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Archive for January 25, 2011

Vitamins and Minerals

We all know that we need these important vitamins and minerals. Some of us get too little and others enough or more. But do we know which one that is in our food?

 

What Are Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins and minerals make people’s bodies work well. Although you get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat every day, some foods have more vitamins and minerals than others.

Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K — dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. The water-soluble vitamins C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate) need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. Because of this, your body can’t store these vitamins. Any vitamin C or B that your body doesn’t use as it passes through your system is lost so that’s why we need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.

Whereas vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals), minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Your body needs larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you only need very small amounts of them each day.

What Do Vitamins and Minerals Do?

Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system; support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs. For example, you’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your eyes. It’s true! Carrots are full of substances called carotenoids that your body converts into vitamin A, which helps prevent eye problems.

Another vitamin, vitamin K, helps blood to clot (so cuts and scrapes stop bleeding quickly). You’ll find vitamin K in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soybeans. And to have strong bones, you need to eat foods such as milk, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables, which are rich in the mineral calcium.

Vitamins

Vitamin What the vitamin does Significant food sources
B1 (thiamin) Supports energy metabolism and nerve function spinach, green peas, tomato juice, watermelon, sunflower seeds, lean ham, lean pork chops, soy milk
B2 (riboflavin) Supports energy metabolism, normal vision and skin health spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, milk, liver, oysters, clams
B3 (niacin) Supports energy metabolism, skin health, nervous system and digestive system spinach, potatoes, tomato juice, lean ground beef, chicken breast, tuna (canned in water), liver, shrimp
Biotin Energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, glycogen synthesis widespread in foods
Pantothenic Acid Supports energy metabolism widespread in foods
B6 (pyridoxine) Amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, red blood cell production bananas, watermelon, tomato juice, broccoli, spinach, acorn squash, potatoes, white rice, chicken breast
Folate Supports DNA synthesis and new cell formation tomato juice, green beans, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, okra, black-eyed peas, lentils, navy, pinto and garbanzo beans
B12 Used in new cell synthesis, helps break down fatty acids and amino acids, supports nerve cell maintenance meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs
C (ascorbic acid) Collagen synthesis, amino acid metabolism, helps iron absorption, immunity, antioxidant spinach, broccoli, red bell peppers, snow peas, tomato juice, kiwi, mango, orange, grapefruit juice, strawberries
A (retinol) Supports vision, skin, bone and tooth growth, immunity and reproduction mango, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, tomato juice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beef liver
D Promotes bone mineralization self-synthesis via sunlight, fortified milk, egg yolk, liver, fatty fish
E Antioxidant, regulation of oxidation reactions, supports cell membrane stabilization polyunsaturated plant oils (soybean, corn and canola oils), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, tofu, avocado, sweet potatoes, shrimp, cod
K Synthesis of blood-clotting proteins, regulates blood calcium Brussels sprouts, leafy green vegetables, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, liver

Minerals

Mineral What the mineral does Significant food sources
Sodium Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, supports muscle contraction and nerve impulse transmissions salt, soy sauce, bread, milk, meats
Chloride Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, aids in digestion salt, soy sauce, milk, eggs, meats
Potassium Maintains fluid and electrolyte balance, cell integrity, muscle contractions and nerve impulse transmission potatoes, acorn squash, artichoke, spinach, broccoli, carrots, green beans, tomato juice, avocado, grapefruit juice, watermelon, banana, strawberries, cod, milk
Calcium Formation of bones and teeth, supports blood clotting milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, tofu, sardines, green beans, spinach, broccoli
Phosphorus Formation of cells, bones and teeth, maintains acid-base balance all animal foods (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk)
Magnesium Supports bone mineralization, protein building, muscular contraction, nerve impulse transmission, immunity spinach, broccoli, artichokes, green beans, tomato juice, navy beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas,  sunflower seeds, tofu, cashews, halibut
Iron Part of the protein hemoglobin (carries oxygen throughout body’s cells) artichoke, parsley, spinach, broccoli, green beans, tomato juice, tofu, clams, shrimp, beef liver
Zinc A part of many enzymes, involved in production of genetic material and proteins, transports vitamin A, taste perception, wound healing, sperm production and the normal development of the fetus spinach, broccoli, green peas, green beans, tomato juice,lentils, oysters, shrimp, crab, turkey (dark meat), lean ham, lean ground beef, lean sirloin steak, plain yogurt, Swiss cheese, tofu, ricotta cheese
Selenium Antioxidant.  Works with vitamin E to protect body from oxidation seafood, meats and grains
Iodine Component of thyroid hormones that help regulate growth, development and metabolic rate salt, seafood, bread, milk, cheese
Copper Necessary for the absorption and utilization of iron, supports formation of hemoglobin and several enzymes meats, water
Manganese Facilitates many cell processes widespread in foods
Fluoride Involved in the formation of bones and teeth, helps to make teeth resistant to decay fluoridated drinking water, tea, seafood
Chromium Associated with insulin and is required for the release of energy from glucose vegetable oils, liver, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, cheese, nuts
Molybdenum Facilitates many cell processes legumes, organ meats

