Vitamins and minerals

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I am sure all of you know that we cannot be healthy without vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. These include at least 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that your body needs but cannot manufacture on its own in sufficient amounts.

Vitamins have different jobs–helping you resist infections, keeping your nerves healthy, and helping your body get energy from food or your blood to clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.

Minerals also help your body function. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts.

There is a fine line between getting enough of these nutrients (which is healthy) and getting too much (which can end up harming you). Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals you need.

Calcium

Foods that have it: Milk, fortified non dairy alternatives like soy milk, yogurt, hard cheeses, fortified cereals, kale, green leafy vegetables, legumes, tofu, molasses, sardines, okra, perch, trout, Chinese cabbage, rhubarb, sesame seeds

How much you need:

  • Adults ages 19-50: 1,000 milligrams per day
  • Women age 51 and older: 1,200 milligrams per day
  • Men age 51 – 70: 1,000 milligrams per day
  • Men 71 and older: 1,200 milligrams per day

What it does: Needed for bone growth and strength, blood clotting, muscle contraction, and more

Deficiency: Long-term inadequate intake can result in low bone mineral density, rickets, osteomalacia and osteoporosis.

Don’t get more than this a day: 2,500 milligrams per day for adults age 50 and younger, 2,000 mg per day for those 51 and older

Choline

Foods that have it: Milk, liver, eggs, peanuts

How much you need:

  • Men: 550 milligrams per day
  • Women: 425 milligrams per day
  • Pregnant women: 450 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 550 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps make cells

Don’t get more than this much: 3,500 milligrams per day

Chromium

Foods that have it: Broccoli, potatoes, meats, poultry, fish, some cereals, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, whole grains,, mushrooms, oats, prunes, nuts, brewer’s yeast

How much you need:

  • Men ages 19-50: 35 micrograms per day
  • Women ages 19-50: 25 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 30 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 45 micrograms per day
  • Men age 51 and up: 30 micrograms per day
  • Women age 51 and up: 20 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps control blood sugar levels

Deficiency: Symptoms include impaired glucose tolerance and elevated circulating insulin

Don’t get more than this much: No upper limit known for adults

Copper

Foods that have it: Seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole grains, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, barley, soybeans, tempeh, sunflower seeds, navy beans, garbanzo beans, cashews, molasses, liver

How much you need:

  • Adults: 900 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 1,000 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 1,300 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps your body process iron

Deficiency: Relatively uncommon. Clinical sign is hypochromic anemia unresponsive to iron therapy. Neutropenia and leukopenia may also result. Hypopigmentation of skin and hair is also noticed. Those at risk for deficiency include premature infants, infants fed only cow’s milk formula, those with malabsorption syndromes, excessive zinc consumption and antacid use.

Don’t get more than this much: 8,000 micrograms per day for adults

Fiber

Foods that have it: Plant foods, including oatmeal, lentils, peas, beans, fruits, and vegetables

How much you need:

  • Men ages 19-50: 38 grams per day
  • Women ages 19-50: 25 grams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 25 to 30 grams per day
  • Men age 51 and up: 30 grams per day
  • Women age 51 and up: 21 grams per day

What it does: Helps with digestion, lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, helps you feel full, and helps maintain blood sugar levels

Don’t get more than this much: No upper limit from foods for adults

Fluoride

Foods that have it: Fluoridated water, some sea fish, tea

How much you need:

  • Men: 4 milligrams per day
  • Women: 3 milligrams per day. This includes pregnant or breastfeeding women.

What it does: Prevents cavities in teeth, helps with bone growth

Deficiency: Increased risk of dental caries.

Don’t get more than this much: 10 milligrams per day for adults

Folic acid (folate)

Foods that have it:  Enriched and whole grain breads; fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, black eyed peas, spinach, great northern beans, baked beans, green peas, avocado, peanuts, lettuce, tomato juice, banana, papaya, organ meats

How much you need:

  • Adults: 400 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 600 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 500 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps prevent birth defects, important for heart health and for cell development

Deficiency: One may notice anemia (macrocytic/megaloblastic), sprue, Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, weakness, weight loss, cracking and redness of tongue and mouth, and diarrhea. In pregnancy there is a risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery.

Don’t get more than this much: 1,000 micrograms per day for adults

Iodine

Foods that have it: Seaweed, seafood, dairy products, processed foods, iodized salt, eggs, strawberries, asparagus, green leafy vegetables

How much you need:

  • Adults: 150 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 209 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 290 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps make thyroid hormones

Deficiency: Impairs growth and neurological development. Deficiency can also result in the decreased production of thyroid hormones and hypertrophy of the thyroid.

