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[Article] Vitamins and Minerals



Vitamins - meaning life giving substances are essential to the body. Many have been identified and separated in crystal form. Regular exercise requires higher requirements of vitamins and minerals. All vitamins have their particular purpose, but we need only concern ourselves with those tabulated as A, B complex, C, D, and E. Briefly:
Vitamin A: Essential to health and growth. Lack of it leads to roughening of the skin, night blindness, and lowered resistance to respiratory diseases. It is found in liver, leafy green vegetables, yellow vegetables, i.e. carrots; butter, cheese, milk, egg-yolk and fruits.

Vitamin B: It is group known as B1 to B12. Lack of it leads to inflammation of nerves, neuritis, fatigue, indigestion and constipation. It occurs in all the cereals, lean meat, yeast, beans, cheese and some vegetables.

Vitamin C:
It is commonly called the 'fresh fruit' vitamin, occurring in the citrus fruits, tomatoes, and other vegetables and fruits. Lack of it causes rough skins, spongy gums, a tendency to bruise easily, anemia, and mental depression.

Vitamin D: It has been labeled as the 'sunshine' vitamin in that it is created in the body by exposure to the sun. It occurs in eggs, milk and cream etc. Fish oils are rich in vitamin D. Lack of it leads to poor teeth and bones, and serious malformation of the skeleton in young people.

Vitamin E: Is the 'fertility' vitamin, present in wheat germ, Its precise effect on humans is not sufficiently known.


Nutritionists have listed thirteen minerals essential to the welfare of the body: calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine, copper, manganese, cobalt and zinc. They are to be found in most foods though it is possible that the two most important, iron and calcium, are lacking in the ordinary diet.


About two-thirds of the body's weight is water. It is in every cell and between the cells. Water forms the major part of the muscles. Insufficient water can cause all sorts of pulls, cramps and pains. In the normal person whose skin and kidneys (both organs of excretion) are functioning correctly, the total fluid intake should never be less than 8-10 glasses per day.


Roughage, which is mainly the cellulose of vegetable matter and other fibers, is necessary to correct function of the intestines in that it provides 'bulk' on which the excretory muscles can work. Normal food contains sufficient roughage. In sluggish digestion it may be advisable to increase the bulk by occasional addition of extra cereals.

While there are many useful vitamin supplements made up in capsule form, it undoubtedly is better for the ordinary person, if he can, to get the essential vitamins from properly prepared food. Not everyone is able, however, to get the right food at the right time, so it may be advisable to supplement the diet with both vitamins and minerals.