Dear GIS Families,
After explaining the new and revised food pyramid and our need for correct hydration, I would like to move on to the next step in the food pyramid which is by from vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits should cover half of our plate and studies show now that instead of 5 portions a day we would be better off consuming up to 10! Vegetables and fruits supply us with small yet powerful vitamins and minerals.
Why we need them
Vitamins and minerals are needed to boost our immune system and help cells and organs to do their jobs. They also support normal growth and development.
Vitamins are as essential for us as are carbohydrates, proteins and fat. They are organic which means that they are made by plants and animals.
Minerals are essential non-organic elements that come from the soil and water, and are absorbed by plants or animals. Each one is made of a particular mix of chemical elements. They do not deliver any energy but regulate blood pressure and water balance as well as build our bones.
What are vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins can be divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble.
The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K dissolve in fat which means that our body needs the presence of fat in our intestines to be able to absorb these vitamins.
All water-soluble vitamins need to dissolve in water before our body can absorb them. The most commonly known vitamins are:
Vitamin B (1, 2, 6, 12)
Minerals can be divided into
Amongst the minerals that our body contains in a higher amount are sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
These are elements our body only needs in a very small amount like iron, iodine, zinc, selenium.
What are good vitamin and mineral sources?
amongst good vitamin sources are amongst good mineral sources are
Lack of vitamins and minerals
A lack of vitamins can have serious effects like the danger of infection, fatigue, hair loss, night blindness and growth disturbance.
A lack of minerals can lead to muscle cramps, low bone density, weak teeth, heart dysfunction and osteoporosis.
You will receive best health benefits if you eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Please take into account that vegetables and fruits of similar colours will generally also contain similar vitamins and minerals. Therefore, try to eat as colourful as possible in order to get the complete range of health benefits.
I am also a big believer in eating raw, the longer we cook or process vegetables and fruits, the less vitamins and minerals we will be left with.
Happy healthy eating!