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Know Your Vitamins and Mineral sources, as well as benefits


Vitamins and minerals are needed in the body in small amounts to enable it to grow, develop and function.
A diet that has plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed foods, should provide ample amount of vitamins and minerals.
A lot of the nutrients are lost through, processing, freezing, and canning.


Fruits and vegetables also lose some of their goodness through whilst left standing in the bowl

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Most people can get their relevant vitamins from they eat every day, as long as it is balanced.

Below are a list of vitamins and their sources as well as the benefits attributable to them.
Vitamin. A
Source: Eggs, butter, fish, oils, green and yellow fruits and vegetables, liver
Essential for: strong bones, good eyesight, healthy skin, and healing

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Source: Plant and animal foods, especially wholegrain products, brown rice, seafood, and beans

Whole meal bread
Essential for: Nerve function, conversion of blood sugar into energy
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Source: Milk and dairy produce, green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney, yeast,
Essential for: Cell growth and reproduction and production of energy.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Source: Meat, fish and poultry, wholegrain peanuts and avocados

Essential for: Digestion, energy and the nervous system
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Source: Organ meats, fish, eggs, chicken, nuts and wholegrain cereals
Essential for: Strengthening immunity and fighting infection, healing wounds
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine acid)
Source: Meat, eggs, wholegrain, yeast, cabbage, melon, molasses
Essential for: healthy immune system, production of antibodies, white blood cells, new cells
Vitamin B 12
Source: Fish, dairy produce, beef, pork, lamb, organ meat, eggs, milk
Essential for: Energy and concentration, production of red blood cells, growth in children
Vit C
Source: Fresh fruits and vegetables, potatoes, leafy green herbs and berries
Essential for: Healthy skin, bones, muscle, healing, eyesight, and protection from viruses

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Vit. D
Source: Milk, and dairy produce, eggs, fatty fish
Essential for: Healthy teeth, bones, vital for growth.
Vit E
Source: Nuts, seeds, eggs, milk, wholegrain, leafy vegetables, avocados, and soya
Essential; for absorption of iron, and essential fatty acids slowing the aging process.
Vit. K
Source: Green vegetables, milk products apricots, wholegrain, cod liver oils
Essential for: Blood clotting

Source: Dairy produce, leafy greens, vegetables, salmon, nuts, root vegetables, tofu
Essential for: strong bones and teeth, hormones, and muscles, blood clotting, regulation of blood process

Source: Liver, kidney, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, shellfish, pulses, dark green vegetables, egg yolk, red meat, beans, molasses
Essential for: supply of oxygen to the cells and immune system
Source: Brown rice, soya beans, nuts, wholegrain, bitter chocolate, legumes
Essential for: Transmission of nerve impulses, development of bones, growth, and repair of cells, development, and function of enzymes, and metabolism in general

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Source: Avocados, leafy green vegetables, banana, fruit and vegetable juices, potatoes, and nuts
Essential for: maintaining water balance, and nerve and muscle function


As we get older, our organs function less efficiently, absorption of essential nutrients and minerals become less.
It is, therefore, necessary to take in supplements to make up for the loss.
A few tips on to retain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals during cooking.
So now the question is how we get the most out of the food we eat.
The way we cook determines to a large extent, whether we preserve the nutrients or destroy them.
Cooking certainly affects the calorie content and its nutrients.
If we steam our vegetables, stir-fry, or cook only briefly in a microwave, we would retain the nutrients.
On the hand when we cook the process would allow the nutrients to seep into the water.
Also when we add, oils, fats, lard or butter to whatever we are cooking, the result is that we add more calories.
Similarly adding sugar or honey to whatever we are cooking constitutes adding more calories and carbohydrate value.
Soups, stews, and casseroles tend to preserve more of their nutritional values, as vitamins and minerals are retained in the broth.
Grilling your meat on a tray would allow the fat in the meat to drip off.
Finally, the shorter the cooking time the more nutrients will be retained, and the less fat and sugars added the better.

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What we mean by servings


We have talked about the food pyramid and how it benefits you. So now how do we make it work for us?

The biggest problem with any diet seems to be the portion sizes. We are eating far too much, we need to weigh and to measure every last grain, but the following would guide us.


A single serving, for instance, is not a bowl heaped full of rice or pasta, or a steak the size of a dinner plate. Recently We in the UK have been consuming considerably large portions, plates are far too big.

