Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Breathing ?
Which of the following health conditions is not directly benefited by breathing exercises?
Anxiety
Fatigue
Diabetes
High blood pressure

 
 
 Naturopathic Medicine: The ABCs of Vitamins and Minerals  
 
Lauri Aesoph M. ND ©
We are in the midst of a nutritional explosion. Information about vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is being thrust at us everyday. We are told that this vitamin cures this ailment and that food is bad for us. It's so confusing and frustrating you don't know what to believe.

You're not alone. While our nutritional knowledge is expanding all the time, we still have much to learn. It is even difficult for doctors and nutritionists to keep up and sort out what's what. However, there are a few basic facts about vitamins and minerals you should know in order to help you decide when, how, and why to use them.

What are Vitamins and Minerals
Scientists have known that vitamins are vital to life since the days of ancient Egypt. We only need small amounts of these "accessory food factors" for survival, but without them we become very sick or die. Vitamins play a number of roles in the body ranging from metabolism to converting food into energy.

Although vitamins are each different substances chemically speaking, most of them must come from our food. Some can be formed from other compounds. For example vitamin A can be made from beta-carotene. Others are partly manufactured by the body. Friendly microorganisms that live in the gut help make vitamins K, B12, thiamin, and folic acid. Our skin uses sunshine to create vitamin D.

Unlike vitamins, minerals make up a much larger portion of the body--up to five percent. There are two classifications of minerals required for health: the macronutrient elements and the trace elements. The trace minerals such as arsenic, chromium, copper, and tin are needed in minute quantities, but are still essential for survival.

Recommended Daily Allowances
The best way to get your vitamins and minerals is through food. Taking nutrients in pill form, while often necessary, is not ideal. There is undoubtedly a balance between nutrients in whole, fresh, organically grown foods that is difficult to replicate. Not only are we still dissecting how and what nutrients comprise our diet, but when man tries to imitate nature the results usually fall short. For instance, breast milk with its mysterious nutritional mixture is still infinitely better for a baby than infant formula.

The Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were created as a guideline to vitamin and mineral requirements. First presented 50 years ago, the RDAs have provided ongoing information based on current scientific data. Understanding and research have, of course, changed over the years. Even today incomplete information and varying expert opinions create disagreements as to exact nutrient levels. RDA experts acknowledge that incomplete data makes it impossible for them to set RDAs for all vitamins and minerals.

In order to simplify their charts, the RDA subcommittee say their information is intended for healthy people. Each RDA is meant to be an average figure that is safe and adequate. These numbers obviously don't fit everyone. Although RDA values are given for different age groups and sex, only one body size is used per category. For instance, women 25 to 50 years old are assumed to be five foot four inches and 138 pounds--the average weight and height for women in this age group.

In reality each of us is not only a different size, but we have different nutrient needs. Sex, age, where we live, as well as our diet, health, physical activity, biochemical individuality, and ability to absorb food elements all determine how much vitamins and minerals we require. It is these factors that make RDA charts so difficult to compose. Your individuality is also what dictates whether you need vitamin and mineral supplements (1).

CONTINUED    1  2  3  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Thinking, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar