Vitamins and minerals are the building blocks of a balanced diet; where an individual should try and intake the daily amount for maximum benefit. The daily consumption of vitamins and minerals for small kids and teenagers, differ from the intake of adults and senior citizens. With this information at hand, an understanding of what vitamins and minerals we need and how it benefits the body is essential.
From the moment of conception, expectant mothers must have a diet loaded with foods that will nourish both mother and child. Foods rich in calcium are green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese and yogurt. This essential for the developing bones of the fetus and if insufficient calcium is found in the diet, then the fetus will draw the calcium from its mother’s bones, weakening her bones that can trigger osteoporosis.
These vitamins and minerals are best obtained from natural foods and fruits for the development of the organs, tissue and extremities of the fetus. Only take supplements that your doctor prescribes, because excess vitamin A intake can damage the unborn child.
Parents of picky eaters should be concerned if their little ones are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals. At the toddler stage, kids are more interested in eating junk food that contain little to no nutritional value. Fortunately, the food industry has creatively made kids version of adult foods such as yogurt, juices and snacks. Consuming calcium is essential in forming strong bones and teeth in kids. This reduces the incidence of tooth decay in kids.
Juices that contain vitamins A and C help to strengthen the immune system against the flu. Vitamin C in particular helps in the healing of cuts and scrapes that are common with kids. And vitamin A is great for the preservation of good eye vision. There is also the benefit of developing healthy bones and tissue growth. Vitamin C needs to be replenished every day because the excess is passed out in our urine.
Children should always be encouraged to eat a wide variety of foods and fruits, since our bodies do not produce vitamins C and B complex; and trace elements of minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc needs to be present in their diets.
The same concept of dietary intake of vitamins and minerals holds true for teenagers, adults and senior citizens. With the exception that these different groups have different needs. The teenage group requires food that contains more amino-acids, protein and carbohydrates because of their high-energy lifestyles. These nutrients are essential in building and maintaining muscle growth and development. Vitamins B12, B6, B1, B2, B3 and vitamin C, D and A, also minerals are needed to keep vital organs functioning properly under the strain of high-intensity work-outs such as sports.
Adult intake of vitamins and minerals are needed to keep your general health intact. And senior citizens are encouraged to take calcium supplements to off-set age related medical issues. Many labels claim to be “complete” in delivering what your body needs, but because they are not regulated by the FDA, some companies offer misleading claims. Always consult with your pediatrician or doctor before taking any vitamin and mineral supplements.