Vitamins and Minerals
What are vitamins? Huh? Huh?
are things that are in the food we eat.
Your body needs these to work right. Vitamins do 100s of things; the
most important one is help you grow. Another thing vitamins do is help
Vitamin “Hang Outs”
are 2 kinds of vitamins 1) fat-soluble and 2)water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins such
as A, D, E, and K are stored for
awhile in fat tissues in your body and liver. They're perfectly happy to “pull up a chair, take off
their shoes, and stay awhile.”
the stars? Like colorful pictures? If you answered yes for one or both of
these questions, you’d be miserable without vitamin A. Mr. A is the
vitamin that helps you see when you're trick-or-treating and helps you see in the
dark. Without it, life at night would be pitch black, and
life during the day would be black and white. Milk tastes good and has
I believe I introduced you to the B’s (if you want to say them:
B’s B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid (no not the kind that burns),
biotin, and pantothenic acid (not burning kind). That’s a lot, give your
mouth a rest right now and listen to what the B bunch does. The B vitamins
make and disperse energy, in other words they are like the person who makes
and serves lunch. They also help make red blood cells. B comes from leafy
Super C defends bodies
everywhere by fighting off germs. Vitamin C also strengthens teeth, gums,
bones and helps prevent infection in cuts. Vitamin C comes in sweet packages such as
Fort Femur is under lots of pressure, I’m not sure we can hold out!"
likes E. The tissue protector! You see, while super C is working on the
outside protecting us from germs, someone has to protect
tissues. That’s where Astro-E comes in. Get E from veggies similar to
spinach and peanuts.
to stop your bleeding! This happens when special blood cells (with the
help of vitamin K) stick like glue at the cut (like a river dam). K is in
dark green veggies and cheese.
are a lot like vitamins. For instance, you get both from food. Minerals
perform many jobs. Like vitamins, minerals are also grouped in 2
2 mineral categories are macrominerals and trace minerals.
Calcium is a macromineral, and it is one of the best when it comes
to bone building. Calcium plays a major roll in everything from standing
up to winning a race. It also builds strong teeth so you
don't have to grind up your food into mush beforehand. Okay, we know that
calcium’s important, now were can we get it? Anyone? How about you? No?
Just say "moo." Dairy is a good way to get calcium.
Iron has an important job; it is part of the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your whole body. Lots
of foods contain iron, some are: red meat, liver, dried beans, baked
beans, baked potato with skin, hamburgers, and raisins.
small amount of iodine is important for a healthy thyroid gland.
gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that uses iodine from food
is important for enzyme systems in the body. It helps make a healthy
immune system and speeds the healing of wounds. Zinc is needed for normal
taste and smell and prostate gland functioning. Mild zinc deficiency is probably a
common phenomenon. Zinc deficiency is especially common in women and
children. The ability to absorb zinc lessens with age. Slight zinc
deficiency in children can cause little appetite, poor growth, and loss of
taste. Breastfeeding mothers who are zinc deficient may pass on zinc
deficiency to their babies. Zinc found in breast milk is more easily
absorbed than zinc found in formula, even though there are similar levels.
One's zinc levels are lowered by: diarrhea, fiber consumption, and a
significant amount of zinc are lost in perspiration. Things in grains and
legumes, called phytates, bind with zinc so that it cannot be absorbed.
Zinc deficiency is known to block the immune system and make a person get
colds and infections easier.
is needed by every cell of your body. Roughly ˝
of your body's magnesium is found inside cells of body tissues and
organs, and ˝ are combined with calcium and phosphorus in bone. Only 1%
of the magnesium in your body is found in blood. Your body works very hard
to keep blood levels of magnesium constant. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
It helps muscles and nerves function right, keeps heart rhythm steady, and
bones strong. It is also involved in energy metabolism and protein
synthesis. Green vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium; nuts,
seeds, and some whole grains are also good sources of magnesium.
is needed for cell metabolism. People with diets high
in refined and processed foods are at risk for deficiency.
I have only touched base on the many many minerals.
The Nemours Foundation. "KidsHealth for Kids" 1995-2004. <http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/> (January-February, 2004).
Images of pills, oranges, dairy, and nutritious food from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?cag=1> Images free for non-profit and personal use. (October-February, 2003-2004).
Bernstein, Joanne E. and Paul Cohen. Dizzy Doctor Riddles. Niles, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company. 1989.