Vitamins and Minerals – What Do They Do?


Guru's of Penmai
Feb 5, 2011
Health experts often advise us to make sure we have adequate portions of fruit and vegetables to ensure that we get the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. But what are these vitamins and minerals and what do they do? Here’s a brief guide. Vitamins – A Guide
Some of the main vitamins we need to ingest include Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine), Vitamin B2 (aka riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B9 (folic acid), as well as Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Here’s what the vitamins do.
* Vitamin A enables cell reproduction, health skin and hair, growth of bones and teeth and helps the immune system.
* Vitamin B1 converts carbs into energy to help the body run and assists the working of the heart, muscles and nervous system.
* Vitamin B2 is useful for the release of energy, as well as growth, reproduction and the production of red blood cells.
* Vitamin B3 is another energy builder, helping you to digest food and convert it to energy. It also helps with nerves and skin.
* Vitamin B5 helps your body to metabolize food, form good cholesterol and produce hormones.
* Vitamin B6 aids the functioning of the nervous system, the creation of antibodies to disease and the formation of red blood cells.
* Vitamin B9 is a key one for pregnant women, as it aids the development of embryos. It assists the formation of DNA, the nervous system, cells and brain function.
* Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, fights free radicals and viruses.
* Vitamin E, another antioxidant, helps broken skin to heal.
Minerals – A Guide
Some of the important minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. Here’s how these minerals help us.
* Calcium can help combat insomnia, and is also useful for the nervous system, blood clotting and muscle contractions.
* Copper helps with the formation of red blood cells, the body’s oxygen supply and the ability to store and use iron.
* Iron is necessary to help children learn and behave well. Lack of iron can cause tiredness and weakness and can affect the nervous system.
* Magnesium is key for the formation of new cells, blood clotting, energy production, the activation of B vitamins and absorption of other vitamins. It’s also useful for the secretion of insulin and for bone health.
* Manganese is important for thyroid function and the secretion of enyzmes relating to blood sugar.
* Phosphorus assists the formation of nerves, bones and teeth.
* Potassium assists growth and heart function and regulates the balance of water in the body.
* Selenium is an anti-oxidant that works with vitamin E.
* Sodium helps with blood volume, blood pressure and the working of muscles and nerves.
*Zinc helps the immune system, assists the body to metabolize carbs and protein and aids growth, sight and healing.



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