We all discern the prominence of food which Mother nature bestowed us. It is the integral part of our existence, as it endow us essential nutrients which is pre-eminent for our body. But our this peer group perhaps misconstrue the nature’s food pyramid and at this moment of life progress towards being the nutritionally challenged society which is alive and kicking on processed foods- pizzas, burgers, fries, convenience foods etc. By this route we are contradicting the food laws afford by creation which subsequently paid-off by boat racing in the sea of diseases, nutritional deficiencies, unwanted food cravings and god knows what!
“Cravings? Of course you have cravings. Your body is crying out for the nutrients it lacks!”– From “Feeling Light”.
At this moment am endeavouring to accentuate the very well-known yet gloss over discussion about our “micronutrients” which definitely require in small amount even so performs the multitudinous workload of our body from developing the sense of taste, smell to resisting the body against infections. Their eminence is so far ranging that devoid of them our body is nothing, for eg: salt have essential mineral which makes our neurotransmitter (simply understand they are chemicals made by the nerve cells), maintains our body fluid; without some essential vitamins and minerals how you get that strong bones and muscles for your six packs or that voluptuous look and yeah that flawless natural blush skin is also unachievable without them.
Our body is sacred temple and deserves not be inundated with garbage, but lovingly fed nature’s “gold”.– The encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements.
This can only be obtained if we owe our allegiance towards our well being by upskilling ourselves if we set our heart on to feel well, avoid disease and promote a healthy immune system. So let’s embark the concern of these Micronutrients- vitamins and minerals with their round the clock spadework.
Nutrients- “nature’s endowment to Homo sapiens”
Nutrients- the chemical components for life and growth, our body utilises these nutrients by the process of digestion, absorption, transport, storage, metabolism and excretion. Now these nutrients are broadly categorised as : Macronutrients, present in large amount (our carbs, fats, proteins, water) & Micronutrients, present in smaller amounts ( vitamins and minerals). Here am proceeding with our “micros”as I have mentioned the “macros” in my previous posts.
Whistle-stop tour of Micronutrients.
We all have studied about vitamins and minerals in our science class, so I draw a bead on of not going to hold forth on it so allow me to afford short mark on it for continuous discussion.
1) Vitamins are the organic substance produced by plants or animals, our body cannot synthesise them except vitamin D. They have tremendous job like: help to resist our body against infections, keep our nerve healthy, help our body to get energy etc. They can be easily broken down by heat, air, acid. So next time when you make your orange juice do consume it immediately without any delay. They are sub categorised into :
Fat soluble vitamins : These vitamins- Vitamin A, D, E, K , need fats for their absorption so next time think conscientiously before set foot in starvation world of restricting diets, eg: Vitamin A (is important for your eyes, for reproduction, healthy skin etc), Vitamin D (for our bones & teeth, for proper absorption of calcium in our body etc), Vitamin E ( for for healthy functioning of reproductive systems in body, it act as a antioxidant etc), Vitamin K ( helps in clotting of blood, promote bone health, help to produce proteins for blood, bones etc.).
Water soluble vitamins: These vitamins- Vitamin C and B- complex vitamins are soluble in water and excess of them gets excreted out from urine, eg: Vitamin C ( is needed for healthy development of our teeth, gums, skin and protects ourselves from infections etc), B- complex vitamin ( is needed for producing energy from carbohydrates, proper nerve function, stabilising appetite, for normal growth and maintenance of all cells, good vision, eye, skin etc)
2) Minerals are the inorganic substance that originates from rocks, soil, water. We can absorb them directly from the environment. The major ones are Calcium ( for building strong bones & teeth, normal heart function, muscle contraction etc), Potassium ( known as electrolyte, needed for normal nervous system, regulate heart beat, aid in healing etc), Sodium ( ensures proper B.P level, maintains fluid balance, protects against heat strokes etc), Phosphorus ( for healthy bones, teeth, normal cell membrane function, digestion etc), Sulfur (helps in stabilize protein structures, including some of those that make up hair, skin and nails), Some trace elements : (Iodine for proper growth, metabolism, immunity & building of bones, muscles tissue, transfer of oxygen in our blood from the lungs etc, Zinc for regulating blood sugar, fight against cold, infections, heal wounds, etc. and many others like : Iodine, Selenium, Copper, Chromium etc) Hush!
