boosts the body’s immune system
- Physical endurance and blood circulation are improved
- Support a balanced level of hormone in the body by restoring and rejuvenating cell life
- Responsible for promoting anti-aging because trace minerals provide recovery nutrients to the body
Trace Mineral Imbalance
If there is an imbalance of trace minerals in the body, the effect will also be felt. A trace mineral imbalance makes the body vulnerable to any form of diseases by making the immune system weak, making your health more easily compromised.
Treatment of Trace Mineral Deficiency
Our bodies need different amounts of each trace mineral to stay healthy. Trace mineral deficiencies are treated depending on the type and the underlying conditions. However, generally, minor trace mineral deficiency can be treated easily by a change in eating habits and paying closer attention to eating a well-balanced diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
This combination of a well-balanced healthy food intake, along with the choice of food products with fortified extra minerals and a good dietary mineral supplement will help dramatically in addressing and correcting any trace mineral deficiency.
Types of Trace Minerals
There are over seventy trace minerals already identified by scientists. Researchers continue to learn more about how each trace mineral is important to the interaction of the human body systems, and how an imbalance of trace minerals in the body’s systems can show itself in symptoms like food cravings or fatigue. Most trace minerals are already familiar to us, like zinc, iron, fluoride, and iodine. However, there are also lesser known trace minerals like copper, chromium, selenium manganese, silicon, boron, molybdenum, and manganese.
Why We Need Trace Mineral Supplements
Even though our body needs only small amounts of trace minerals, they are still very important in promoting our body’s good health and proper function. Each trace mineral provides a specific benefit to the body, and each trace mineral will still need one or more another mineral to achieve balance and ensure these minerals function properly. Considering that our body is not able to produce all of the required trace minerals for proper regulatory and structural function, taking trace mineral supplements is the recommended practice by healthcare professionals.
Take Regular Trace Mineral Supplements
Our body will use up the trace minerals it produces daily as chemical and electrical processes happen, so we need to constantly replenish them as well. By making sure that we provide our body with the proper balance and right amount of trace mineral supply to our system, we are helping our body to function properly and prevent deficiencies that may cause health problems.
Since we can only consume so much food per day without the guarantee that we are meeting and absorbing the recommended daily amount – we need to supplement whatever we are not able to consume by taking trace mineral capsules and this should be part of our daily routine.
Therefore, taking regular trace mineral supplement will support the proper physiological function of your body and prevent health issues.
Fortunately, now there are dedicated medical clinics that combine conventional medicine with proven alternative, complementary, and functional medical practices, like Agapé Nutrition. Agapé Nutrition is a dietary supplement dispensary, which the doctor uses to treat patients, and they also have retail through their website Agape Nutrition.
Agape Nutrition answers the need for trace mineral supplementation with their Protocols for Health, Methylation Minerals capsules.
List of Nutrients in Methylation Minerals
The Methylation Minerals capsules are suitable for anyone to take without risk of allergic reactions since these Methylation Minerals are free from the common allergens like milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat/gluten, corn, yeast, and soybean. Methylation Minerals are not only comprehensive but also hypoallergenic. It contains 11 essential trace mineral elements for health optimization:
- Iodine – this is needed to make thyroid hormones and is important for immune system function and breast health. Iodine controls the speed of how the body will make protein and will use the energy it produces.
- Zinc – this plays an important role in our sense of taste and smell. It also helps in the metabolism of melatonin, an essential hormone for healthy sleep.
- Selenium – this antioxidant protects our body cells and prevents cell damage.
- Copper – this mineral helps form collagen and increases iron absorption in the body to make hemoglobin and also helps in the production of energy. Cooper contributes to the functions of the central nervous system.
- Manganese – this is important for normal brain and nerve function throughout the body. Manganese helps to build cartilage and improves the response of the immune system.
- Chromium– this helps insulin metabolism and also in blood sugar regulation. It enhances the glucose absorption ability of the cells. It also breaks down fats and carbohydrates in the body.
- Molybdenum – this mineral activates the enzymes in the blood that have antioxidants and helps prevent cell damage. It also assists in the detoxification processes of the body.
- Potassium – this electrolyte maintains the healthy balance of fluids in the body. It supports the healthy function of the heart and promotes smooth muscle contractions.
- Boron – this helps to minimize the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis and reduce menopausal symptoms. Boron also helps the body better absorb other minerals like calcium and magnesium.
- Vanadium – this aids in the breakdown of glucose in the body and also regulates sodium. It helps our body maintain a balanced sugar level.
- Silicon– this is commonly referred to as a beautifying mineral since it takes care of our skin, hair, and nails. It also plays a role in preventing insomnia, skin disorders, and tuberculosis.
The Essential Supplement
The 11 trace elements found in Methylation Mineral capsules are the trace minerals that cannot be taken easily and absorbed through normal food intake. Hence, it is necessary to take a specialized supplement. This particular supplement will address the body’s need for these 11 trace elements.
The Perfect Balance
Methylation Mineral capsules is a perfect balance of the powerful trace mineral supplements in one capsule. This is a dietary supplement that you can take daily with food. To further enhance the benefits you can experience from taking Methylation Minerals capsule, it is recommended to take this with a four- to six-hour interval from Agape Daily with Active Folate. Methylation Minerals by itself though is already designed to provide all the trace mineral needed by the body for both men and women.
It must be noted that iron, while an important trace mineral, is not included in these capsules. The reason being that routine iron supplementation is not required in a majority of adult men and women.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Many years ago, it was easy for people to get the required vitamin and minerals for the body from the food that we eat. Unfortunately, today, it has become much more difficult with the changes in the environment and the way food is processed including the insecticides and the use of fertilizers.
Correct nutrition definition is essential to knowing our nutritional needs. Our bodies were made to work with the natural minerals in our food, the vitamins, and minerals that are in plants. These nutrients are absorbed by our body when we consume them. However, modern methods of processing these fresh foods are destroying the vitamin and mineral content.
Destruction of Nutrients
High heat and oxidation applied during food processing and preparation ultimately destroy the beneficial elements that our body needs. Vitamins and minerals from the soil are stripped away due to modern methods of agriculture and farming. The use of pesticides in agriculture also kill the beneficial microbes in our plants.
People who are busy rather rely on the ease of opening canned and processed food for their dietary needs. Fast food chains are also popular, especially for the kids. These things factor in how we farm, how we grow our food, and how we process have contributed to the need to augment the loss of natural vitamins and minerals with dietary supplements.
Necessity of Supplements
Our bodies are not capable of producing all the nutrients it requires, which is why it is necessary to look into vitamin and mineral supplements. Adequate and sufficient intake of vitamins and mineral is recommended to ensure optimal health, improve nutrition, promote muscle gain and fat loss and of course, prevent any vitamin and mineral deficiency. A good diet is the ideal start to good nutrition and making sure that taking high-quality vitamin and mineral supplements every day will further prevent deficiency and ensure a healthy body.
A Well-Balanced Supplement
It has become very important today more than ever that as we supplement our body with the vitamins and minerals that it needs its results to a healthy function of our systems. We need to carefully choose a well-balanced supplement that will be safe for our health and will complement our diet and lifestyle.
Knowing the right nutrition definition aids in selecting the best supplement to take away any worry you may have about not having enough vitamins and minerals in your body. Have a talk with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to work with you in planning a well-balanced diet and in determining the benefits you will gain from taking vitamins and mineral supplements. But don’t forget to exercise regularly, and avoid drinking and smoking.
Do you have more questions about nutrition definition? Share your thoughts and concern with us in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Any Disease.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 16, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.