19 Vitamins and Minerals That Contribute To Longevity
19 Vitamins and Minerals That Contribute To Longevity
- Micronutrients are certain vitamins and minerals that are essential to the body as non-energy nutrients and required by the body in small but indispensable amounts. They are found in everyday foods and play an important role in helping various systems within the body to function normally.
- Abnormal physical symptoms that may indicate malnutrition include fatigue, ulceration, or easy bleeding, joint pain, numbness in the hands or feet, anemia, immune system disorder, low bone density, poor collagen production, dry hair, and brittle nails.
- Consult a doctor before purchasing any vitamins or supplements to determine your vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant levels. Evaluate your individual nutritional status and dietary habits for a proper health care plan that would not harm the body.
Having a long and healthy life is something everyone would wish for. To live a longer, disease-free life, in addition to taking care of yourself by exercising regularly, take good care of the mind, look at the world positively, pay attention to food, eat complete food, eat a variety of vegetables, avoid pathogenic foods, eat just enough, not too much, not too little, and most importantly, the body must not lack vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Micronutrients play an important role in many bodily functions, including the immune system, metabolism, hormone function, cell repair, and regeneration. Long-term effects of vitamin or mineral deficiency on the body include diminished ability to function, increased risk of illness, and possibly premature aging.
What is Micronutrient?
The term "micronutrients" refers to certain vitamins and minerals that the body requires in small but necessary amounts as non-energy nutrition. It contributes to maintaining a healthy baseline since it has an impact on physical health and is crucial for the proper functioning of many bodily systems, including those involved in immune system function, skin, bones, digestion, hormone production, and brain function.
Micronutrients (with the exception of vitamin D) cannot be synthesized by the body and must be received from food. Lacking of micronutrients can lead to abnormal symptoms such as fatigue, easily wounding or bleeding, discomfort, and numbness in the hands or feet, impaired immune system, low bone mass, poor collagen production, dry hair, brittle nails, and can be fatal to the point of death.
19 Important Micronutrients
Vitamin A - is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in a variety of foods. It helps in the improvement of eyesight and visual impairments, the prevention of disease, and the strengthening of the immune system and cell growth.
Several foods contain vitamin A, including milk and cheese, cereals, eggs, salmon, beef liver and offal (which are also high in cholesterol, so restrict your intake), leafy greens, and orange and yellow vegetables such as spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and pumpkin. Cantaloupe, mango, and apricots are also among the fruits.
Vitamin C - also known as ascorbic acid, is required for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and collagen, as well as for the protection and strengthening of cells, the maintenance of healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage, and the aid in wound healing.
Individuals aged 19 and above require 60-90 mg of vitamin C per day. Since the body cannot store vitamin C, it must acquire it from food on a daily basis. Excessive vitamin C, on the other hand, can cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and flatulence.
Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables, including red peppers, bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, tomatoes, and strawberries.
Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol) - aids in the health of the heart, blood circulation, immunity, skin health, and the body's natural defenses against disease and infection. Vitamin E is a group of compounds that can be found in a variety of foods, including vegetable oils such as sunflower, soybean, corn, almond, safflower, and olive oil. Vitamin E can also be found in nuts, wheat germ, whole grains, cereal goods, and peanut butter.
Gamma Tocopherol - a naturally occurring form of vitamin E with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to the development of chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and aging. Soybean and corn oils are common sources of gamma tocopherol.
Beta Carotene - it is the compound that gives vegetables their yellow, orange and red colors. It is also an antioxidant, stimulates the immune system, and may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A (retinol), an important component for vision.
Most red, orange, or yellow fruits and vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, melons, red and yellow peppers, apricots, and herbs and spices including chili peppers and coriander contain beta-carotene.
Alpha Carotene - functions as an antioxidant, fights oxidative damage, lowers the mortality rate of certain malignancies (lung, prostate, liver), and lowers the risk of cancer, cardiovascular death, developing diabetes and respiratory illness.
Alpha-carotene is fat-soluble, so it needs to be consumed together with fat for it to be absorbed by the body.
Alpha-carotene-rich foods include yellow, orange, red, and dark green fruits and vegetables including pumpkin, carrots, tangerines, tomatoes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, avocados, and bananas.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - is a naturally occurring antioxidant generated by the body. CoQ10 levels in the body decrease with age. CoQ10 levels have also been observed to fall in individuals suffering from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, as well as those using cholesterol-lowering medications.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is found in meat, fish, and nuts, thus vegetarians and vegans may have low levels of CoQ10.
Lycopene - a carotenoid antioxidant found in red and pink fruits such as tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruits. It is beneficial to the heart, lowering the risk of prostate disease and cardiovascular disease. Due to its ability to lower cholesterol levels, it protects the skin from aging and sun damage, protects the retina, and reduces the risk of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. It also helps to improve regular exercise by preventing the detrimental effects of free radicals produced during intense exercise.
Folic – also known as vitamin B 9, is essential for proper cell division, the synthesis of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, the formation of DNA and RNA, and the conversion of carbohydrates into energy. It is especially important during early pregnancy since it reduces the risk of congenital brain and spinal deformities.
The recommended daily intake of folate for adults is 400 micrograms (mcg). Women who are expecting a pregnancy or who are already pregnant should take 400 to 1,000 mcg of folic acid each day.
Folic acid-rich foods include spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, cereals, white rice, eggs, and liver.
Chromium - is an essential mineral which comes in two forms, trivalent chromium which is safe for humans and hexavalent chromium which is toxic.
The benefits of chromium include aiding to balance blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, assisting in body development and protein function, protecting against bone-related disorders, increasing muscle mass, and preventing chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chromium can be found in a variety of foods, including meat, nuts, and whole grains.
