At the cellular level, we need vitamins and minerals to survive. Without them, our bodies could suffer from various symptoms of vitamin or mineral deficiency. For example, our immune system could weaken, increasing the risk of getting a cold, the flu, allergies, and other ailments. Our cells will not have the fuel they need to do their work. When this happens, your body will begin to suffer from symptoms of deficiency. People across the world are suffering from a lack of essential minerals and vitamins. Millions of red blood cells in the body are constantly dying and being replaced, some of them being renewed every second, and certain vitamins and minerals can help with that by improving circulation and blood flow. Generally, you can get the right substance from food – good, wholesome, natural food. Every part of your body sustained through the nutrients you get from food, from the hair on your head to your eyes, teeth, bones, blood and flesh.
The optimal way to ensure that you are getting a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet is to eat a healthy amount of raw fruits and vegetables daily. The biggest problem we are facing today in the world of nutrition, is that people are eating far too much processed and cooked foods. When we cook our food, the heat can destroy certain essential nutrients of the food. Yes, you can argue that some nutrients remain, but we know that in a raw state, nutrients stay intact along with enzymes, which play a very important role in helping with digestion. Enzymes are the catalyst that help break food down. In my practice as a naturopath, I often see people eating well, yet don’t appear to be benefiting from the nutrients, because of digestive issues. As we age, our natural production of enzymes begin to decrease so that we need to get them from an outside source, such as from fruits and vegetables. If we do not eat a good balance of raw and cooked food, we will be lacking these enzymes for sure, and proper digestion will suffer.
Studies do show that there are certain minerals that a majority of people fail to get enough of. These include vitamins D, E, and C, along with the minerals calcium and magnesium. The big problem with supplements is that they are isolated. It is difficult to put the required amount of minerals and vitamins in one pill. This is why purchasing ‘one a day” supplements could be a waste of time and money, if you’re not getting nutrients from other sources. For example, for proper absorption (our bodies work synergistically), our cells absorb calcium best with magnesium, potassium and sodium. For this reason, it is best to get your vitamins and minerals from real food, and not in isolation.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A balance of vitamin A and D is important, but it is best to get them from a combination of food and sun. I like supplementing with D3 from algae in a gummy, which is easy for people to absorb and best taken in combination with calcium coming from sea vegetables. There are some companies that produce a good, organic calcium filled with sea minerals. Foods rich in vitamin E include cold-pressed vegetable oils, spinach, other dark green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and sweet potatoes . Vitamin C is available in numerous fruits, including grapefruit, lemons, mangoes, papayas, as well as in dark green leafy vegetables .
If eating these types of food is a problem for you, here are a few tips that can help boost your intake of vitamins and minerals
Juicing is key! I try to encourage my clients to invest in a good quality juicer as this is the best way to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. You can ease digestion with juicing as the absorption of nutrients is quicker.
Adding sprouts to your salad allows you to extract more vitamins and minerals from the food you eat as they are full of enzymes.
Bone broth is very trendy at the moment and is a great and easy way to add minerals and amino acids to your day! It is very easy to do yourself.
There is no need to purchase this pre-made, as it will not be as beneficial and is likely to be processed. There are many recipes available on the internet!
By Frances Michaelson
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