Important events on January 25st

  • 41 – After a night of negotiation, Claudius is accepted as Roman Emperor by the Senate.
  • 1327 – Edward III becomes King of England.
  • 1494 – Alfonso II becomes King of Naples.
  • 1533 – Henry VIII of England secretly marries his second wife Anne Boleyn.
  • 1554 – Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.
  • 1573 – Battle of Mikatagahara, in Japan; Takeda Shingen defeats Tokugawa Ieyasu.
  • 1575 – Luanda, the capital of Angola was founded by the Portuguese navigator Paulo Dias de Novais.
  • 1755 – Moscow University is established on Tatiana Day.
  • 1787 – American Daniel Shays leads a rebellion to seize Federal arsenal to protest debtor’s prisons.
  • 1791 – The British Parliament passes the Constitutional Act of 1791 and splits the old province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada.
  • 1792 – The London Corresponding Society is founded.
  • 1858 – The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn becomes a popular wedding recessional after it is played on this day at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia.
  • 1879 – The Bulgarian National Bank is founded.
  • 1881 – Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company.
  • 1890 – Nellie Bly completes her round-the-world journey in 72 days.
  • 1909 – Richard Strauss’ opera Elektra receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera.
  • 1915 – Alexander Graham Bell inaugurates U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.
  • 1918 – The Ukraine declares independence from Bolshevik Russia.
  • 1919 – The League of Nations is founded.
  • 1924 – The 1924 Winter Olympics opens in Chamonix, France (in the French Alps), inaugurating the Winter Olympic Games.
  • 1937 – The Guiding Light debuts on NBC radio from Chicago. In 1952 it moves to CBS television, where it remains until Sept. 18, 2009.
  • 1941 – Pope Pius XII elevates the Apostolic Vicariate of the Hawaiian Islands to the dignity of a diocese. It becomes the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu.
  • 1942 – World War II: Thailand declares war on the United States and United Kingdom.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of the Bulge ends.
  • 1946 – The United Mine Workers rejoins the American Federation of Labor.
  • 1949 – At the Hollywood Athletic Club the first Emmy Awards are presented.
  • 1955 – The Soviet Union ends state of war with Germany.
  • 1960 – The National Association of Broadcasters reacts to the Payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys who accept money for playing particular records.
  • 1961 – In Washington, D.C. John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential television news conference.
  • 1969 – Brazilian Army captain Carlos Lamarca deserts in order to fight against the military dictatorship, taking with him 10 machine guns and 63 rifles.
  • 1971 – Charles Manson and three female “Family” members are found guilty of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.
  • 1971 – Idi Amin leads a coup deposing Milton Obote and becomes Uganda’s president.
  • 1971 – Himachal Pradesh becomes the 18th Indian state.
  • 1981 – Jiang Qing, the widow of Mao Zedong, is sentenced to death.
  • 1986 – The National Resistance Movement topples the government of Tito Okello in Uganda.
  • 1990 – The Burns’ Day storm hits northwestern Europe.
  • 1993 – Five people are shot outside the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia resulting in two murders.
  • 1994 – The Clementine space probe launches.
  • 1995 – The Norwegian Rocket Incident: Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.
  • 1996 – Billy Bailey became the last person to be hanged in the United States of America.
  • 1998 – During a historic visit to Cuba, Pope John Paul II demands the release of political prisoners and political reforms while condemning US attempts to isolate the country.
  • 1998 – A suicide attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Sri Lanka’s Temple of the Tooth kills 8 people and injures 25 others.
  • 1999 – A 6.0 Richter scale earthquake hits western Colombia killing at least 1,000.
  • 2001 – A 50-year-old Douglas DC-3 crashes near Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela killing 24.
  • 2002 – Wikipedia switches to the new version of its software (“Phase II”), aka Magnus Manske Day.
  • 2004 – Opportunity rover (MER-B) lands on surface of Mars.
  • 2005 – A stampede at the Mandher Devi temple in Mandhradevi in India kills at least 258.
  • 2006 – Three independent observing campaigns announce the discovery of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb through gravitational microlensing, the first cool rocky/icy extrasolar planet around a main-sequence star.
  • 2010 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on-board.

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