Vitamins • Are complex organic (made by plants and animals) substances vital to life. • Do not supply energy like carbs, fat and protein does (no calories) • regulate the body chemistry and body functions • cannot be produced by the body • Must be ingested from food • Assist the body in using food
Antioxidants • They are vitamins that include beta-carotene, selenium and vitamins C and E. • Humans need oxygen to live but oxygen causes undesirable oxidation (like the process that turns sliced apples and potatoes dark, when cut and exposed to air). • Oxygen sometimes produces dangerously reactive substances (free radicals) which are normally found in the body • Antioxidants are capable of stabilizing free radicals before they can cause harm. (same way as lemon juice does to apples) • Antioxidants may help your body from heart diseases, cancers and eye problems.
Categories of Vitamins Water Soluble Fat soluble Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) • Vitamin B Complex • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) • Vitamin B 6 • Vitamin B 12 • Niacin • Folate
Functions of Vitamins • Fixed reactions at fixed times • Therefore, • Too few keeps the body from working at full capacity • Too many can be damaging to health • Excess can be toxic • Energy reproduction and release • Tissue maintenance • Normal digestion • Infection resistance
How much vitamins are needed? • 2 problems • Getting enough of vitamins from food sources • Failure of the body to absorb vitamins
Are vitamin supplements needed? • Supplements do not make up for poor eating habits • Supplements only relieve the symptoms of that vitamin deficiency • Doctors do advise pregnant women to take supplements particularly folic acid • Following Canada’s Food guide generally assures all the vitamins and minerals an adult needs • No nutritional difference between naturally-sourced and synthetic vitamins • Watch dosage carefully—a person can have too much
Preserving vitamins in food: • Vitamins in food are unstable • Modern processing methods minimize nutrition loss • Water, heat, acids and akalis used in cooking can destroy vitamins.
Minerals: • Have no calories • Are inorganic elements (come from soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals • Are the same as the Periodic Table (Chemistry class) • Some are needed in larger amounts (calcium) • Some are called trace minerals because we need very small amounts of them every day. • Unlike vitamins, they are not destroyed by heat, oxygen or processing.
Classifications of Minerals Macro-minerals (major) Micro-minerals (trace) Iron Zinc Iodine Fluoride Selenium Copper Chromium Manganese molybdenum • Calcium • Phosphorus • Magnesium • Sulfur • Sodium • Potassium • Chlorine
Functions of Minerals • Help enzymes complete chemical reactions • Become part of body components • Aid normal nerve functioning and muscle contraction • Promote growth • Regulate acid-base balance • Maintain body fluid balance • Boost your immune system • Help cells and organs do their job.
Absorption of Minerals • Only absorbed minerals are used by the body • Excessive minerals may decrease absorption of another mineral • Excessive fiber results in mineral loss • Diuretics like caffeine will flush minerals • Some vitamins will help mineral absorption • Not as fragile as vitamins but avoid soaking food in water; make soups, sauces etc with the cooking liquid