Don’t get more than this much: 1,100 micrograms per day for adults

Iron

Foods that have it: Fortified cereals, lentils, beef, turkey (dark meat), soy beans, spinach, almonds, apricots, baked beans, dates, lima beans, kidney beans, raisins, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, tuna, flounder, chicken meat, pork

How much you need:

  • Men age 19 and up: 8 milligrams per day
  • Women ages 19-50: 18 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 27 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 10 milligrams per day
  • Women age 51 and up: 8 milligrams per day

What it does: Needed for red blood cells and many enzymes

Deficiency: Anemia with small and pale red blood cells. In children it is associated with behavioral abnormalities.

Don’t get more than this much: 45 milligrams per day for adults

Magnesium

Foods that have it: Green leafy vegetables, nuts, dairy, soybeans, potatoes, whole wheat, quinoa, legumes, seeds, fruits, avocado

How much you need:

  • Men ages 19-30: 400 milligrams per day
  • Men age 31 and up: 420 milligrams per day
  • Women ages 19-30: 310 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Women age 31 and up: 320 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 350-360 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 310-320 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps with heart rhythm, muscle and nerve function, bone strength

Deficiency: Very rare due to abundance of magnesium in foods. Those with gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, and alcoholism are at risk.

Don’t get more than this much: For the magnesium that’s naturally in food and water, there is no upper limit.

For magnesium in supplements or fortified foods: 350 milligrams per day

Manganese

Foods that have it: Nuts, beans and other legumes, tea, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, berries, pineapple, lettuce, tempeh, oats, soybeans, spelt, brown rice, garbanzo beans

How much you need:

  • Men: 2.3 milligrams per day
  • Women: 1.8 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 2.0 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 2.6 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps form bones and make some enzymes

Deficiency: Not typically observed in humans.

Don’t get more than this much: 11 milligrams per day for adults

Molybdenum

Foods that have it: Legumes, leafy vegetables, grains, nuts

How much you need:

  • Adults: 45 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: 50 micrograms per day

What it does: Needed to make some enzymes

Deficiency: Never been observed in healthy people.

Don’t get more than this much: 2,000 micrograms per day for adults

Phosphorus

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Foods that have it: Milk and other dairy products, peas, meat, eggs, some cereals and breads, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, buckwheat, seafood, corn, wild rice

How much you need:

  • Adults: 700 milligrams per day

What it does: Cells need it to work normally. Helps make energy. Needed for bone growth.

Deficiency: Very rare. Those at risk include premature infants, those who use antacids, alcoholics, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and refeeding syndrome.

Don’t get more than this much:

  • Adults up to age 70: 4,000 milligrams per day. The limit is lower if you’re pregnant.
  • Pregnant women: 3,500 milligrams per day
  • Adults age 70 and older: 3,000 milligrams per day

Potassium

Foods that have it: Potatoes, bananas, yogurt, milk, yellowfin tuna, soybeans, sweet potato, tomato, green leafy vegetables, carrots, prunes, beans, molasses, squash, fish, peaches, apricots, melon, dates, raisins, mushrooms

How much you need:

  • Adults: 4,700 milligrams per day, unless breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding women: 5,100 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps control blood pressure, makes kidney stones less likely

Deficiency: Not a result of insufficient dietary intake. Caused

by protein wasting conditions. Diuretics can also cause excessive loss of potassium in the urine. Low blood potassium can result in cardiac arrest.

Don’t get more than this much: No upper limit known for adults. However, high doses of potassium can be deadly.

Selenium

Foods that have it: Organ meats, seafood, dairy, some plants (if grown in soil with selenium), Brazil nuts, mushrooms, barley, salmon, whole grains, walnuts, eggs

How much you need:

  • Adults: 55 micrograms per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 60 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 70 micrograms per day

What it does: Protects cells from damage. Helps manage thyroid hormone.

Deficiency: Can cause limited glutathione activity. More severe symptoms are juvenile cardiomyopathy and chondrodystrophy.

Don’t get more than this much: 400 micrograms per day for adults

Sodium

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Foods that have it: Foods made with added salt, such as processed and restaurant foods, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables

How much you need:

  • Adults ages 19-50: up to 1,500 milligrams per day
  • Adults ages 51-70: up to 1,300 milligrams per day
  • Adults age 71 and up: up to 1,200 milligrams per day

What it does: Important for fluid balance

Deficiency: Does not result from low dietary intake. Low blood sodium typically results from increased fluid retention. One may notice nausea, vomiting, headache, cramps, fatigue, and disorientation.

