Health

Why are vitamins and minerals so important for the body? Find out here

There are thousands of food supplements with vitamins and minerals, but why are they so important to consume? In this article we will explain everything about this

Vitamins and minerals are essential substances for the proper functioning of the body, because they intervene in many metabolic reactions of the human body. Although they do not provide energy, they are needed in minimal quantities and must be obtained through diet or food supplements.

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These substances are found in many foods that are part of our culinary tradition such as raw vegetables, fruits and milk, matequilla and its derivatives, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and vegetable oils, among others. Among the most important minerals we find sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

In much of the world a balanced diet, is an element that favors that, in general, there is a good intake of vitamins and minerals. Even so, it seems convenient to monitor the losses that occur during cooking and food preservation.

The losses of vitamins in food are usually cumulative in large part due to cooking and storage. Therefore, it is recommended to consume fresh products, to use a small amount of water in their preparation and to reduce their cooking as much as possible. Examples of vitamin losses are found in vitamin A, which reduces its activity when heated in the presence of oxygen, vitamin E, which is lost in the process of frying or vitamin C in orange juice that loses half of its content within half an hour of being squeezed.

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In addition, certain population groups, such as young children, the elderly, and women during pregnancy and breastfeeding, have higher needs for some nutrients. Thus, women of childbearing age should increase their consumption of folic acid as a measure to reduce the risk of having children with congenital malformations. 

In the older ones, there is also a deficit of vitamins. Inadequate diets are complicated by the physiological and pathological changes associated with aging. In addition they follow monotonous diets and of scarce vitaminic wealth, when carrying out less physical activity, they take less foods and as consequence they take inferior amounts of vitamins and minerals. 

In the adolescents it is appreciated deficiency of B6, calcium, iron and copper. The most important time for adults to avoid calcium deficiency is during childhood: that is why a diet rich in calcium is the first step, together with a few hours of sunshine, to synthesize vitamin D, which is absolutely essential to assimilate the calcium taken in the diet.

In general, other factors that increase vitamin needs are physical exercise, growth stage, infections, tobacco consumption, and interactions with medications.

Later on we will explain you which are the main sources of these vitamins and minerals and how their consumption should be to take advantage of it to the maximum

Daniel Pire

Estudiante de Farmacia de la Universidad Central de Venezuela. Fanático de aprender cosas nuevas cada día. Redactor de ColombiaHoy.News y anteriormente Mui.In. Me gusta mantenerme al día con temas tecnológicos y los medios de comunicación. Los tópicos de salud y biotecnología son mis preferidos. Apasionado por conocer un lugar nuevo siempre que sea posible! La cocina y la comida son mi ruta de escape para cualquier ocasión.+ info

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