How Important are Vitamins & Minerals?
As we are becoming increasingly aware of nutrition, holistic therapies and a healthier lifestyle, there is a transformation that is taking place towards health and wellness. The question often arises; do I need to take vitamin (or other mineral) supplements?
It is essential and wise for us to include a natural vitamin and mineral supplement in your diet. For starters, very few people actually follow an optimum diet of whole foods, fruits, vegetables and lean protein. In our fast-paced world, sometimes we choose to eat takeout and fast foods for convenience. Even if you try to follow a healthy diet, many important factors such as soil depletion, storing methods, cooking, pesticides and herbicides deprive foods of their natural beneficial nutrients.
Although good health is a combination of several important factors such as exercise, whole foods, water and proper sleep, vitamin and mineral supplements are also very necessary for good health. Several studies have shown the benefits of various supplements. More allopathic doctors are recommending vitamin supplements to their patients.
Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin (who is both a medical doctor (M.D.) and dentist (DMD) is a professor at the University of Alabama Medical School. He has co-written 22 books and has published over 700 scientific papers in prominent medical journals. He has proven to the world and scientific community how powerful nutrients can be! His research indicated that there are approximately 30 Vitamins, Minerals, Bioflavonoids and Enzymes that are necessary for good health. There are many other medical doctors that recommend vitamin and mineral supplements.
Here are some essential nutrients that are necessary for optimal health that may require a supplement. Antioxidants, B Vitamins (complex), Essential Fatty Acids and Minerals. Vitamin A, Beta-carotene (which is converted to Vitamin A), Vitamin C and Vitamin E are your powerful antioxidants. Oxidation is a process that takes place when free radicals (highly reactive molecules) severely damage other molecules. Free radicals can cause physiological damage, cancer, immune deficiency and osteoarthritis. Antioxidants have the power to reduce free radical damage.
According to the “British Medical Journal”, Vitamin C slows down oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol that causes plaque build up in arteries. It also helps in the absorption of Iron, regulates stress and inflammation, and provides a great boost to your immune system. Studies show that vitamin E supplements protect against cancer, improve blood flow and can also help with Parkinson’s disease. Vitamin A also helps prevent heart disease, cancer and can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
B-complex vitamins are necessary for your entire nervous system, energy levels and protein metabolism. (It should also be noted that low levels of Iron can cause significant problems). Those suffering from stress, low energy and chronic fatigue can highly benefit from these vitamins.
Essential Fatty Acids are your good fats. This refers to your omega 3 and omega 6 (sometimes omega 9) fatty acids. They help regulate physiological functions, inflammation and blood viscosity. A lack of these fatty acids can be the cause of depression, cardiovascular disease, memory loss and various other diseases. These can be supplemented through fish oil and flax seed oil. Minerals just like vitamins play a vital role in your health. There are some 22 different minerals. They help maintain normal cell function and enzymatic reactions. They help to metabolize blood sugar, keep our bones strong and increase efficiency of the heart.
Everyone should try to eat healthy and get as many nutrients as possible from their diet; however it is not possible to receive everything you need from diet alone. With the increasingly poor air quality, the depletion of our ozone layer, more carbon monoxide in the environment, poor soil quality and a stressful lifestyle, it is a wise choice to include a vitamin and mineral supplement. Remember also, that it is necessary to buy a high-quality supplement made from natural food sources. Not all vitamins are the same, as the level of purity varies. Normally natural supplements are recommended over synthetic vitamins. Look for a proper supplement in your local health food store. Including a vitamin supplement as a part of your daily routine can significantly increase your health and long-term wellness!
Mohmood Valimohamed ~ Director, Center for Inner Awakening