A Serving of fruits ( should be as follows)

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medium apple or satsuma (200g. about the size of a tennis ball)

a medium banana (150g.peeled, should fit the average side plate)

a half cup(100g.) of chopped fruit or berries

a quarter of a cup of fruit juices

A serving of bread, cereal, rice or pasta


1 slice of bread or 1/2 a bagel or roll

30g. of cereal

50g. of cooked rice or pasta ( the size of a child’s clenched fist

A serving of vegetables is :

a cup of raw, leafy greens ( about the size of a woman’s clenched fist)

a quarter  of a cup of vegetable juice

a large piece of broccoli ( about the size of a light bulb)

a half cup of chopped  vegetables

1 baked potato ( about the size of a computer mouse)

A serving of milk, yogurt or cheese is :

1 cup(236ml) of milk or yogurt

28g. of cheese( about the size of your thumb)

a slice of cheese ( the size of a floppy computer disc)

a half cup of cottage cheese 57g.

A serving of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts is:


85g. lean cooked meat, poultry, or fish ( the size of a deck of playing cards)

1 medium  pork chop

1 small hamburger

1 fish fillet

half of a chicken breast or a medium chicken leg

1 medium egg

half a cup of cooked beans

2 tablespoons of peanut butter( half the size of a golf ball

a handful of nuts or seeds


Having known your serving, the next step would be to calorie count. We shall discuss this in the next topic





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To lose weight you have to burn off energy which has to be done in a healthy and accurate way. Mainly through counting the calories in what we eat and drink. One has to be calorie aware and only go through it by  nutritionally beneficial means. So how much does one have to lose in a day.

Energy is burned in three main ways,

1) Through the Resting Metabolic Rate known simply as RMR which is the amount of energy your body expends while at rest. During resting periods processes like circulation, maintaining the body’s temperature at 37 C, breathing and heartbeat still goes on…All these process burns energy to function. This RMR varies from individual to individual., but primarily because muscle burns more energy than fat does, a kilogram of muscle can burn more than 120 kilo-calories a day at rest. However a kilogram of fat only burns 20kcal or even less. Therefore the more muscle you have, the more energy you burn.

2) Energy is also  required for  food digestion, which is  known as Thermionic Effect Of Food. A 500 calories meal would burn off 50 calories

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3) Thirdly Exercises also help to burn off fat re NHS choices


Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.

This is no snake oil. Whatever your age, there’s strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.

People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.

Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.



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How to overcome fatigue

Quoting from NHS choices
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a long-term illness with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness.
CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. There’s some debate over the correct term to use for the condition, but these pages will refer to it as CFS/ME.
CFS/ME can affect anyone, including children. It’s more common in women and tends to develop between your mid-20s and mid-40s.
This page covers:
Living with CFS/ME
Symptoms of CFS/ME

The main symptom of CFS/ME is feeling extremely tired and generally unwell.
In addition, people with CFS/ME may have other symptoms, including:
sleep problems
muscle or joint pain
a sore throat or sore glands that aren’t swollen
problems thinking, remembering or concentrating
flu-like symptoms
feeling dizzy or sick
fast or irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations)
Most people find overexercising makes their symptoms worse.
The severity of symptoms can vary from day to day, or even within a day.
The symptoms of CFS/ME are similar to the symptoms of some other illnesses, so it’s important to see your GP to get a correct diagnosis.
Read more about the symptoms of CFS/ME.
Diagnosing CFS/ME

There isn’t a specific test for CFS/ME, so it’s diagnosed based on your symptoms and by ruling out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You may also have blood and urine tests.
As the symptoms of CFS/ME are similar to those of many common illnesses that usually get better on their own, a diagnosis of CFS/ME may be considered if you don’t get better as quickly as expected.
Read more about diagnosing CFS/ME.
Treating CFS/ME

Treatment for CFS/ME aims to relieve the symptoms. Your treatment will depend on how CFS/ME is affecting you.
Treatments include:
cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
a structured exercise program called graded exercise therapy (GET)
medication to control pain, nausea and sleeping problems
Most people with CFS get better over time, although some people don’t make a full recovery. It’s also likely there will be periods when your symptoms get better or worse. Children and young people with CFS/ME are more likely to recover fully.
Read more about treating CFS.
Causes of CFS/ME

