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Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are any of certain special substances required for the normal growth and nourishment of the body, found especially in milk, butter, raw fruits and vegetables, brewers' yeast, wheat, and cod liver oil. Lack of vitamins in diets causes such disease as rickets and scurvy, as well as general poor health.

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, that is, it dissolves in fat, and can be stored in the body; so you do not need to eat vitamin A everyday. Vitamin A increases the resistance of the body to infections, and prevents night blindness. Vitamin A is most plentiful in foods like Apricots, Beef Liver, Carrots, Egg Yolk, Fish Liver Oil, Sweet Potato, Turnip, and Leafy Green Vegetables.

B Vitamins are soluble in water. They are lost when you throw away water in which meats or vegetables have been cooked. They are harmed also by light and heat. Riboflavin, one of the B vitamins also Vitamin G, is destroyed in a bottle of milk left in the sunlight for more than an hour, on a moderately sunny day. B Vitamins are biotin, choline, inositol, niacin, pantothenic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, and Vitamin B 12. B Vitamins should be taken all together, and may do serious harm if taken separately in large doses. B Vitamins are mostly found in foods such as Chicken, Egg Yolk, Fresh Raw Fruits, Legumes, Milk, Organ Meats (heart, liver, kidney), Peanuts, Soybeans, Wheat Germ, Whole Grains, and Vegetables.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is the anti scorbutic vitamin found especially in citrus fruits. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, the most perishable of all. They are also sensitive to air and heat, and loose most of their value if left unrefrigerated for several days. All fruits and vegetables should be refrigerated at all times until they are ready to be eaten. They should also be cut, sliced, chopped, etc., when they are about to be eaten, and not before, as each cut surface exposed, releases vitamin C. Vitamin C is most common in foods such as Broccoli, Cantaloupe, Cauliflower, Citrus Fruits, Collard Green, Fresh Peas, Green Pepper, Raw Cabbage, Tomato, Strawberry, and Watercress. The richest source of vitamin C is Rose Hips (the fruit of the rose tree left after the flowers fade). Rose Hips can be pureed and stored for use in the winter.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. It appears only in foods of animal origin, and from the sun's rays. Vitamin D is necessary for the growth and health of bones and teeth. It must also be present for us to properly use up calcium and phosphorous. Fish Liver Oil is the richest source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is most commonly found in Butter, Eggs, Fish Liver Oil, Herring, Liver, Mackerel, Milk, Salmon, Sardine, and Tuna Fish.

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. it protects the body's store of vitamin A and C, so you will need less of these two vitamins if you consume enough vitamin E. The chief sources of vitamin E are Cereal Oils, Vegetables, and Whole Grain Cereals. Vitamin E is also commonly found in Corn Oil, Cotton Seed Oil, Peanut Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Spinach, Wheat Germ, and Wheat Germ Oil.

Vitamin P is a vitamin that promotes capillary resistance to hemorrhaging. It works very well with vitamin C. Vitamin P is most common in Citrus Fruits (when eaten as is, not juiced or strained), Black Currants, Grapes, Green Peppers, Paprika, Plums, Prunes, and Rose Hips.

Minerals are any substances that are neither plant nor animal, and are obtained by mining. Minerals are also actual constituents of body tissue. They take part in many important processes, along with vitamins and enzymes. Some minerals are calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium.

Calcium is a silvery, moderately hard metallic element, constituting approximately three percent of the earth's crust; a basic component of bone, shells, and leaves. Good sources of the mineral calcium include milk, cheese and other dairy foods, green leafy vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage and okra), soyabeans, tofu, soya drinks with added calcium, nuts, bread and anything made with fortified flour, and fish where you eat the bones, such as sardines.

Iron is an essential mineral. Good sources of iron include liver, meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit (such as dried apricots), whole grains (such as brown rice), fortified breakfast cereals, soybean flour and most dark green leafy vegetables (such as watercress and curly kale).

Phosphorus is a major mineral and most of it is stored in your bones. Lesser amounts are found in your teeth, DNA, and cell membranes throughout your body. Phosphorus is necessary for building strong bones and is important for many biochemical reactions such as converting the foods you eat into the energy your body needs every day. Phosphorus also helps with muscle contraction, nerve conduction and normal kidney function. Phosphorus is found in red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, bread, rice and oats.

Magnesium is an essential mineral which is found in the muscles, soft tissues and body fluids. It works in conjunction with calcium and helps relax muscles. The richest sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables (such as spinach) and nuts. Other sources include bread, fish, meat and dairy foods.

Potassium is a mineral found in most types of food. It is necessary for normal growth and for making proteins from amino acids that come from your diet. Potassium is also needed for metabolizing carbohydrates. Good sources of potassium include fruits such as bananas, citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, beef, dark leafy green vegetables and dairy products.

Sodium Chloride is commonly known as salt. Salt is found naturally at low levels in all foods, but high levels are added to many processed foods such as ready meals, meat products such as bacon, some breakfast cereals, cheese, some tinned vegetables, some bread and savory snacks.

Sulphur is a mineral found in all cells of the body and helps maintain healthy hair, skin, bones and tendons. Sulphur is an essential element in the production of amino acids, and helps convert carbohydrates into a usable form. It also plays an important role in the production of insulin, which keeps your blood sugar levels balanced. Sulphur is found in almost all foods but some of the best sources include eggs, beans, garlic, onions and pulses. Both red and white meat are also good sources of sulphur.

Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Zinc is also found in many cold lozenges, over-the-counter drugs and sold as cold remedies. A good source of Zinc are oysters, crab, lobster, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.

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