What Vitamins and Minerals Are, and Why They Are So Important?

 

GeneralNutrients_what_vitamins_and_minerals_are

Let's start with the main question - what Vitamins and Minerals are, and why they are so important?

In a nutshell, vitamins and minerals are the building blocks of our health. And lack of these nutrients can bring severe damage to your body and the immune system.

There are four main types of Vitamins, which are classified as following:

 Water-Soluble Vitamins
Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Macrominerals
Microminerals
B1 (Thiamine)
B2 (Riboflavin)
B3, or PP (Niacin)
B5 (Pantothenic acid)
B6 (Pyridoxine)
B9 (Folic acid)
B12 (Cobalamin)
H (Biotin)
C (Ascorbic acid)

A (Retinoids)
D (Calciferol)
E (Tocopherol)
K (Phylloquinone)

Potassium, K
Calcium, Ca
Silicon, Si
Magnesium, Mg
Sodium, Na
Sulphur, S
Phosphorus, P
Chlorine, Cl 

Boron, B
Bromine, Br
Vanadium, V
Ferrum, Fe
Iodine, I
Cobalt, Co
Manganese, Mn
Cuprum, Cu
Molybdenum, Mo
Nickel, Ni
Selenium, Se
Fluorine, F
Chromium, Cr
Zinc, Zn

 

Why it is important to calculate vitamin and mineral intake?

Short answer - because vitamin deficiency leads to health issues, and in worst case scenarios - to avitaminosis. Period. Below you can find the list of vitamin deficiency symptoms, toxicity and sources* of vitamins and minerals (*vegan only).

NB! Full report is available exclusively to subscribers only. 

Water-Soluble Vitamins 

B1 (Thiamine)

Deficiency:

  • burning feet
  • weakness in extremities
  • rapid heart rate
  • swelling
  • anorexia
  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • weakness in memory
  • depression
  • forgetfulness
  • hand trembling
  • diffidence
  • increased irritability
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • mental and physical fatigue
  • muscle weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • dyspnea at low physical activity
  • sense of burning skin

Toxicity (excess of):

  • not known

Sources:

  • sunflower seeds
  • asparagus
  • lettuce
  • mushrooms
  • black beans
  • navy beans
  • sesame powder
  • sesame oil (tahini)
  • lentils
  • spinach
  • peas
  • pinto beans
  • lima beans
  • eggplant
  • brussels sprouts
  • tomatoes
  • whole wheat
  • soybeans


B2 (Riboflavin)

Deficiency:

  • cracks
  • fissures and sores at corner of mouth and lips 
  • dermatitis
  • conjunctivitis
  • photophobia
  • glossitis of tongue
  • anxiety
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue

Toxicity (excess of):

  • Excess riboflavin may increase the risk of DNA strand breaks in the presence of chromium.
  • High-dose riboflavin therapy will intensify urine color to a bright yellow (flavinuria) – but this is harmless.

Sources:

  • dried spirulina (seaweed)
  • spice, dried parsley
  • spice, dried coriander 
  • spice, dried mint
  • sun-dried chilli pepper
  • spice, dried basil
  • fresh raw orange juice
  • spice, chilli pepper powder
  • tomato powder
  • dried chinese plums
  • spice, dried oregano
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • spice, raw thyme
  • raw, green buckwheat 
  • almonds
  • grape juice
  • soybeans/tempeh
  • mushrooms
  • spinach
  • whole wheat
  • dried pepeao 
  • raw epazote
  • raw quinoa 
  • blackberry
  • dried dogrose
  • dill
  • dried banana


B3, or PP (Niacin)

Deficiency:

Hypovitaminosis of niacin can last for years without specific occurrences; its symptoms include: 

  • lethargy, apathy, fatigue
  • dizziness, headaches
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • decrease of appetite, weight loss
  • lips, cheeks and hand cyanosis
  • skin paleness and dryness
  • palpitation
  • constipation
  • reduction of the body's infection resistance

If, however, the deficiency is being prolonged for quite a long time, it could lead to development of pellagra disease; early pellagra symptoms are considered to be:

  • dermatitis
  • diarrhea (3-5 times per day; wetty without blood, nor mucus)
  • loss of appetite
  • heartburn, brash
  • burning in the mouth, salivation
  • reddening of the mucosa
  • lips edema and cracks
  • possible deep cracks on the surface of the tongue
  • occurrence of red spots on the tongue papule
  • occurrence of red spots on hands, face, elbows and neck
  • edema on the skin
  • sudden weakness, noice in ears, headaches
  • feeling of numbness
  • shaky walk
  • arterial pressure
  • dementia
  • stomatitis

Toxicity (excess of):

