An A-Z of what our bodies need

We all know that we should get mlore exercise and eat more healthy foods but what is it that our bodies need and what do vitamins and minerals do for us? Which foods are most effective with high levels of vitamins that we should incorporate into our diets? Let’s take a look at what each one does and why we need it:

Vitamin A – this is one that is good for our eyes, teeth and skin and for growth and development. It can be found in carrots, sweet potato and other orange foods which mean they have carotene pigment in them.

B Vitamins – great for production of energy, to help our immune system and incredibly important for iron absorption which is needed to keep our blood healthy for supplying the body with the oxygen it needs. These vitamins can be found in whole grains, bananas, chili peppers, beans and potatoes.

Vitamin C – probably one of the most well-known, this is good for the skin, strengthening blood vessels and again, iron absorption. Found in oranges, guava, peppers, strawberries, sprouts and kiwi.

Vitamin D – needed for looking after your bones. Getting out in the sunshine for a while is a good and free way of absorbing some of this and you can also get it from eggs, mushrooms and fish.

Vitamin E – for protection against free radicals and to help blood circulation, the best food is the almond which is super rich in Vitamin E. Sunflower seeds, other nuts and tomatoes will also give you a boost of this.

Vitamin K – perhaps a less well known one but essential for effective clotting of blood. Leafy vegetables are the best source which include kale, spinach, sprouts and broccoli.

Iron – spinach is also great for iron, along with cereal, liver, beans and broccoli. Iron is essential for helping to build muscle and keeping your blood in good condition. An iron deficiency can lead to tiredness and dizziness and it’s sometimes difficult to absorb enough from diet alone, particularly for women. Liquid Iron Supplements can be an effective measure to boost iron levels. For more information, try Blueiron Liquid Iron Supplement.

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Zinc – you might find it odd that metals should be in our system but zinc is good for immunity, fertility and growth. Spinach makes it onto the list again (I guess Popeye knew his stuff) seafood, cashews, beans and dark chocolate are all sources of this mineral.

Calcium – we’ve all heard of this one and know that it comes from dairy including yoghurts, milk, cheese and tofu. Essential for teeth and bones.

Folic Acid – a familiar one here for any woman who has ever been pregnant, folic acid is known for preventing birth defects. It’s also useful in the process of cell renewal and can be found in cereal, broccoli, citrus fruits, nuts, peas, lentils and asparagus.

Chromium – this substance makes sure that every cell in your body gets the energy it needs and looks after glucose function. If you’re eating plenty of whole grains, herbs and fresh vegetables then your levels of chromium should be just fine.