Vitamins and minerals are extremely important nutrients for your body’s proper development. A balanced diet must have an excellent combination of all the nutrients along with vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy, functional and protect you from a variety of diseases.
Vitamins are organic substances present in natural food items that must be consumed in small quantities, as the human body cannot synthesize them on its own. Vitamins are of two types, fat-soluble vitamins which include vitamin A, D, E, and K. These are found in animal fats, dairy products, vegetable oil, and fish oil. The other type of vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin, which includes vitamin C, B, and folic acid which are found in grains, fruits and vegetables, and milk or dairy products.
Minerals are elements that are present on the earth and food and are a necessity to live. They are divided into two categories which are micro-minerals, like calcium, potassium, chloride, sodium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The other type is trace minerals, which include iron, copper, zinc, selenium, fluoride, iodine, and chromium.
It is extremely important to have a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals and therefore, one must try to incorporate a variety of food items to achieve that balance. Here are some food items which are high in nutrition:
Grain food is low in fat, rich in fiber and carbohydrates. Grains comprise water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, D, and folic acid, which make them a superfood. This food item stops you from overeating as grains help you feel full for long.
Ancient grains like millet, quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum are high in minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese, which boost immunity to your body. Go for grain products like whole wheat pasta or white pasta, Whole-grain (wheat or rye) crackers, pieces of bread, and rolls, brown or white rice, and such products and avoid refined grain options.
Fruits and vegetables
Tropical fruits like bananas, pineapple, pomegranate, guava, mangos, apple, and passion fruit are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Fruits are an amazing source of both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins and minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or leafy greens are a significant source of vitamins. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and carrots, and pumpkins are packed with fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. You must replace refined carbs like rice and pasta with such food items to get proper nutritional intake for a healthy body.
Multivitamins and mineral supplements
Sometimes, food items are not enough to level out the deficiency in the body, in that case, one can switch to supplements. Deficiency of these nutrients can lead to heart diseases, cancer, bone issues, vision weakness, in short, can completely devour your body’s mechanism.
There is a daily requirement of a body, which is a bare minimum of the nutrients we need to prevent major diseases. This need fluctuates based on sex and age. Therefore, if the body cannot meet the required amount, one must go for multivitamins or mineral supplements as prescribed by the doctor. You can buy medicine online, based on the multivitamins prescribed by your doctor. This must note that none of these supplements must be consumed without proper prescription.
Dairy and dairy substitutes
One must go for skim milk, low-fat milk, or dairy substitutes like yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, and string cheese. These food products are excellent sources of calcium, minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and zinc and have both water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. You can go for evaporated skim milk in your coffee or tea rather than using cream. You can also replace yogurt in place of sour cream. For older people, milk or dairy products are a must because they need calcium in their bodies as compared to younger people.
Fish is a vitamin-rich food and consists of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D and B2. Fish is a significant source of mineral-like phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. This food product can lower blood pressure and can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Fish acts as an aid for healthy brain function and helps in developing vision among infants and nerves during pregnancy.
Organic meat is among the most mineral-dense food items and is rich in copper, zinc, iron, and phosphorus. Organic meat is a substantial source of vitamin A, D, E, K, and B12. Organ meat has Folate vitamin which is necessary for producing red and white blood cells in bone marrow, producing DNA and RNA.
Eggs are referred to as nature’s multivitamin because of their nutritional value. Eggs are rich in almost all the vitamins along they have selenium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, folate, and protein. This food item helps in fighting cancer and helps in improving your immune system. And is rich in Omega-3 and is a provider of healthy fats. Egg yolk contains cholesterol, but it is good cholesterol, which lowers the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are substantial sources of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. They help in regulating body weight and the fat for nuts and seeds is not entirely absorbed by the body, which further gets converted into energy. Nuts and seeds have unsaturated fats which protect against heart diseases. It is suggested to consume 30 grams of nuts and seeds every day as a part of a healthy diet for adults.
Minerals and vitamins are vital to your body and maintaining the right level is extremely important. There are other food products like beans, avocados, berries, cocoa, and sardines which are packed with vitamins and minerals and contain other nutrients like fiber.
You must always choose a diet that is nutrient-rich (or nutrient-dense) and low in sugar, sodium, starches, and bad fats. Eating food that is high in calories and low in micronutrients and has added sugar, sodium (salt), and saturated or trans fats can lead to weight gain, increase the risk of health issues like diabetes and heart diseases. Try adding some or all the food items on the list and improve the overall quality of your diet.