What is the importance of good nutrition and why do we need vitamins and minerals?
What is the importance of good nutrition?
While most of us try to eat healthily it can be difficult to always have the perfect diet every day. Not only that, in our modern lifestyle we are often under constant pressure and stress, as well as being exposed to toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, pollution and radiation. All of these things can have an impact on our overall health and wellbeing as well as depleting our bodies of important nutrients.
Why do we need vitamins and minerals and what do they do?
Good quality nutrition is fundamental to our overall sense of health and wellbeing. Vitamins and minerals are contained in the foods that we eat and our body needs them to grow, develop, function and thrive in day to day life. Most vitamins and minerals need to be obtained through our diet as our body cannot make them. Considering each vitamin has an important specific role or many important roles to play within our body, it’s easy to see why good nutrition is so important.
What is a multivitamin?
A multivitamin is like a nutritional insurance policy. It may help fill in the gaps, when dietary intake is inadequate.1
Who may benefit from a daily multivitamin?
Most of us could benefit from a daily multivitamin but some people in particular have additional nutritional needs. Those who may benefit from a boost to their daily nutrition include:
- Dieters and those on low calorie diets – they may be missing out on important vitamins and minerals.1,2
- Vegetarians or vegans may be deficient in vitamin B12 or iron3.
- High caffeine intake -Caffeine can hinder absorption of iron, so it’s a good idea to have it away from meal times.4
- Smokers – smoking may deplete the body of vitamin C.5
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding – during these times of rapid growth and change in the body, there are many additional nutritional requirements. For example, the pregnant mother requires adequate iodine, iron and folate for the health of the developing baby. Low iron affects pre term birth and birth weight as well as the baby’s developing circulation system.6
- Harvard school of public health accessed 16 November2015 https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-youeat/vitamins/
- MyDr accessed 16 November 2015 http://www.mydr.com.au/pharmacy-care/vitamins-and-nutritional-supplements
- Healthline. Accessed 05 February 2019, 7 nutrients deficiencies that are incredibly common, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-common-nutrient-deficiencies
- Healthline, Accessed 05 February 2019, Do Coffee and Caffeine Inhibit Iron Absorption, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-caffeine-iron-absorption
- Healthline, Accessed 05 February 2019, 15 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-deficiency-symptoms
- Better Health Channel, Accessed 05 February 2019, Nutrition – women’s extra needs, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/nutrition-womens-extra-needs?viewAsPdf=true
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