Welcome to part two of our series on essential vitamins and nutrients. We all know that a healthy, balanced diet gives your body all the resources it needs to grow, to fight infection and function at peak efficiency. Our two part series is here to help you understand more about these essential vitamins – what they do and where do you get them.
Here’s part 2 on the top 20 essential nutrients, again in alphabetical order, for your information.
This group of nutrients adds to the power of vitamin C, and act as anti-inflammatories. Together they’re believed to protect against some very serious disease. They’re found most especially in berries and other fruits, dried beans and grains.
12. Folic Acid
This much discussed nutrient promotes the development of red blood cells and it’s also important for the healthy development of unborn babies in the first 12 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. This is why doctors want women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy to take a 400mg supplement until the end of that first three months. Dietary sources include fortified breakfast cereals, dark leafy green veggies, pulses and liver (except in pregnancy).
An unexpected addition, this nutrient supports the workings of the thyroid gland that keeps cells and the body’s metabolic rate in the healthy range. You find it in shellfish, sea fish and in the cow’s milk of grass-fed cows.
A nutrient that’s key for the healthy production of the hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Found in red meat, particularly liver, those dark leafy veggies, beans, nuts, dried fruit, soybean flour, tofu, whole grains and some fortified breads/cereals. If you ingest vitamin C at the same time, this helps the body absorb iron better.
15. Vitamin K
This key nutrient naturally helps blood clot properly and is a part of leafy green veggies, cereals and vegetable oils.
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Top Essential Vitamins And Minerals (Part 2 ) Continued…
A mineral that’s key to bone health, good circulation and muscle relaxation. It’s a part of nuts, seeds, soybeans, baked beans, pulses, dark leafy green veggies, breakfast cereals, fish, meat, whole meal bread, milk and dried apricots.
17. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Not only do these nutrients improve your heart health, they also bring down triglycerides in the blood, lowering those overall cholesterol numbers. They are a part of oily fish (tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon) as well as mussels, cod, swordfish and shark, flaxseeds and walnuts.
This is an often overlooked nutrient that’s vital for muscle and nerve function, for keeping the chemical balance in the body, regulating body fluids and blood pressure. It’s naturally a part of sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, kidney beans, bread, shellfish, nuts, seeds, raw fruit and veggies, dried herbs, jacket potatoes, yeast extract, clams, whelks and dark chocolate.
This essential mineral helps to guard against the damage caused by free radicals, while also promoting the healthy growth of tissues and cells, and strengthening the immune system. You find it in Brazil nuts, chicken, oily fish and eggs.
The last of the nutrients has a key job, promoting a healthy immune system, making new cells and enzymes, encouraging the digestive system to break down foods. It is a part of shellfish, red meat, turkey, seeds, milk, bread and cereals.
There you have it – the basics on all the essential vitamins and minerals that should be a part of your healthy diet.
To your good health,