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241. Selenium the Stamina Mineral
The mineral selenium creates stamina. Selenium and vitamin E are synergistic and the two together are stronger than the sum of the equal parts. Selenium slows down ageing and hardening of tissues through oxidation. Males seem to have a greater need for this mineral. Nearly half of the total supply in the body is concentrated in the testicles and in the seminal ducts adjacent to the prostate gland. Selenium is useful in keeping youthful elasticity in tissues. It alleviates hot flushes and menopausal distress. It also helps in the prevention and treatment of dandruff. This mineral is found in Brewer's yeast, garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggs, milk and sea food. There is no official dietary allowance for selenium but, 50 to 100 mcg is considered adequate. Deficiency of this mineral can cause premature loss of stamina.
242. Silicon the "Beauty Mineral"
Silicon is known as the " beauty mineral " as it is essential for the growth of skin, hair shafts, nails and other outer coverings of the body. It also makes the eyes bright and assists in hardening the enamel of the teeth. It is beneficial in all healing process and protects body against many diseases such as tuberculosis, irritations in mucous membranes and skin disorders. Silicon is found in apples, cherries, grapes, asparagus, beets, onions, almonds, honey, peanuts and the juices of the green leaves of most other vegetables. No official dietary allowance has been established for this mineral. Deficiency can lead to soft brittle nails, ageing symptoms of skin such as wrinkles, thinning or loss of hair, poor bone development, insomnia, osteoporosis.
243. Take a Bead on B
Today, ensure your nutrition includes the B vitamins. There are a large variety of vitamins in the B group, the more important being B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin or nicotinic acid, B6 or pyridoxine, B9 or folic acid, B12 and B5 or pantothenic acid. B vitamins are synergistic. They are more potent together than when used separately. Whole grains and dark, leafy vegetables are excellent supplies of vitamin B1, also known as thiamine. Known as anti-beriberi, anti-neuritic and anti-ageing vitamin, thiamine plays an important role in the normal functioning of the nervous system, the regulation of carbohydrates and good digestion. It protects heart muscle, stimulates brain action and helps prevent constipation. It has a mild diuretic effect. Valuable sources of this vitamin are wheat germ, yeast, the outer layer of whole grains, cereals, pulses, nuts, peas, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, milk, egg, banana and apple. The deficiency of thiamine can cause serious impairment of the digestive system and chronic constipation, loss of weight, diabetes, mental depression, nervous exhaustion and weakness of the heart. The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is about two milligrams for adults and 1.2 mg for children. The need for this vitamin increases during illness, stress and surgery as well as during pregnancy and lactation. When taken in a large quantity, say up to 50 mg, it is beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders, neuritis and other nervous troubles as well as mental depression. For best results, all other vitamins of B group should be administered simultaneously. Prolonged ingestion of large doses of any one of the isolated B complex vitamins may result in high urinary losses of other B-vitamins and lead to deficiencies of these vitamins.
244. Vitamin A the Forgotten Vitamin
The vitamin of the day is vitamin A. Known as anti-ophthalmic, vitamin A is essential for growth and vitality. It builds up resistance to respiratory and other infections and works mainly on the eyes, lungs, stomach and intestines. It prevents eye diseases and plays a vital role in nourishing the skin and hair. It helps to prevent premature ageing and senility, increases life expectancy and extends youthfulness. The main sources of this vitamin are fish liver oil, liver, whole milk, curds, pure ghee, butter, cheese, cream and egg yolk, green leafy and certain yellow root vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, turnip, beets, carrot, cabbage and tomato and ripe fruits such as prunes, mangoes, papayas, apricots, peaches, almonds and other dry fruits. A prolonged deficiency of vitamin A may result in inflammation of the eyes, poor vision frequent colds, night blindness and increased susceptibility to infections, lack of appetite and vigour, defective teeth and gums and skin disorders. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 5,000 international units for adults and 2,600 to 4,000 international units for children. When taken in large therapeutic doses, which are usually 25,000 to 50,000 units a day, it is highly beneficial in the treatment of head and chest colds, sinus trouble, influenza and other infectious diseases. It is also valuable in curing night blindness and other eye diseases as well as many stubborn skin disorders. This vitamin can be given upto 1,00,000 units a day for a limited period of four weeks under doctor's supervision. In a recent year-long study, huge doses of vitamin A given twice a year reduced death by about 30 per cent among Indonesian children. This has raised the hope in the fight against a significant cause of childhood mortality in developing countries.
