About 20% of adults experience excessive fatigue that impairs their ability to function well at work and at home. Some are able to bounce back after taking a short respite from work or by taking some medication. But there is a significant number of people whose stressful experiences last longer that usual. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects at least 800,000 people in the United States. This disabling fatigue usually persists for as long as six months or even longer. The eight common CFS symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, memory gaps or loss of concentration, sleeplessness, headaches, sore throat, and unusual fatigue after exercise.
Many people deal with fatigue and everyday stress by taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Vitamins and minerals are necessary to maintain the many biological processes that take place inside our bodies. Mental alertness, proper digestion, and resistance to bacterial and viral infections are dependent on the proper working of internal organs which are, in turn, dependent on nutrients that come from the food and beverages we consume.
Our bodies need carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to speed up chemical reactions and allow our internal organs to function. Like a machine, nutrients from food serve as fuel. These nutrients are the very foundations of good health. However, due to our polluted environment and the toxins found in the food we eat, sickness and muscle fatigue can no longer be totally eradicated. All human beings eventually get sick and require medical treatment as well as supplements during the recuperation stage.
In this day and age, it has become necessary to supplement our daily meals with vitamins, minerals, and even herbal preparations in order to have optimum health and nutrition. These are only some of the vitamins and minerals that should be consumed daily in order to sustain health:
- Vitamin E – This vitamin can be found in plain yogurt, rice milk, calcium-fortified soy, kale, nonfat milk, cheddar cheese, turnip greens, cottage cheese and spinach. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It also promotes good skin complexion; enhances sexual performance; and helps alleviate fatigue.
- Vitamin A – This vitamin helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and eye problems. It also helps repair skin cells and promotes the formation of bones and teeth. It plays a big part in the functioning of the entire immune system. This vitamin can be found in cheddar cheese, steamed or raw carrots, fortified skimmed milk, cantaloupe, spinach, mangoes, and peaches.
- Vitamin K - This vitamin is vital in bone mineralization, cellular growth, and the prevention of hardening of the arteries. This can be found in broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, beef and sprouts.
- Vitamin D - This vitamin is needed to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which, in turn, are needed for the normal development of the bones and teeth. Getting enough of this particular vitamin helps protect women against osteoporosis. Vitamin D-rich foods include salmon and fortified milk. Sunlight is also a good source of Vitamin D.
- Magnesium – This mineral is needed for protein and bone formation. Magnesium gives us energy and helps prevent muscle spasms. Dark green and leafy vegetables such as spinach, grains,legumes and black-eyed peas are rich sources of magnesium.
- Calcium - This mineral is vital for proper bone and teeth development.
- Potassium – It is a mineral that maintains fluid balance, sends nerve impulses, and releases energy. You can get this from potatoes, fish, yogurt, carrot juice, dried potatoes, citrus juices, and bananas.
There are other nutrients that should be included as part of our daily food intake. Vitamin C, iodine, dietary fiber must be consumed every day. Filling these nutritional gaps is easy if you practice good eating habits and eat the right types of food. Indeed, taking multivitamins will go a long, long way in boosting your energy levels and over-all health.
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