The vitamins and minerals your body needs most

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, says the old English proverb Download the Camping Club. Is there any truth to this? Well, if you consider the fact that apples are loaded with antioxidants and fibre, there’s definitely value in an apple each day! But the truth is, your body needs more than an apple to survive and thrive. You need carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The miracle protein in your body

Your body is an operational machine that works 24/7. It’s made of cells and in each of them are enzymes that keep it functioning.

Your body’s enzymes (special proteins) allow your immune system to attack harmful invaders, create energy, and help with digestion and metabolism. They control the speed of chemical reactions in your body and without them, you’d be too slow to react to situations (and stay alive!) Enzymes help cells communicate with each other. This keeps your body chemistry in balance. But enzymes need vitamins to function and do their job as best as they can.

Your body needs the right amount of nutrients to maintain a balance. Nutrient deficiency happens when the body doesn’t absorb or get the necessary quantity of a nutrient from food.

Signs of deficiencies

  1. Cracks at the corners of your mouth

This is linked to a lack of B vitamins like B3, B2 and B12 (which keep your body running), and iron. It’s common among people who don’t have enough immunity-building proteins in their diet.

  1. Hair loss and a red, scaly rash on your face

The lack of Biotin 7 vitamin (hair vitamin) is the culprit here. B Vitamins are water-soluble and your body may find it difficult to absorb or store it and can only be found in foods. B7 Vitamin helps with fixing hair loss, skin conditions, and neurological problems.

  1. Red or white acne-like bumps on cheeks, arms, and thighs

You’re lacking essential fatty acids, vitamins A and D. Vitamin A promotes cell turnover and keeps the skin healthy. Vitamin D is fat-soluble and helps the body absorb calcium and enables healthy bone mineralisation. It also has skin soothing properties when applied to rashes and hives and reduces symptoms.

  1. Tingling, prickling, and numbness in hands, feet, or other areas of the body.

Your body needs Vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, and DNA, and carry out its jobs. A Vitamin B12 deficiency also includes symptoms like fatigue, paranoia, hallucination, and anaemia.

  1. Frequent muscle cramps in toes, calves, arches of feet, and backs of legs.

Your discomfort is linked to magnesium, calcium, and potassium deficiency which help with blood pressure control.

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Top up with the right foods:

  • Potassium: Avocado, spinach, sweet potato, dried apricots, pomegranate, and bananas.
  • Calcium: Cheese, chia seeds, yoghurt, salmon, sardines, leafy greens, lentils, beans, and almonds.
  • Iron: Chickpeas, spinach, liver, red meat, pumpkin seeds, soy beans, lentils, raisins, sardines, and dark chocolate.
  • Vitamin B-12: Meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.
  • Magnesium: Banana, avocado, dark chocolate, figs, almonds, spinach, yoghurt, broccoli, and oatmeal.
  • Vitamin D: Salmon, sardines, canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and beef liver.
  • Folate: Oranges, kidney beans, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, and beef liver.
  • Vitamin C: Broccoli, red bell pepper, Brussel sprouts, and citrus fruits.