Copper – is an essential mineral that can be found in some foods and supplements. It aids in the formation of red blood cells, collagen, connective tissue, and neurotransmitters in the brain, as well as the breakdown and absorption of iron. It also aids in brain growth and immune system function.
Signs of copper deficiency such as anemia, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, bone fractures, increased infections, and loss of skin pigment.
Seafood, beans, chocolate or unsweetened cocoa, whole grains, fruits and vegetables all contain copper.
Ferritin - is a protein that stores iron. Iron is required by the human body to create blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body. Iron is essential for the development of red blood cells and hemoglobin, the synthesis of proteins, the health of hair and skin, the battle against infections, the maintenance of the body's immune system, and the generation of energy.
Iron deficiency anemia can result from a lack of ferritin, which can be caused by a poor diet or blood loss, or the body may have difficulty absorbing iron.
Ferritin, or iron, can be found in meat, beans, nuts, whole grains and many vegetables.
Magnesium - is a vital component for the body's metabolism and functions, including energy generation and protein synthesis. It is required for adequate muscle and nerve function, as well as the maintenance of normal blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Magnesium is mostly found in beans, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
Despite its importance, studies have shown that nearly 50% of people in Europe and the United States are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of developing ailments and symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and weakness. Magnesium shortage can result in numbness, muscular discomfort, seizures, and irregular heartbeat. They are also at risk for hypertension, arrhythmias, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, migraines, and Alzheimer's disease.
Selenium - is an antioxidant that contributes in the prevention and slowing of aging. It is an essential component of many enzymes and proteins, aids in the formation of DNA, and protects against cell damage and infection associated with reproduction and thyroid hormones.
Seafood, offal (liver and kidneys), tuna, onions, garlic, grains, beans, tomatoes, broccoli, and brown rice are among the foods high in selenium.
Zinc – An essential nutrient present in a wide variety of plant and animal foods. It supports the immune system and metabolic function, as well as wound healing and taste and smell sensibility. Assists in the resistance to infectious disorders such as diarrhea and pneumonia, in addition to blood clotting and thyroid function. During pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence, zinc also promotes normal growth and development.
Hair loss, diarrhea, dysfunction, eye and skin issues, and a loss of appetite may develop if the body does not acquire enough zinc.
Zinc-rich foods include oysters, calves, and Alaska crabs.
Iron - is the main component of hemoglobin. It helps to produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. It is important for motor and cognitive development.
Iron deficiency is more common in children and pregnant women than in the general population. Anemia is caused by iron deficiency, which can induce acute exhaustion and fainting. Women who lose a significant amount of blood during their periods are at a higher risk of iron deficiency anemia and may need iron supplements.
Iron-rich foods include liver, red meat, nuts, dried fruits, and grains.
Calcium - aids in the formation of strong bones and teeth, as well as the regulation of muscle contractions and heartbeat. Calcium deficiency can cause rickets in children as well as osteoporosis. Calcium levels normally decline with age, which is why many individuals take calcium supplements to avoid osteoporosis. The two most common calcium supplements are calcium carbonate (calcite) and calcium citrate (Citracal).
Individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 require 700 mg of calcium each day. Calcium in excess (more than 1,500 mg per day) can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
Calcium-rich meals include yogurt, orange juice, cheese, milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables like kale and okra, and small fish that the entire body can be consumed.
Vitamin B12 – is an essential vitamin that aids in the synthesis of red blood cells in the body. Helps the brain and nerve system function efficiently, increasing energy, decreasing weakness and weariness, preventing eye deterioration, and lowering the risk of depression.
Anemia, memory loss, weariness, muscular weakness, digestive issues, nerve damage, and mood changes can all result from a lack of vitamin B12. Since plant-based diets lack vitamin B12, vegetarians are at a higher risk of insufficiency. However, older adults and people with digestive systems that impair food absorption are more likely to be vitamin B12 deficient.
Beef liver, salmon, milk, yogurt, and eggs are all good sources of vitamin B12.
Vitamin D - There are two types of vitamin D: vitamin D2 (found in plants and yeast) and vitamin D3 (found in animals). Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which strengthens bones, teeth, muscles, and the immune system.
When exposed to sunshine, the human body produces vitamin D; however, certain individuals may require vitamin D supplementation through food or vitamin supplements. Nevertheless, taking too much vitamin D for an extended length of time can induce excessive calcium buildup in the body, resulting in hypercalcemia, which can impair kidney and heart function.
How can you know whether you are receiving enough vitamins and minerals?
According to various studies, up to 92% of the American population suffers from some form of nutritional deficiency.
- 9 out of 10 Americans are potassium deficient.
- 7 out of 10 people are calcium deficient.
- 8 out of 10 people are deficient in vitamin E.
- 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium.
- In every age group, more than half of the general population is vitamin D deficient.
- Almost 70% of elderly people are vitamin D deficient.
If you consume a variety of foods, you can get micronutrients in everyday foods such as fruits and vegetables. However, if you are uncertain or notice abnormal symptoms of the body that may indicate malnutrition, such as fatigue, easily wounding or bleeding, numbness in the hands or feet, paleness, or immune system disorders, low bone mass, poor collagen formation, dry hair, brittle nails, and fragility should be evaluated by a doctor to assess the balance of micronutrients, which is to determine the amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the body to assess the nutritional status and eating behavior of each individual.
This could be tested in individuals over the age of 15 who want to take care of their health and select foods that have the proper amount of nutrients and are not damaging to the body in order to create a health care plan - beginning with lifestyle changes, food choices, or other rehabilitation that is suitable for each individual.
For more information about the balance of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants), click here.
VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center