With the improvement of our food and the increasingly generalized industrialization of the content of our dish, more and more of us suffer from deficiencies. As a result, we don’t always get all the nutrients our bodies need to function properly.
Starting with vitamins, which if they have no energy value, are essential for good health. They are found mainly in fruits and vegetables, but also in some animal proteins (such as the famous vitamin B12). But also in the form of dietary supplements, much more practical for balancing our diet.
Ditto for minerals and trace elements. Our body is really incapable of doing without it, even though our daily intake (taken from our diet) is not always sufficient. In today’s article, we show you the role that nutrients play in how healthy we should be. And in which the food is supplemented to find them.
Because we need vitamins and minerals
Our body needs vitamins to function properly. The bad news is that our bodies are not able to synthesize it on their own (except for vitamin D, provided you are exposed to the sun) and vitamin K). So we need to get them out of our diet.
Nor will our bodies store them in the same way. You have to distinguish between fat-soluble vitamins (including vitamins A, D, E and K) that are more easily stored by the human body. And those who are water soluble, and for which it is impossible to make reservations. Therefore, your body will inevitably lose vitamins, so it is very important to get them regularly from our diet. They are also sensitive to light, air and heat.
Without vitamins, our body can malfunction. It is therefore essential that there is a significant intake to prevent certain diseases (especially heart or certain cancers). This is why it will sometimes be necessary to take supplements. Provided, however, that you have proven deficiencies, as overdose can be dangerous to your health.
The role of minerals in human health
It is the same with minerals, which also naturally exist in our body. Some will be in larger quantities: these are the macro-elements. Others represent only a few grams, sometimes even less, in our body: in this case, we are talking about trace elements.
In total, our body is made up of four percent of the minerals. They will play a key role in many physiological phenomena: in particular:
- the formation of our bones
- muscle tissue regulation
- the balance of our water content (especially through the regulation of its retention);
- composition of red and white blood cells;
- controlling our blood sugar levels.
If you eat right and have a healthy, balanced diet, You will find in your diet all the minerals (macros and trace elements) that you will need. However, sometimes you will need higher intakes, especially during pregnancy (about iron), near menopause (because a lack of calcium can cause osteoporosis) or to prevent certain pathologies. In this case, metal food supplements are listed.
What daily intake do we need?
Now let’s move on to the amounts of vitamins and minerals you will need for your body to function properly. Before giving a detailed analysis of the recommended daily intake for each of them, you should be aware that needs may vary from person to person. Indeed, it will be more or less important depending on your age, your gender and your particular situation. Remember, for example, that pregnant and lactating women in general will need more nutrients than normal.
Recommended daily intake of vitamins
- Vitamin A : if the deficiencies are relatively rare in France, watch out for the risks of overdose, especially during pregnancy. An adult woman will need 600 mg (compared to 800 for a man). However, these needs can reach 950 mg if you are breastfeeding.
- Vitamin B1 : Insufficiency risks are particularly associated with alcoholism. The RDI will range from 1,100 to 1,300 for a woman or an adult man. But it will increase to 1,800 mg during pregnancy.
- Vitamin B9 : the main risks of deficiency occur during pregnancy. Your RDI will range from 300 to 400 mg per day.
- Vitamin B12 it may be missing if your body is not absorbing it properly, or if you have a vegetarian or vegetarian diet (as found mainly in animal protein). You will need a total of 2.5 mg per day.
- Vitamin C : if there are frequent dietary supplements, the risks of deficiency are very low. Be extra careful. Generally you will need 110 to 120,000 mg per day.
- Vitamin D : you may be exhausted if you are not exposed to enough sun. Ditto for infants and the elderly, who are more prone to deficiencies. RDA is 5 mg for adults and 10 mg for pregnant and lactating women.
- Vitamin K. : Risk of deficiencies is much higher in infants. Or if you are taking certain medical treatments, especially for blood clotting. The RDA is 45 mg.
Recommended daily intake for minerals
- Calcium : this trace element is essential for growth. So watch out for deficiencies in young children. Menopausal women may lose them, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Calcium RDA is 900 to 2,500 mg depending on your gender.
