Basics: Nutrients, Vitamins, Minerals, Food Groups

Here I will give you a little bit of background on the necessary building blocks of any healthy body.

1. Carbohydrates: Give the body immediate energy, power voluntary and involuntary actions within the body.
2. Protein: Necessary for healthy skin, bones and muscles. We must ingest enough protien while growing in order to reach our full potential, and when fully grown to maintain it. As a vegetarian, one must eat many different types of proteins, including those from plants, grains, beans, etc. in order to create complete proteins and nourish the body with all the amino acids it needs to function.
3. Fats: Aids in the absorption of vitamins, supports cell membrane health, aids in digestion and maintaining a healthy immune system. While processed and hydrogenized fats are not so good for one, unprocessed unsaturated fats are wonderful, especially those rich in amino 3 fatty acids
4. Water: The human body is composed of 60% water. It is needed for normal functioning, cleansing the body of unwanted toxins, carries nutrients to cells, and lubricates your joints.
5. Minerals and Vitamins:

Disease Protection
Nutrients such as vitamins C, E and beta-carotene are powerful antioxidants that remove toxins from the body and may prevent against chronic disease. Increased stress, associated with chronic illness, raises the zinc requirement within the body. This mineral is known to support the immune system and facilitates vitamin C absorption. The mineral selenium, found in seafood and meats, is also an antioxidant that works alongside the vitamins.


Similar to a match on a candlewick, vitamins and minerals are the sparks that initiate chemical reactions within the body. The B vitamins start the process of turning food into energy. Without the presence of B vitamins as catalysts, the body is unable to convert proteins into fresh, healthy cells. The minerals zinc and magnesium are responsible for chemical reactions throughout the body. The University of Maryland Medical Center allows that vitamins are useless until they bind with chemicals in the body.

Tissue Repair

The human body has the amazing potential to heal itself. Before antibiotics or bandages, the human immune and integumentary systems worked together to prevent disease and infection. The skin is a waterproof barrier that blocks invasion of infection but is very fragile allowing cuts and burns to decrease its efficacy. Vitamins A, C and D play a role in cell division, constantly stimulating collagen and proteins to grow new tissues including those of the skin, muscles and bone. Right alongside these vitamins are the minerals, such as calcium, which provide the foundation and substance for tissue growth.

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