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Vitamins and Minerals

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When do you know that your body is running short of Vitamins and Minerals?

The body is a great barometer and by listening to its messages, we can glean a lot about our general health and wellbeing. Pain, sluggishness or a feeling of imbalance may be a sign that the body is need of certain vitamins or minerals.

Vitamins function in conjunction with enzymes to allow chemical reactions in the cells and tissues to proceed effortlessly. They also assist with bodily functions like balancing hormone levels, reducing infection, promoting growth and controlling metabolism. There are two types of vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins which are stored in the body's fatty tissue, and water-soluble vitamins which must be used by the body immediately. Water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C or B are lost if not used by the body, so you need a fresh supply of them every day.

Minerals are essential for almost every function in the body and some even become fully incorporated into the body’s structures. For example; calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous are all found in the bones of the skeleton. Other minerals like magnesium, zinc and copper act as co-enzymes and help with metabolism in the body. Some minerals, like iron have a very specific function. Iron forms part of the haemoglobin in red blood cells and is essential for the transportation of oxygen throughout the body.

It is vital that the body has exactly the correct amount of vitamins and minerals. Too little and there is a deficiency and too much and the body may become toxic. If there is too much of one mineral in the body, it may have a negative effect on the absorption of another mineral.

We get vitamins and minerals from the food that we eat, because the human body either does not produce enough of them, or none at all. Sometimes it may also be necessary to add vitamin and mineral supplements to our diet as we do not get enough of them from the food that we eat. Certain vitamins and minerals may also be lost during the cooking process.

So, if you are not eating a balanced diet which consists of fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis and find that you continue to get colds and flu or cold sores, consider taking a Vitamin C and Zinc supplement.

Stress may increase the requirements of certain vitamins and minerals and anyone who is under a lot pressure may benefit taking a supplement of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin E and Magnesium.

If you are involved in a lot of physical activity, you may need extra doses of Iron, Zinc and Vitamins A, C and E.

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