Easy ways to boost your vitamin/mineral intake
Article date: 27 February 2014
It goes without saying that ensuring your diet contains the correct proportion of different vitamins and minerals is vital to maintaining your wellbeing.
However, for your body to run at optimum performance, there are an awful lot of these that you need to incorporate into what you eat and drink on a regular basis.
If it has been identified that if you are lacking certain vitamins or minerals, sometimes it can be tricky to find ways of boosting your intake of these missing ingredients if you don't know where to look to start with. With this mind, here are a few suggestions on what you can do to make it easier.
One of the simplest ways to increase the amount of nutrients in your diets is to buy the supplements you need in their tablet forms.
These can most often be found on the shelves of supermarkets, chemists and health stores, with varying prices, strengths and quantities. Of course, it's well worth doing the research before making a purchase.
Find out how much you need to take each day to reach your daily recommended allowance and work out how many of the pills you would need to take and if there are more cost-effective solutions. It may also be a good idea to look at whether or not there are any side effects likely to be experienced as a result of taking the supplements.
Similarly, if you are a vegetarian, some supplements come in a gelatine casing - which may not agree with your own non-meat-eating principles.
By now, everyone's heard of it being important to get your five-a-day, but do you know why? A lot of it boils down to the natural boost that fresh fruit and vegetables can provide for your body.
The World Health Organization recommends we eat at least five different 80 gram portions on a daily basis.
Broccoli, for example, is rich in iron, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A and K and B-complex vitamins. Carrots, meanwhile, are well known as an excellent source of vitamin A and also contain vitamin C, calcium and iron - ensuring you are ticking plenty of boxes at once by including them in one or more of your meals.
If you're lacking in vitamin D, then the best thing to do is spend a bit of time in the open air. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it's called that for a very simple reason - it's where it comes from!
Vitamin D is vital as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones. A lack of it can lead to the softening of the bone structure and a condition called rickets - something that affects bone development in children.
However, it's worth noting you should be wary of spending too much time in the sunshine without wearing adequate protection, as this can potentially lead to skin cancer.
Just like fruit and vegetables, the health benefits of fish can also be plentiful.
For example, salmon is a good source of vitamin B6 and B12, the latter of which is extremely handy in helping to make red blood cells and keep your nervous system healthy. This fish is also rich in phosphorus, potassium and selenium.
Oily fish also contain high levels vitamins A and D - and also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are said in many pieces of research to protect the brain from conditions like Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.
An obvious source for calcium, dairy products like milk and cheese are also rich in potassium, which helps you maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Another added benefit is that many food and drink in the group are also fortified with vitamin D.
Eggs, which are a good source of protein, contain iodine and vitamins A and B2 - meaning they can be an excellent alternative for people who do not eat meat. Additionally, they are high in pantothenic acid, which helps the body release energy from the food we consume.