It’s not known what causes CFS/ME, but there are a number of theories – for example, it may be triggered by an infection, or certain factors could make you more likely to develop the illness.
Suggested causes or triggers for CFS/ME include:
viral infections, such as glandular fever
bacterial infections, such as pneumonia
problems with the immune system
a hormone imbalance
mental health problems, such as stress, depression and emotional trauma
your genes – CFS/ME seems to be more common in some families
Living with CFS/ME

Living with CFS/ME can be difficult. Extreme tiredness and other physical symptoms can make it hard to carry out everyday activities. You may have to make some major lifestyle changes.
CFS/ME can also affect your mental and emotional health, and have a negative effect on your self-esteem.
As well as asking your family and friends for support, you may find it useful to talk to other people with CFS/ME.
ME Association is a charity that provides information, support and practical advice for people affected by the condition. You can find a local support group on their website. Unquote

Many of us think that the lack of iron in our bodies is the only thing that would bring about fatigue, however this is not exactly correct because the lack of minerals and other trace elements has been proved to cause fatigue.


There are twelve basic minerals of which the body is largely composed and if any are unbalanced, a chain reaction of symptoms can occur. Research has proved that minerals are more important than vitamins, as they are required in very amounts to metabolize vitamins efficiently.
For the treatment of fatigue, the B vitamin group are of paramount importance so also are the antioxidants vitamins and minerals (A, C E , Selenium, Zinc and manganese)

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Incidentally antioxidants help slow down the aging process,  Knowledge is power , educate yourself

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Lowering your cholestrol


Fatty free radicals cause damage to our cell, thus eating diets that are free from saturated fat, would prevent free radical from forming. Fruits and vegetables are what we need to eat in reasonable quantities daily. By eating foods with polyunsaturated fat, fruits and vegetables, we reduce the level free radicals in our bodies.

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The liver produces free radicals from saturated fatty foods which in turn produces cholesterol. Which is why some of us have to administer stains to reduce the level of cholesterol produced by the lever?


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Your waistline could determine how long you live

Your waistline is crucial in determining how healthy you are, and in the long run how long you would live.

If you are a man and your waistline is more than 40 inches (102cm) and for a woman 32 inches (88cm) then you are putting yourself at risk. You are heading for ‘diabetes city’ and then onto ‘stroke city’. You should consider seriously about engaging yourself in a weight loss program.Currently, the UK has one of the highest rates of heart diseases, which is attributable to leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
That said, there are several other factors also, like long term chronic stress, and excessive consumption of alcohol, all of which contributes towards accumulating fat around our waistline.

Next time we shall look at how excessive fat around our bodies causes harm.

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Some effects of carrying too much weight


Research shows that colon, rectum, prostate, breast, uterus, cervix and ovary are all associated with being overweight. The more reason why we should maintain a reasonable weight

a) Being overweight puts one at risk of post operative complications.

b) Cardiovascular diseases is another so staying slim is advised.

c)Hypertension, as a result of high blood pressure, is another. The heavier one is the likelihood of having raised blood pressure.The UK presently is one of the most obese countries in Europe at present.

Overweight puts a strain on our joints, carrying too much weight, is likely to bring about arthritis.

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What we mean by BMI (Body Mass Index) and how it affects you



bathroom-scale-1149264_1920Body Mass Index (BMI) = Weight / Height
The Body Mass Index is a measure that uses your weight and height to work out how healthy we are. BMI ranges For most adults, an ideal BMI is in the region of 18.5 to 24.9 range
For children and the young ones age 2 to 18, the BMI calculator takes into account age and gender as well as height.
a) If BMI is below 18.5 you are underweight
b) If BMI is 18.5-24.9 means you are healthy
c) Between 25-29.9 you are overweight
d) Between 30-39.9 you are obese
There are other factors when measuring if one is healthy, the fact that muscle is denser than fat, means that some people who are stocky, might appear to be overweight, whilst in fact, they are healthy.

Quote, NHS Choices Limitations to BMI
Your BMI can tell you if you’re carrying too much weight but it can’t tell if you’re carrying too much fat. The BMI can’t tell the difference between excess fat, muscle, or bone.
The adult BMI does not take into account age, gender or muscle mass. This means that:
very muscular adults and athletes may be classed “overweight” or “obese” even though their body fat is low
adults who lose muscle as they get older may fall in the “healthy weight” range even though they may be carrying excess fat
However, the BMI is a relatively straightforward and convenient method of assessing someone’s weight.
You can use your BMI result as a starting point for further discussion with your GP about your weight and your general health.