The all time “attention seeking” deficiencies:
Our inadequate meal patterns, health related issues, restrictions on diets or swaying from balanced diets resulted into certain deficiencies like:
- Eyes issues: Dark circles or bags under the eyes, poor night vision (lack of Vitamin A), nearsightedness ( Vitamin D deficiency), pale lower eyelid (Iron deficiency), etc.
- Hair problems: Hair loss (due to lack of Vitamin B2, B5, D, Zinc, Biotin), hair, dandruff (Selenium, Omega 3’s, Vitamin A deficiencies), dry hairs ( lack of Vitamin A, E, Omega 3’s, Protein etc), greying of hairs, etc.
- Mouth problems: Lesions at mouth, inflammation of tongue, dry chapped lips with ulcers (all due to Vitamin B2), weak tooth ( VitaminA, D, E, K, calcium deficiencies), loss of smell or taste (zinc).
- Skin problems: Dry or rough skin (due to Vitamin A, E), acne during menstruation (lack of B6), red stretch marks (Zinc deficiency).
- Muscle cramping (Magnesium, B1, B2, B6), twitching ( B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamin D), numbness or tingling (B12, B5) etc.
- Depression (due to B1, B5, Biotin), dementia (B1, B3, B12, frolic acid), Insomnia ( B3, B5, Biotin, D3) etc.
Our cravings for certain foods like, chocolates, sugary foods, pastas, oily foods, salty foods are the result of the deficiencies caused by lack of essential minerals in body, like: magnesium, chromium, Phosphorus, sulphur, chloride, silicon etc.-Source from Pinterest
These above mentioned deficiencies are just sparse and a word to caution here is that always seek a professional advice before beginning with supplements in hope to counterbalance your deficiencies rather becoming a self made “hakims”.
Wanna uplift the spirits of Micro...ooh…oes:
- I always say eat a well balanced diet, why because from that you recoup the all nutrients eg: dark green vegetables (a good source for 8 of 14 essential vitamins), nuts & seeds(good sources of your B complex vitamins, calcium, iron), eggs (rich in B-complex vitamins and Vitamin D), red-yellow vegetables & fruits (good source of Vitamin A), pulses (good source of thiamine, calcium, iron, niacin), cereals, dairy items etc……believe me the recital is overlong, so I beseech you to nosh healthy foods.
- Eat well, eat colours, eat variety & seasonal foods with regular exercise.
- Consume everything in a balanced way for eg: “ salt” is considered an evil for high B.P, water retention, strokes etc it’s true but if we take them in adequate amount in our home cooked foods rather from processed foods then how they horror-struck us, this concept applies to all other foods which contain micronutrients.
- Don’t resist on one food choice, for eg now if you presume for strong immune system let’s eat ample of vitamin C rich foods, but do you know high amount of Vitamin C can block body to assimilate mineral copper (copper together with iron enables body to form Red blood cells). Similarly a minor overload of manganese ( which helps in activating many enzymes) can worsen your Iron deficiency.
- Have a good command on antioxidants ( Vitamin C, E, Beta-carotene, riboflavin, selenium etc, they protect body from free radical.
- According to National institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad – every individual should consume at least 300g of vegetables (Green leafy vegetable: 50g, Other veg: 200g, Roots & tuber: 50g) in a day. In addition 100g fruit should be consumed regularly.
- Eat in gratitude with mindful approach.
The major task for us is to maintain the proper balance of these essential nutrients in our diet and i know a lot of confusion arises from discrete views which irresolute us on how to achieve best optimal health by including micronutrients in our diet. For this we can’t shut our eyes to their mode of working, how they absorb in body, what motivates them or what suppress them, factors like relying on supplements and so on, which am gonna share with you in latter part rather very soon. Till then stay safe & healthy and yeah live your life to the fullest.