Vitamins and Minerals Role Sources Symptoms of Deficiency
A and beta-carotene Vitamin A, together with the carotenoids, in fruit like mangoes, maintains the skin, eyes, lungs and mucous membranes. Yellow and green fruits and vegetables, with particular high levels in mangoes and carrots and Brussels sprouts, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, whole milk Dry skin, soft teeth, skin blemishes, lack of energy
B1 (Thiamin) Without these important vitamins your brain and central nervous system would not work efficiently. They are needed for memory, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, and cell repair. The health of the skin and hair depends on a reliable source of these vitamins. Sunflower seeds, nuts, brown rice, cereals, virtually every fruit and most vegetables (especially potatoes) Irritability, sensitivity to noise, emotional instability, lack of appetite, constipation
B2 (Riboflavin) Whole grains (brown rice, oats, millet), almonds and Brussel sprouts are good sources, but all fruit and vegetables contain some of all the B vitamins Burning eyes, cracks around the mouth, loss of hair, sore tongue, dizziness
B3 (Niacin) Whole grains, all fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds Depression, cold sores, migraine, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, skin problems
B6 (Pyridoxine) Whole grains, prunes, peas, all fruit and vegetables Depression, irritability, learning disabilities, arthritis, hair loss
B12 (Cobalamin) Dairy products, trace amounts found in many fruits and vegetables such as dates, bananas and carrots. Manufactured in healthy intestines Psychotic symptoms, mood disorders, speech difficulties, nervous tension, lack of energy
Biotin Whole grains, nuts (sunflower seeds), legumes and most fruit (bananas) and vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes) and foods like liver, butter, eggs, rice, peas, soybeans,
milk, brewer’s yeast,
Lack of energy, sleeplessness, grey skin colour, lack of appetite
Choline Nuts, whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables High blood pressure, bleeding ulcers, liver and heart problems
Folic Acid It works together with the B vitamins to maintain good health and is also essential for the formation of red blood cells. Taking folic acid in supplement form can mask a serious vitamin B12 deficiency. However the folic acid present in fruit is completely safe. Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruit and vegetables Anaemia, toxaemia, slow growth, mental problems
Vitamin C It aids in healing of wounds and it fights bacterial infections. It also facilitates the usage of other vitamins by the body, and is essential for the absorption of iron Raw fruits and vegetables, with particularly high levels in citrus fruits, guavas and salad peppers, Collard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, white potatoes,
strawberries, green peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, berries
Dental cavities, low resistance to infection, fatigue
Vitamin D It is essensial for the absorption of calcium, and the body also uses it to assimilate phosphorous (used in turn for bone and teeth formation) Natural sunlight Rickets, metabolism disorders, soft bones and teeth, sleeplessness
Vitamin E This is an important antioxidant vital to healthy endocrine (or hormonal) function. The endocrine system controls almost every function in the body, including reproduction, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, metabolism, appetite and heart, liver, lung, skin and kidney function. A shortage of this vitamin can result in heart disease. All nuts and seeds (and cold pressed oils), olives, some fruits (mangoes), vegetables Premature births and problems with liver, kidneys, skin, nails and circular system
Vitamin F (Essential Fatty Acids) Fats are essential for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats and oils provide essential fatty acids, which are vital for the normal function of the pituitary gland and indeed, the entire hormonal system. All nuts and seeds, cold pressed vegetable oils (flax seed and olive oil). Found in most fruit and vegetables in minute but usable amounts Allergies, growth problems, concentration and learning problems, immune deficiency, respiratory problems
Vitamin K Necessary for the formation of prothrombin in the liver, which is essential for the clotting of blood. Citrus fruits, cherries, grapes, apricots Easy bruising, bleeding gums, same symptoms as Vitamin C deficiency
Calcium Calcium is needed for healthy teeth and bones, and also to maintain the correct pH levels in the blood. Calcium helps your heart function efficiently and it plays an important role in the central nervous system too. It is essential for muscle contraction and for blood clotting. Every single nut, seed, fruit and vegetable contains this in the most usable form Nervousness, heart problems, tooth decay, joint pains, loss of bone density
Magnesium Magnesium is needed in a variety of ways by the body, from protein synthesis and energy production, to nervous function and muscle contraction. All of this is vital in managing stress. Cashew nuts, spinach, whole grain bread, cereals, dried fruit,
nonfat and low fat milk, yogurt, nuts, seeds, legumes, most
fruits and vegetables
Irritability, confusion, diarrhea, kidney problems, malabsorption of nutrients
Potassium Among its many uses, potassium is intricately involved in nerve conduction and brain function. It maintains normal heart rhythm and regulates the body’s water balance. As it is an alkaline mineral it helps maintain the correct pH level in the blood for perfect health All fruit (cantaloupe, bananas, apricots) and vegetables (potatoes, turnips and mustard greens), nuts and seeds. Meat, fish and cereals Constipation, fatigue, acne, weak muscles
Zinc This trace element is essential for normal cell growth, development of the reproductive organs, healing of wounds, manufacture of protein and it also assists the body in the utilisation of vitamin A. White spots on the nails can indicate a shortage of zinc. All plant food especially raw nuts and seeds. Nuts (cashews, peanuts), yogurt, whole
grain products, legumes, meats, fish, poultry, seeds and eggs
Fatigue, growth retardation, poor appetite, no desire for healthy foods, poor ability to produce healthy sperms with men
Sodium Both these minerals are needed for multiple essential functions. Sodium, for example, helps regulate the body’s fluid volumes, and is involved in the conduction of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscles. All fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds
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