We shall talk again about the effects of carrying too much weight later

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Weight loss and dieting


In dieting the biggest problem is the thinking that eating less would result in weight loss, but only if we eat the right food. We need to ensure that the food is balanced and has the right proportion of all the basic needs for the body. Most weight loss programs talk about a quick fix and ‘’one size fits all’’ sort of thing. However because we are all different with different metabolisms, what might be suitable for one person might not work for the other. Which is why we actually need to consult a weight loss consultant. Besides that fat build up varies in our different parts of the body, from one person to another. Some may accumulate fat in the hips, whilst others would be on the stomach


There are however some very low-calorie diets. These normally come in sachets or powder forms which have to be made up as drinks, soups or puddings. They usually have the normal calories intake of minerals, electrolytes, and vitamins, yet only a limited number of calories



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Why improper dieting could lead to eating disorders


As far as the human body is concerned, there is nothing like dieting or fasting. When the body is deprived of carbohydrates it immediately adjusts itself and begins to think of an emergency situation. Our bodies think there might be a severe food shortage, and would move into ‘safe’ mood. It begins to store, metabolism slows down to save energy. The body is fighting to save you from starvation.
After a while, the survival instinct overcomes the willpower and you are tempted to throw in the towel. This is where the binge aspect begins. There is the urge to raid the cupboards for food.
This mad rush could lead to eating disorders such as bulimia if left unchecked

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Reason why you should drink less


Alcoholic beverages have very little nutritional value, they are what is known as ’empty calories’ however their calorific values are high. High but empty. Alcohol is mainly made from sugars or starch. In Russia vodka is brewed from potatoes, whilst in the Caribbean where there is a lot of sugarcane, you find rum in abundance. A shot of whiskey contains 64 calories, about 20 calories more than a slice of bacon
A unit of 1/2 a pint of beer has 100 calories, whilst a small glass of wine contains 100 calories. Also, a 1.5-ounce shot of gin, rum, vodka, tequila has about 100 calories

Some people think a few drinks don’t matter, and that it is made up of mostly water, but that is where they go wrong.

So the whole thing is about moderation, which is the watch word.


Quote from NHS choices

If you regularly drink more than 14 units a week, try these simple tips to help you cut down.
Fourteen units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.
Make a plan
Before you start drinking, set a limit on how much you’re going to drink.
Set a budget
Only take a fixed amount of money to spend on alcohol.
Let them know
If you let your friends and family know you’re cutting down and it’s important to you, you could get support from them.
Take it a day at a time
Cut back a little each day. That way, every day you do is a success.
Make it a smaller one
You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer instead of pints, or a small glass of wine instead of a large one.
Have a lower-strength drink
Cut down the alcohol by swapping strong beers or wines for ones with a lower strength (ABV in %). You’ll find this information on the bottle.
Stay hydrated
Have a glass of water before you have alcohol and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a soft drink.
Take a break
Have several drink-free days each week.
Benefits of cutting down
The immediate effects of cutting down include:
feeling better in the mornings
being less tired during the day
your skin may start to look better
you’ll start to feel fitter
you may stop gaining weight
Long-term benefits include:


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Your liver and you


The major functions of the liver are  as follows, the making of bile salts, making heparin for regulating blood clotting, filtering of blood, attacking harmful bacteria, and bowel toxins as well as removal of unused hormones and cholesterol from the blood

The liver is also involved in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins as well as vitamins and minerals


Quote from MedlinePlus

‘’Your liver helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Liver function tests are blood tests that check to see how well your liver is working. They check for liver damage and can help diagnose liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. You may have liver function tests as part of a regular checkup. Or you may have them if you have symptoms of liver disease. Doctors also use the tests to monitor some liver diseases, treatments, and possible side effects of medicines.
Liver function tests measure certain proteins, enzymes, and substances, including:

· Albumin, a protein that the liver makes
· Total protein (TP)
· Enzymes that are found in the liver, including alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)
· Bilirubin, a yellow substance that is part of bile. It is formed when your red blood cells break down. Too much bilirubin in the blood can cause jaundice. There is also a urine test for bilirubin.
· Prothrombin time, which measures how long it takes for your blood to clot. Prothrombin is made by the liver.’’


These are a number vitamins and foods that would boost the performance of the liver; like,  liver pate, liver sausages and vitamin A