Saturday, August 20, 2011

6 essential Nutrients Everyone Needs to Stay Healthy

When it comes right down to it there are certain things that everyone needs in order to be healthy. Most of the time people are lacking in at least one of the essential nutrients because they don’t eat right, or are trying to lose weight so they aren’t eating enough, or because they just plain don’t like fruits and vegetables or other foods that provide these nutrients. Whether you get them in a vitamin or a supplement or get them from food these are the six nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly:

1. Vitamins

Vitamins are the fuel that your body uses to create new tissue, new cells, and to keep all the systems in the body running properly. Without vitamins you can’t survive. Vitamins are essential for life and good


2. Minerals

Minerals often need to be taken as supplements because modern diets don’t give people the traceminerals that their bodies need in order to function properly anymore. Minerals are what helps your body digest food and keep your metabolism running properly. Without the right minerals you won’t be able to process food effectively in order to get the vitamins that the body needs.

3. Amino Acids

Amino acids are essential because the body uses them to produce hormones, neurotransmitters and other chemicals that help maintain the body’s delicate chemical balance. Lack of amino acids can lead to severe imbalances that can cause a lot of unpleasant conditions.

4. Fat

Even though fat is vilified as the source of obesity human beings need fat in their diets. Fat is stored in the body for energy. Fat also keeps the brain functioning well and helps protect the body from damage and temperature changes. There is evidence that eating ‘healthy fats’ can help manage chronic conditions like Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. You shouldn’t go overboard when eating fat but you do need some fat to survive.

5. Protein

Protein is one of the key building blocks of the body. Protein is the main source of energy for the body. Protein also helps build muscle and it is essential to help the body repair damage and keep all the systems of the

body running efficiently.

6. Carbohydrates

Even though some weight loss plans promote the idea that you don’t need carbohydrates

your body does in fact need carbohydrates. Carbs give you energy, and without them you will soon find yourself unable to do even simple tasks. In order to have the energy that you need to get yourself out of bed each day and function in the world you need to eat at least a minimal amount of carbs everyday.

What Types of Kids Need to Take Vitamins?

Almost all kids but especially these kids:

• Kids who don’t get healthy, nutritious meals on a regular basis

• Kids who eat a lot of processed foods like macaroni and cheese

• Kids who are very picky about what they will and won’t eat

• Kids who have medical conditions that restrict the foods they can eat, like digestive problems

• Kids who are on medications

• Very active kids

• Kids who play competitive sports.

• Vegetarian kids – Kids do not get enough vitamins and nutrients from a vegetarian diet. It’s very important to supplement your child’s diet if you feed your child as a vegetarian

• Kids who drink sodas regularly – carbonated sodas and beverages will leech the vitamins and minerals right out of children’s’ bodies, which is one more reason you shouldn’t give kids soda.

Vitamins and Supplements for Children

Ideally children would get the vitamins and minerals that they need to grow up strong and healthy by eating a balanced, nutritious diet. But that doesn’t happen too often today. Too often parents are rushed and don’t have time to make the most nutritious meals and just pick up a pizza on the way from the office at night. Kids that are picky might refuse to eat healthy meals and prefer junk food or fast food instead of healthy meals. So parents need to give children vitamins.

While children are growing they need to get a certain amount of particular vitamins and minerals or else their bodies and minds won’t develop the way that they should. Malnutrition or even just poor nutrition can cause developmental disabilities and other problems that can last throughout a child’s life.

Child health experts don’t always agree on whether or not all children should take a daily multivitamin. Some parents prefer to give kids only the particular vitamins that they might be lacking based on the types of foods that they will or won’t eat. Still, in order to make sure that their kids get what they need many parents do give their kids a multi-vitamin everyday just to make sure that the child is getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins and Supplements During Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant it’s essential that she take extra vitamins. The fetus will need a great deal of vitamins and minerals from the mother’s body and if those vitamins aren’t replaced the mother could develop serious health problems and the baby could also suffer in the long run. If you were going to get all the extra vitamins and minerals that you need during pregnancy from eating alone you’d need to be eating 24 hours a day.

Pregnant women are usually prescribed pre-natal vitamins that have super high levels of certain vitamins that are crucial for the woman’s health and the fetus’ health. A woman that isn’t on pre-natal vitamins should take extra vitamins and supplements to make sure that she is getting the nutrients her body needs to support the fetus. The vitamins that especially important during pregnancy are:

Vitamin A & Beta Carotene (700 mcg) –Vitamin A is essential for growing bones and keeping bones and teeth strong.

Vitamin D (5 mcg) Vitamin D is a “helping vitamin” that helps your body process calcium. Vitamin D also helps keeps bones and teeth strong.

Vitamin E (15 mg)-Vitamin E is essential to keep your red blood cells working properly and to help muscle growth in the fetus.

Vitamin C (80 - 85 mg) - Vitamin C will help boost your immune system and keep you strong and healthy during the pregnancy.

Thiamin/B1 (1.4 mg) Thiamin helps support the nervous system and will give you energy.

Riboflavin/B2 (1.4 mg) Riboflavin helps keep your skin clear and healthy and will help the development of the fetus’ eyes.

Niacin/B3 (18 mg) Niacin will help manage your hormones and keep you calm.

Pyridoxine/B6 (1.9 mg) Works to create new red blood cells and will help fight off morning sickness.

Folic Acid/Folate (600 mcg) - Folic Acid is critical to the healthy development of the fetus. It helps

maintain the placenta and it prevents several birth defects.

Calcium (1,000 - 1,300 mg)-Calcium is needed by you and the fetus for strong bones, healthy teeth,

and strong red blood cells.

Iron (27 mg) –It’s essential that you take an iron supplement during pregnancy. Iron will help prevent anemia, which is one of the most common problems women face during pregnancy. It will also help prevent low birth weight in the fetus and premature delivery.

Protein (60 mg) –Protein will give you energy. It will also help stimulate the production of amino acids.

Zinc (11-12 mg) –Zinc will help your immune system stay strong and healthy and it will also help

your body produce insulin and other enzymes that you need in order to keep your body and the fetus


Vitamins and Supplements to Help Insomnia

Insomnia is a disorder that most people suffer from at point or another. For some people insomnia is caused by a hectic period or at work or a time of personal stress and goes away after work dies down or the stress is resolved. But for other people insomnia is a chronic condition that can have serious effects on their health.

Going without sleep for a long period of time can cause a loss of mental function, clumsiness, impaired judgment, and other problems. That’s why if you have had trouble sleeping for more than a week you should really try taking something to help you sleep. Most people are afraid to try prescription sleep medicine because they don’t want to get addicted. Even over the counter medicines that are made to help people sleep are avoided by people that don’t want to become dependent on a sleeping pill.

There are herbs and supplements that you can take to help you sleep if you are routinely having trouble sleeping. Because they are all natural they are not habit forming and you won’t have to worry about any side effects or about becoming addicted to them. Herbal sleeping remedies are usually cheaper than prescription medications and easier to get too.

The best herbal supplements to cure insomnia are kava kava, melatonin, and valerian root. Kava kava and valerian root can be taken in a tea form or in a pill form. All three of these supplements should be taken about an hour before you want to actually sleep so that they have time to be processed and broken down by your body. You will usually start to feel sleepy within a half an hour of taking the recommended dose of these herbs.

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