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Fitness for Women - Health Food and Vitamins

A proper intake of healthy food and essential nutrients is necessary to maintain an overall level of fitness. On this page we take a look at the key vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we require on a regular basis. We also look at health food vitamin supplements as an alternative source.

 

What are nutrients, and why do we need them?

Nutrients are substances provided by food that are necessary for growth and survival. They fall into to categories, organic and inorganic. Organic nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. Inorganic nutrients are usually minerals. Nutrients that our bodies require in  larger quantities are called macro-nutrients and those needed in fairly small quantities are called micro-nutrients.

 

Vitamins

A vitamin is an organic substance required in tiny amounts essential for the human metabolism to work properly. Vitamins are found in foods or produced by our bodies. They can also be manufactured commercially as health vitamin supplements. Insufficient vitamins in our diet, can cause serious ailments.

What about Minerals?

Like vitamins, minerals are needed by the body in small amounts to help it function properly and to maintain strength. Examples of minerals we require are calcium, iron, and potassium..

Health Foods and Vitamins

The key to a healthy diet is to maintain the proper balance and intake of  'good' foods.

Foods like grains, fish, and vegetables are healthy when eaten as a balanced diet, because taken together they will supply us with all of the necessary nutrients. It is this balance of nutrients obtained from vegetables, meat, and other foods that makes diets healthy. Consuming only 'healthy' foods is not enough if your diet is not balanced. For example, dairy products have a fairly high fat content. Removing these from your diet may reduce the fat, but it will also lower the intake of calcium and riboflavin that your body needs.

 

Natural Sources of Vitamins from Healthy Food

Vitamin A:

Foods which provide us with vitamin A include nectarines, oranges, cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, broccoli, butter, eggs, milk, fish oil and liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb).

Vitamin B:

Found in whole grains foods like oats and wheat, peas, beans, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits. Seafood, eggs, milk , yogurt, and meat can also provide us with this vitamin. Our bodies can also produce some types of B vitamin.

Vitamin C:

Can be found in good quantities in citrus fruits like orange, and grapefruit as well as in other fruits (cantaloupe, strawberries) Vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, and cabbage are good sources.

Vitamin D:

Egg yolk, milk and fish liver oil are rich in vitamin D. The body also uses sunlight  to synthesize vitamin D.

Vitamin E:

Vitamin E is present in whole grains, wheat germ, cereals, bread, nuts, seeds, egg yolks and sardines. It is also found in  leafy green vegetables like salads and cabbage.

 

 

Vitamin Supplements:

Do we need them? Well if we ate well at every meal we probably would not need to take any vitamins supplements to maintain a normal healthy lifestyle.

The focus of this page is getting the right nutrition in the form of health food and vitamins. However in today's environment, eating properly all the time can be a challenge, so we often turn to supplements to help.

Here are some of the key ones:

  • Fish Oil and vitamin E supplements are very beneficial and should top your supplement list

  • Vitamin C is also good and helps the body fight infections.

  • B Complex supplements provide useful anti-oxidants needed by your body.

Conclusion:

You should always focus on the health food source for vitamins, because they are ingested naturally into your system through the normal breakdown of food. But taking the above supplements will not hurt either.

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