Trace Metabolic Functions Minerals

The only known function of iodine is that it aids in the formation of thyroid hormones, which help regulate cell activities. It is found mainly in clams, lobsters, shellfish and seafood, plants grown near the sea and foods with iodine added (iodised) salt. Selenium is the major mineral antioxidant and is required for many processes in the body. Vitamin E and selenium reinforce one another and can make up for one another if one is deficient. Selenium works well to help sun-damaged skin. Research also shows it can possibly help prevent viruses attacking the heart and lowers the risk of many cancers. Selenium is found in shellfish and meat as well as whole grains, but soils are often deficient in selenium, and the sulphur content in many fertilisers can also inhibit plant absorption.Selenium should be taken every day as an aid to fight oxidative free radicals that cause premature aging and stress. Low levels of selenium are also associated with mood disorders, degenerative diseases, thyroid problems, psychiatric disorders, poor immune functions and skin conditions.Copper helps promote bone growth and maintains the health of nerve tissue. Iron, copper and cobalt work closely together in the production and maturation of red blood cells. It is found in beef, liver, seafood, nuts, dry roasted cashews, dried beans and sunflower seeds.

Shopping for super foods

You may not realise it but you have been eating phytochemicals all your life. Phytonutrients, as they are sometimes referred to, give fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes their flavour colour and protection against disease. They help form the plants’ immune system and potent antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, carotenoids (fat-soluble pigments like beta-carotei and lycopene) and flavonoids (water-soluble pigments like catechins and reserveratro Studies are now showing that they have a protective effect against many ailments such high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. So, once again the key message is t make sure you eat your fruit and veges daily!

Whole grains and bread

Whole grains add essential vitamins and fibre to your diet. Try some different grains you might not have had before, such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat or barley, available at health- food shops and some supermarkets. Brown rice also belongs in this category: it is far superior to white rice and you will quickly acquire a taste for this yummy, nutty food. There is a huge variety of bread out there. We recommend going for bread in which you can see the whole grains. Check the labels, as some bread is high in sodium or fat, although it may look healthy.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are other great snacks loaded with nutrients, essential fats and protein. Add them into your cooking and sprinkle them over your vegetable dishes, breakfasts or yoghurt. Take good care to buy them fresh, as rancid nuts can be quite toxic. It is best to buy them from bulk bins where you can ‘sniff’ for rancidity.

Guidelines for Buying Health Supplements

  1. If you live a busy lifestyle and know that at times you are not eating right, you may require supplementation.
  2. As mentioned before, be aware of the following antagonists when purchasing supplements: folic acid with zinc, iron with Vitamin E, Vitamin B and antioxidants.
  3. Avoid supplements that mix vitamins and minerals with herbs. While vitamins and minerals supplement your diet, herbs are treating your body, and when taken on their own work a lot more powerfully.
  4. In stressful times, you may well suffer from a lack of the Vitamin B group, because when your body is under stress it can limit B absorption from your food. Adding a good acidophilus supplement to your diet for a few weeks helps your body regain the balance that is often thrown out by stress.
  5. If you still wish to take a Vitamin B supplement, always use a B complex, as the B group all work together. Here is what to look for:
    1. Concentrate on the date of manufacture more than the brand.
    2. Look at the expiry date — freshest is always best with Bs.
    3. And buy small pack sizes, no more than 30 tablets at a time.
  2. B vitamins degrade rapidly when mixed with water, so adding them to vitality drinks may mean there is little left by the time you drink them.
  3. The label lists what they put in, not necessarily what you get out.