Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Do I Really Need To Take Vitamins and Minerals If I Eat A Good Diet?

Aug. 11, 2015

Dear Cathy:

I eat a good diet at every meal.  I juice, steam or blend all my foods and I am a vegetarian.  So do I really need to take vitamins and minerals everyday?  Good Diet, Florida

Dear Good Diet:

Vitamin deficiencies are common in the United States. The majority of people who should be taking vitamin and mineral supplements are people who are eating poor diets, pregnant women and senior citizens.

Vitamins and minerals are essential to life. Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs to work properly. They boost the immune system, promote normal growth and development, and help cells regenerate.

Vitamins fall into two categories, fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body.  The water-soluble vitamins, C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate), need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them.

Because of this, your body can’t store these vitamins. Any vitamin C or B that your body doesn’t use as it passes through your system, is lost especially through urination. So you need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.

Your body needs larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you only need very small amounts of them each day.
Before you take any other supplement, start with a moderately high-potency multi-vitamin. There are a lot of different types on the market.  High-potency supplements provide more value for your money, and some are formulated for men’s health, women’s health, diabetes, pregnancy, etc. 

For more on how vitamins work read "How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide To Becoming Healthier Over the Next 30 Days" -- available as an e-book or paperback.

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