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A Scientific Approach to Nutrition Volume 3 ( Micronutrients )

Updated: Sep 21, 2018

Welcome to Volume 3 by this point you should have a pretty good grasp of how to calculate your daily calories and also how to break that down into specific macronutrients. Body composition as in how lean or athletic we look mainly comes down to food intake, yes you can lose body fat on a diet consisting of solely ice cream although I wouldn't recommend it. But Performance and health come from eating the right foods to assure we get an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

*supplements shouldn't ever be used in place of a varied diet where possible.

What even are vitamins and minerals?

We talk about certain vitamins a lot it seems like every week a new vitamin is put in the spotlight for cancer-fighting or reducing such disease my case in point is most of us know we need them, but we don't know what they are. Are you ready?................ Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that are essential for healthy growth we are required to get them from the foods we eat because they cannot be synthesised in the body so if we do not consume them, we run the risk of being deficient.

Vitamins can be separated into water soluble and fat soluble. Water Soluble dissolve in water and are not stored in the body any extra is excreted. Fat soluble vitamins require fat to dissolve; fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the adipose tissue.

The purpose of this volume isn't to attempt to diagnose deficiencies if you suspect a vitamin or mineral deficiency then I advise you get to your local GP and ask for the relevant test. The purpose is to make you aware of the importance and functions of the different vitamins and minerals.

So let's start with water soluble vitamins.

- Vitamin B1 - Found in Thiamine, plants, pork, fish. Responsible for Nervous health.

- Vitamin B6 - Found in Milk, Eggs, Liver, and, Fish. Responsible circadian rhythm and seeing blue-light.

- Folates - Found in Eggs, Leafy Greens, Asparagus. Responsible for the transfer of carbon in metabolic reactions.

- Vitamin B12 - Found in Meat, Fish, Milk. Responsible for helps prevent a type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia that makes people tired and weak.

- Vitamin C - Found in Strawberries, Citrus Fruits, Papayas, Leafy Greens. Responsible for Glucose metabolism and injury recovery acts as an antioxidant, enhances iron uptake.

- Biotin - Found in Liver, Egg yolk, Nuts and seeds. Responsible enables the body to Convert food into glucose, which is used to produce energy.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins.

- Vitamin A - Found in Liver, Full-fat dairy, Oily Fish. Helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue

- Vitamin D - Found in Salmon, Cheese, Sunlight. Required for the absorb calcium and promote bone growth.

- Vitamin E - Found in Nuts, Seeds, Oily Fish. Vitamin E plays a role in cell signalling and gene expression.

- Vitamin K - found in Nuts, Seeds. Required for the synthesis of several proteins needed for blood clotting.

- Vitamin B12 Found in Fish, Meat, Eggs, Milk. Responsible for the normal function of the brain and the nervous system. It is also involved in the formation of red blood cells. The metabolism of every cell in the body depends on vitamin B-12.

- Magnesium - Found in Green Leafy Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain healthy nerve and muscle function, supports a robust immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.

- Calcium - Found in Milk, Cheese, Broccoli, Cabbage. It is necessary for contracting muscles, forming and strengthening bones and teeth, conducting nerve impulses throughout the body, clotting blood, maintaining a regular heartbeat.

- Zinc - Found in Meat, Shellfish, Cheese. It’s vital in gene transcription and recovery as well as being essential in hormone receptors for vitamin D, oestrogen and testosterone.

So where do we start, what do we do with all this information. This section can become somewhat baffling making it hard to see the forest through the trees its information overload. But don't let that put you off when looking at vitamins and minerals we will use a much broader approach this is because most deficiencies come down to poor meal construction or extreme dieting procedures and these are easily fixed. If however, you suspect that you have a deficiency then consult your GP.

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, we use the colour wheel to ensure we aren't missing out on any. If you try to include 2 of the colour groups with every meal and vary the colour groups, then you should have no problem getting in all your vitamins and minerals.

Stay Strong


Volume 4 - Nutrient Timing

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