- Copper and chromium : Lack of risk is very rare in France, however for overdose.
- Iron : They are particularly pregnant women who are concerned about the risks of this trace element deficiency. Indeed, their needs will range from 15 to 45 mg per day.
- Iodine : Taking a iodine supplement is often necessary during pregnancy. Measure between 150 μg and 500 μg depending on your gender.
- Magnesium : RDAs are distributed from 350 mg to 1000 mg throughout the day. Risks of deficiencies are also more often reduced in pregnant women.
- Potassium : Risks of deficiencies are often associated with a specific pathology. You will need 4 to 5 mg a day.
- Zinc: possible shortages, but quite rare. Be extra careful. The RDA will range from 10 to 40 mg per day.
What inorganic vitamin supplements should you take to avoid deficiencies?
Now let’s move on to vitamin and metal supplements that may suit you based on your specific needs. If the most obvious solution may be to take a multivitamin supplement, the risks of overdose are still very real. This can lead you to more specifically target the nutrients you are deficient in in order to avoid health risks.
Vitamin-rich dietary supplements
- Vitamin A : you can find it mainly in dairy products, eggs. But also the carrot. spinach meat and instrument. Be careful because it is very sensitive to light. If you prefer dietary supplements, choose those that contain retinol or β-carotene. But check the doses to avoid overdose.
- Vitamin B1 : It is found mainly in cereals, legumes and meat. Be careful with heat and oxidation and poor digestion if you drink too much alcohol. However, vitamin B1 is often present in multivitamin supplements.
- Vitamin B9 : Take them from certain legumes (especially beans), whole grains and spinach. You will also find them in folic acid and folic acid supplements. But also drugs against iron deficiency.
- Vitamin B12 : It is mainly present in animal proteins and in some algae. To avoid deficiencies, you can take cobalamin or spirulina / klamath.
- Vitamin C: found mainly in fruits and vegetables. Or in calcium and sodium supplements.
- Vitamin D : composed of UV rays. But you can also get it from fish, dairy products and eggs. For supplements, it is found in calciferol, but also in the form of medications.
- Vitamin K. : take it from spinach or broccoli. But also in phylloquinone-based supplements, Avoid anticoagulants.
Dietary supplements rich in minerals
- Calcium : Calcium is found mainly in dairy products, fatty fish and seeds (sunflower, sesame). But also in many supplements, especially in the form of salt (acetic, carbonate, citrus, etc.). Prefer natural supplements, not synthetic supplements.
- Chromium : very present in animal protein, brewer’s yeast, whole grains and green vegetables, you can also design it yourself or combine it into many dietary supplements. And especially in the form of chlorine (healthier than picolinic).
- Copper : They are mainly found in meat, chocolate and oysters. It is very difficult to find it individually, as it is often combined with other nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
- Iron : It is found mainly in animal proteins (starting with beef, sardines and seafood). But, like Popeye, you will also find it in spinach and some legumes. In addition, iron is available in iron salts. But also in the form of medical treatments for anemia.
- Iodine : Cooking salt is generally enriched with iodine. But it is also found in some fish and some algae. However, it is quite discreet in dietary supplements, and almost never alone.
- Magnesium ; This trace element is found mainly in legumes, whole grains and cocoa. But also in mineral waters. Often in combination with other nutrients in supplements, choose chloride or citrate that are easier to absorb.
- Potassium : found in almost all foods, therefore the risk of deficiency is very low. Ditto for multivitamin supplements where it is a very low dose.
- Zinc: It is mainly present in animal proteins, oysters and whole grains. In addition, it binds to other minerals such as copper.
What to remember
Now you know that every vitamin and metal will play a very specific role in the functioning of your body. So watch out for deficiencies that can lead to more or less serious pathologies. The first reflex you should have is to monitor your diet, because you will usually get all the nutrients you may need.
If in doubt, talk to your doctor, who may in some cases advise you on vitamin and mineral supplements. Avoiding the interactions they may have with each other or with any medical care you may receive.