  • Niacin from foods is not known to cause adverse effects. Sowever supplemental nicotinic acid may cause flushing of skin, itching, impaired glucose tolerance, fainting and gastrointestinal upset
  • Intake of 750 mg per day for less than 3 months can cause liver cell damage
  • High dose nicotinamide can cause nausea and liver toxicity

Sources:

  • mushrooms
  • sesame powder
  • rise bran
  • dried seaweed
  • asparagus
  • peanuts
  • brown rice
  • corn
  • spice, dried parsley
  • sunflower seeds
  • dried pumpkin seeds
  • spice, red chilli pepper powder
  • spice, ginger powder
  • wheat bran
  • spice, dried mint
  • sesame
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • tomato powder
  • buckwheat
  • buckwheat powder
  • dried watermelon seeds
  • spice, dried basil
  • green leafy vegetables
  • sweet potato
  • potato
  • lentil
  • barley
  • dried carrots
  • raw pigeon peas
  • almonds
  • celery
  • turnips
  • peaches


B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Deficiency:

  • pyrosis
  • dizziness, headaches
  • sleepiness during the day and insomnia at nights
  • apathy, lethargy, depression
  • tingling and numbness of toes
  • leg pain, extending from feet to knees
  • joint pain
  • redness of the skin of the feet (especially the foot)
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • allergy
  • hair loss
  • occurrence of grey hair (early)
  • disruption of the cardio-viscular systems
  • inflammatory diseases of the the upper respiratory tract 

Toxicity (excess of):

  • diarrhea may be noticed with high dose supplements, and/or calcium pantothenate

Sources:

  • dried pepeao
  • rise bran
  • tomato powder
  • dried seaweed (agar-agar, spirulina)
  • sesame powder
  • dried kanpyo
  • split pea
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • dried breadnuttree seeds
  • broccoli
  • raw peanut
  • dried carrots
  • spice, dried mint
  • buckwheat
  • lentils
  • raw green soybeans
  • white cabbage
  • raw cashew
  • spice, dried basil
  • walnuts
  • dates
  • spice, garlic powder
  • spice, onion powder
  • green peas
  • split peas
  • avocado
  • whole wheat
  • mushrooms
  • sweet potato
  • dried sunflower seeds
  • sun-dried chilli pepper powder
  • cauliflower
  • green leafy vegetables
  • squash
  • strawberries


B6 (Pyridoxine)

Deficiency:

  • helosis
  • 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
  • anemia
  • prenatal deprivation results in mental retardation and blood disorders for the newborn

Toxicity (excess of):

  • High doses of supplemental vitamin B6 may result in painful neurological symptoms

Sources:

  • whole wheat
  • brown rice
  • green leafy vegetables
  • sunflower seeds
  • potato
  • garbanzo beans
  • banana
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • avocado
  • walnuts
  • peanut butter
  • lima beans
  • bell peppers


B9 (Folic acid)

Deficiency:

  • anemia (macrocytic/megaloblastic)
  • sprue
  • leukopenia
  • thrombocytopenia
  • weakness
  • weight loss
  • cracking and redness of tongue and mouth
  • diarrhea
  • in pregnancy there is a risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery

Toxicity (excess of):

  • none from food

Sources:

  • green leafy vegetables
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • citrus fruits
  • black eyed peas
  • spinach
  • great northern beans
  • whole grains
  • baked beans
  • green peas
  • avocado
  • peanuts
  • lettuce
  • tomato juice
  • banana
  • papaya 


B12 (Cobalamin)

Deficiency:

  • pernicious anemia
  • neurological problems
  • sprue

Toxicity (excess of):

  • none known from supplements or food

Sources:

  • alfaalfa 
  • the list will be updated soon (suitable for vegans)


H (Biotin)

Deficiency:

  • rare; however might occur when raw egg whites is consumed over a long period of time (egg whites contain avidin, which binds to biotin and prevents its absorption)

Toxicity (excess of):

  • not known

Sources:

  • green leafy vegetables
  • most nuts
  • whole grain breads
  • avocado
  • raspberries
  • cauliflower
  • carrots
  • papaya
  • banana


C (Ascorbic acid)

Deficiency:

  • bruising
  • gum infections
  • lethargy
  • dental cavities
  • tissue swelling
  • dry hair and skin
  • bleeding gums
  • dry eyes
  • hair loss
  • joint paint
  • pitting edema
  • anemia
  • delayed wound healing
  • bone fragility
  • long-term deficiency results in scurvy

Toxicity (excess of):

  • large vitamin C doses could cause kidney stones, rebound scurvy, increased oxidative stress, excess iron absorption, vitamin B12 deficiency, and erosion of dental enamel

Sources:

  • guava
  • bell pepper
  • kiwi
  • orange
  • grapefruit
  • strawberries
  • brussels sprouts
  • cantaloupe
  • papaya
  • broccoli
  • sweet potato
  • pineapple
  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • lemon juice
  • parsley

 

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