Don’t get more than this much: 2,300 milligrams per day for adults, or as instructed by your doctor, depending on whether you have certain conditions, like high blood pressure

Vitamin A

Foods that have it: Sweet potatoes, spinach, fortified cereals, carrots,pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, squash, cantaloupe, bell pepper, Chinese cabbage, beef, eggs, peaches

How much you need:

  • Men: 900 micrograms per day
  • Women: 700 micrograms per day
  • Pregnant women: 770 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 1,300 micrograms per day

What it does: Needed for vision, the immune system, and reproduction

Deficiency: One may notice difficulty seeing in dim light and rough/dry skin

Don’t get more than this much: 3,000 micrograms per day for adults

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Foods that have it: Whole-grain, enriched, fortified products like bread and cereals, sunflower seeds, asparagus, lettuce, mushrooms, black beans, navy beans, lentils, spinach, peas, pinto beans, lima beans, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, tuna, whole wheat, soybeans

How much you need:

  • Men: 1.2 milligrams per day
  • Women: 1.1 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: 1.4 milligram per day

What it does: Helps the body process carbs and some protein

Deficiency: Symptoms include burning feet, weakness in extremities, rapid heart rate, swelling, anorexia, nausea, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems.

Don’t get more than this amount: No upper limit known for adults

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Foods that have it: Milk, bread products, fortified cereals, almonds, soybeans/tempeh, mushrooms, spinach, whole wheat, yogurt, mackerel, eggs, liver.

How much you need:

  • Men: 1.3 milligrams per day
  • Women: 1.1 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 1.4 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 1.6 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps convert food into energy. Also helps make red blood cells.

Deficiency: Symptoms include cracks, fissures and sores at corner of mouth and lips, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, photophobia, glossitis of tongue, anxiety, loss of appetite, and fatigue.

Don’t get more than this much: No upper limit known for adults

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Foods that have it: Meat, fish, poultry, enriched and whole grain breads, fortified cereals, mushrooms, asparagus, peanuts, brown rice, corn, green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, potato, lentil, barley, carrots, almonds, celery, turnips, peaches, chicken meat, tuna, salmon

How much you need:

  • Men: 16 milligrams per day
  • Women: 14 mg per day if not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 18 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 17 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps with digestion and with making cholesterol

Deficiency: Symptoms include dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and stomatitis.

Don’t get more than this amount: No upper limit from natural sources. If you’re an adult and are taking niacin supplements, or getting niacin from fortified foods, don’t get more than 35 milligrams per day.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Foods that have it: Chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, cereals, tomatoes, broccoli, lentils, split peas, avocado, whole wheat, mushrooms, sweet potato, sunflower seeds, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, eggs, squash, strawberries, liver

How much you need:

  • Adults: 5 milligrams per day, except for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Pregnant women: 6 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 7 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps turn carbs, protein, and fat into energy

Deficiency: Very unlikely. Only in severe malnutrition may one notice tingling of feet.

Don’t get more than this much: No upper limit known for adults

Vitamin B6

Foods that have it: Fortified cereals, fortified soy products, chickpeas, potatoes, organ meats,whole wheat, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, potato, garbanzo beans, banana, trout, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter, tuna, salmon, lima beans, bell peppers, chicken meat

How much you need:

  • Men and women ages 19-50: 1.3 milligrams per day, except for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Pregnant women: 1.9 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 2 milligrams per day
  • Men age 51 and up: 1.7 milligrams per day
  • Women age 51 and up: 1.5 milligrams per day

What it does: Helps with metabolism, the immune system, and babies’ brain development

Deficiency: Symptoms include cheilosis, glossitis, stomatitis, dermatitis (all similar to vitamin B2 deficiency), nervous system disorders, sleeplessness, confusion, nervousness, depression, irritability, interference with nerves that supply muscles and difficulties in movement of these muscles, and anemia. Prenatal deprivation results in mental retardation and blood disorders for the newborn.

Don’t get more than this amount: 100 milligrams per day for adults

Vitamin B7 (biotin)

Foods that have it: Liver, fruits, meats, green leafy vegetables, most nuts, whole grain breads, avocado, raspberries, cauliflower, carrots, papaya, banana, salmon, eggs

How much you need:

  • Adults: 30 micrograms per day, except for breastfeeding women
  • Breastfeeding women: 35 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps your body make fats, protein, and other things your cells need

Deficiency: Very rare in humans. Keep in mind that consuming raw egg whites over a long period of time can cause biotin deficiency. Egg whites contain the protein avidin, which binds to biotin and prevents its absorption.

Don’t get more than this amount: No upper limit known

Vitamin B12

Foods that have it: Fish, poultry, meat, dairy products, fortified cereals,liver, trout, salmon, tuna, haddock, egg

How much you need:

  • Adults: 2.4 micrograms per day, except for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Pregnant women: 2.6 micrograms per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 2.8 micrograms per day

What it does: Helps your body make red blood cells

Deficiency: Symptoms include pernicious anemia, neurological problems and sprue.