245. Vitamin B for the Brain
Remember B for brain. Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, helps in cell building, maintaining normal growth and development of the central nervous system. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases the production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It is essential for conversion of fatty and sugar to energy. It also helps guard against most physical and mental stresses and toxins and increases vitality. The main sources of this vitamin are whole grain bread and cereals, green vegetables, peas, beans, peanuts and egg yolk. It can be synthesised in the body by intestinal bacteria. A deficiency can cause chronic fatigue, hypoglycaemia, greying and loss of hair, mental depression, stomach disorders, blood and skin disorders. The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin has not been established, but is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg a day. The usual therapeutic doses are 50 to 200 mg In some studies, 1,000 mg or more were given daily for six moths without side effects. It is useful in the treatment of insomnia, low blood pressure and hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar.
246. Vitamin B12 the Ambiguous Vitamin
When you ingest vitamin B12, you consume both a vitamin and a mineral. Vitamin B12 or cobolamin, commonly known as "red vitamin", is the only vitamin that contains essential mineral elements. It is essential for proper functioning of the central nervous system, production and regeneration of red blood cells and proper utilisation of fat, carbohydrates and protein for body building. It also improves concentration, memory and balance. Valuable sources of this vitamin are kidney, liver, meat, milk, eggs, bananas and peanuts. Its deficiency can lead to certain types of anaemia, poor appetite and loss of energy and mental disorders. Off all the nutrients essential to human health, vitamin B12 deficiency is most likely to be noted among Indians expatriated to other countries. Numerous European studies found that vegetables grown in India are superior source of cobolamin. The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin is 3 mcg. Taken in large therapeutic doses from 50 to 100 mcg., it is beneficial in the treatment of lack of concentration, fatigue, depression, insomnia and poor memory.
247. Donít Forget Your Vitamin B2
In addition to vitamin B1, ensure your daily diet includes vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 or riboflavin, also known as vitamin G, is essential for growth and general health as also for healthy eyes, skin, nails and hair. It helps eliminate sore mouth, lips and tongue. It also functions with other substances to metabolise carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The main sources of this vitamin are green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, wheat germ, egg, almonds, sunflower, seeds, citrus fruits and tomatoes. Its deficiency can cause a burning sensation in the legs, lips and tongue, oily skin, premature wrinkles on face and arm and eczema. The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is 1.6 to 2.6 mg for adults and 0.6 to one mg for children. Its use in larger quantities, say from 25 to 50 mg is beneficial in the treatment of nutritional cataracts and other eye ailments, digestive disturbances, nervous depression, general debility, and certain types of high blood pressure.
248. Ensure the health of your blood with folic acid
Vitamin B9 or folic acid, along with vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It is essential for the growth and division of all body cells for healing processes. It aids protein metabolism and helps prevent premature greying. Valuable sources of this vitamin are deep green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, brewers yeast, mushrooms, nuts, peanuts and liver. A deficiency can result in certain types of anaemia, serious skin disorders, loss of hair, impaired circulation, fatigue and mental depression. A deficiency during pregnancy can result in neural tube defects or cleft palate in the child. The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin is 0.4 mg To correct anaemia and deficiencies 5 mg or more are needed daily. Some authorities believe that folic acid is contraindicated in leukaemia and cancer.
249. Vitamin D the "Sunshine Vitamin"
For healthy bones, ensure an adequate supply of vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone and teeth formation and for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. It assists in the assimilation of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals from the digestive tract. This vitamin is found in the rays of the sun, fish, milk, eggs, butter and sprouted seeds. A deficiency can cause gross deformation of bones and severe tooth decay. The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin for both adults and children is 400 to 500 international units. Therapeutically, up to 4,000 to 5,000 units a day for adult or half of this for children, is a safe dose, if taken for not longer than one month. It is beneficial in the treatment of muscular fatigue, constipation and nervousness. It can be toxic if taken in excessive doses, especially for children. Signs of toxicity are unusual thirst, sore eyes, itching skin, vomiting, diarrhoea, urinary urgency, abnormal calcium deposits in blood vessel walls, liver, lungs, kidneys and stomach.
250. Vitamin K for Healthy Blood
To conserve the blood, ensure an adequate supply of vitamin K. Vitamin K is necessary for the proper clotting of blood, prevention of bleeding and normal liver functions. It aids in reducing excessive menstrual flow. This vitamin is contained in egg yolk, cow's milk, yoghurt, alfalfa, green and leafy vegetables, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage and tomato. Its deficiency can lead to sufficient bile salts in the intestines, colitis, lowered vitality and premature ageing.
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