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Why we need vitamins and minerals in our diets

The right amount of vitamins and minerals in our daily diet is paramount to the healthy running of our bodies. A difficiency in any particular group of vitamins and minerals can have negative and sometimes permanent effects on our health. We need to learn how much of the various vitamins and minerals we need on a daily basis, and what deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals can do to our bodies.

  • A (Retinol and Caotenes)
    An adult between the ages of 19 and 50 should aim to consume around 600 micrograms of A per day. A deficiency in A can lead to damage to your vision, or night blindness, as well as impairing your immune system.

  • Folate (Folic Acid)
    Adults should aim for 200 micrograms. A deficiency leads to a condition called megaloblastic anaemia,where red blood cells enlarge, as well as Spinabifida.

  • Iron
    Recommended daily intake is 14.8 micrograms per day. Deficiency can lead to anaemia. Women are particulary suseptible to this due to menstration and childbirth.

  • Calcium
    Recommended intake is 700 micrograms. Deficiency can lead to decalcified bones and osteoperosis.

  • Vitamin C
    Adults should consume approximately 40 micrograms per day. Deficiency causes scurvy. It also causes bleeding from small blood vesses like those found in the gums, and makes wounds heal more slowly.

  • Vitamin D
    For adults over 50 years old, it's recommended that you get 10 micrograms per day. Though most people get D from exposure to sun, this becomes a problem as you get older and get out less. Deficiency causes pain, muscle weakness and osteomalacia.

  • Zinc
    For adults between 19 and 50, 7 micrograms per day are recommended. Deficiencies are not common, but they can lead to slow healing processes and a hindered immune system.

  • B12
    The recommended amount is 1.5 micrograms for adults between 19 and 50. Deficiencies are common in vegans, as B12 is not found in vegetables. Deficiencies result in nerve damage and megaloblastic anaemia.
Most people can achieve their daily requirements for all of these micronutrients through diet alone. However, if you are concerned that you're not getting enough or are having trouble with balanced healthy eating regimes, then consult your doctor.



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