In order to remain fit and healthy, it is vital that we are aware of our body requirements, as good nutrition is a key element of a positive lifestyle.
Vitamins and minerals are an essential element of our body requirements if we are to function properly.
Whilst it is common knowledge that our fat intake should be limited, many people do not realise that fish, nut, olive and sunflower oil are good for the heart, and are body requirements. A balanced intake of oils (particularly Essential Fatty Acids) should therefore be included in our diet. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and pilchards also help to keep joints supple.
In fact, a well balanced diet should include food from all five major food groups: bread, cereal and potatoes, fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, milk and dairy produce, fat and sugar. Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, whilst also providing fibre. Aim to consume five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Water is absolutely essential for our kidneys to function properly- try to drink at least two litres a day (it can be in the form of squash, tea and coffee, although it is best to avoid too much caffeine as it is an artificial stimulant).
If your diet includes all the major food groups, theoretically there should be no need for you to take vitamin and mineral supplements, however vitamins A and D and folic acid are recommended in the case of the young, elderly and pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans may also benefit from supplements.
The proper amount of vitamins and nutrients are vital for full and active lives, and can even increase life expectancy.