Don’t get more than this amount: No upper limit known

Vitamin C

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Foods that have it: Red and green peppers, oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, guava, bell pepper, kiwi, grapefruit, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potato, pineapple, cauliflower, kale, lemon juice, parsley

How much you need:

  • Men: 90 milligrams per day
  • Women: 75 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 85 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 120 milligrams per day
  • Smokers: Add 35 milligrams to the numbers above.

What it does: Helps protect against cell damage, supports the immune system, and helps your body make collagen

Deficiency: Symptoms include bruising, gum infections, lethargy, dental cavities, tissue swelling, dry hair and skin, bleeding gums, dry eyes, hair loss, joint pain, pitting edema, anemia, delayed wound healing, and bone fragility. Long-term deficiency results in scurvy.

Don’t get more than this much: 2,000 milligrams per day for adults

Vitamin D

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Foods that have it: Fish liver oils, fatty fish, fortified milk products, fortified cereals, sunlight, mushrooms, salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, eggs

How much you need:

  • Adults ages 19-70: 600 international units (IU) per day
  • Adults age 71 and older: 800 international units per day

What it does: Needed for bones, muscles, the immune system, and communication between the brain and the rest of your body

Deficiency: In children a vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, deformed bones, retarded growth, and soft teeth. In adults a vitamin D deficiency can result in osteomalacia, softened bones, spontaneous fractures, and tooth decay. Those at risk for deficiency include infants, elderly, dark skinned individuals, those with minimal sun exposure, fat malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel diseases, kidney failure, and seizure disorders.

Don’t get more than this much: 4,000 international units per day for adults unless directed by your doctor

Vitamin E

Foods that have it: Fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, almonds, olives, blueberries, most nuts, most seeds, tomatoes, avocado

How much you need:

  • Adults: 15 milligrams per day or 22.5 international units. That includes pregnant women.
  • Breastfeeding women: 19 milligrams per day, 28.5 IU

What it does: Helps protect cells against damage

Deficiency: Only noticed in those with severe malnutrition. However, suboptimal intake of vitamin E is relatively common.

Don’t get more than this amount: 1,000 milligrams per day for adults

Vitamin K

Foods that have it: Spinach, collards, and broccoli; cabbage, green leafy vegetables, parsley, watercress, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, green peas, carrots

How much you need:

  • Men: 120 micrograms per day
  • Women: 90 micrograms per day

What it does: Important in blood clotting and bone health

Deficiency: Tendency to bleed or hemorrhage and anemia.

Don’t get more than this amount: Unknown

Zinc

Foods that have it: Red meats, some seafood, fortified cereals, mushrooms, spinach, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, green peas, baked beans, cashews, peas, whole grains, flounder, oats, oysters, chicken meat

How much you need:

  • Men: 11 milligrams per day
  • Women: 8 milligrams per day, unless pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant women: 11 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 12 milligrams per day

What it does: Supports your immune system and nerve function. Also important for reproduction.

Deficiency: Symptoms include growth retardation, lowered immune statue, skeletal abnormalities, delay in sexual maturation, poor wound healing, taste changes, night blindness and hair loss. Those at risk for deficiency include the elderly, alcoholics, those with malabsorption, vegans, and those with severe diarrhea.

Don’t get more than this amount: 40 mg per day for adults

Vitamin solubility and absorption

Fat soluble vitamins are mostly absorbed passively and must be transported with dietary fat. These vitamins are usually found in the portion of the cell which contains fat, including membranes, lipid droplets, etc.

We tend to excrete fat soluble vitamins via feces, but we can also store them in fatty tissues.

If we don’t eat enough dietary fat, we don’t properly absorb these vitamins. A very low-fat diet can lead to deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins.

Water soluble vitamins are absorbed by both passive and active mechanisms. Their transport in the body relies on molecular “carriers”.

Water soluble vitamins are not stored in high amounts within the body and are excreted in the urine along with their breakdown products.

Mineral absorption

Our bodies and the foods we eat contain minerals; we actually absorb them in a charged state (i.e., ionic state). Minerals will be in either a positive or negative state and reside inside or outside or cells.

Molecules found in food can alter our ability to absorb minerals. This includes things like phytates (found in grains), oxalate (found in foods like spinach and rhubarb), both of which inhibit mineral absorption, and acids. Even gastric acidity and stress can influence absorption.

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If you use a vitamin/mineral supplement, look for one providing nutrients derived from whole foods. Make sure this includes natural forms of vitamin E rather than the synthetic versions. Vitamin A should come from precursors like carotenoids and not preformed retinoids.

Women still menstruating should probably include supplemental iron. Men typically do not need additional iron (and in some men, it can be actively harmful).

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Was it useful? I hope,yes)

Information was taken from:

https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/vitamins-and-minerals.htm

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vitamins-and-minerals-good-food-sources#7

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/

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