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Andrea Bayles Nutritional Therapist
ND, Dip Nutr, Dip Herb, MBANT, MURHP, MCNHC

Vitamins and Minerals

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Vitamins and minerals help us to live a long and healthy life. By having a balanced, nutritious and varied diet we can obtain the nutrients we need. Fresh food obviously has vitamins naturally but processed foods often describe themselves as being "fortified with vitamins and minerals" which basically means nutrients have been added to give the food nutritional value. Typical examples of fortified foods include white breads (otherwise devoid of vitamins and minerals) and breakfast cereals. With processing techniques, added sugar, ageing fruit in the fruit bowl, the vitamin and mineral content often isn't enough compared to the recommended daily amount.

There are two types of vitamins fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat soluble vitamins are found in animal foods and animal fats for example butter and lard, meats, liver and oily fish. You don't need to eat these foods every day because you can build up stores for use. You may know these types of vitamins as A, D, E and K. Vitamin D has recently been highlighted in the media as we are becoming more and more deficient in what is essentially a sunshine vitamin and is essential for our immunity and energy levels. You can get tested for your levels of vitamin D. Ask your healthcare provider for more information.

Water soluble vitamins are not stored, so you need to eat these every day. These types of vitamins are found in fruit, vegetable and grains. They are lost during cooking processes especially boiling or in exposure to the air, so it is better to eat these raw or steamed to preserve nutrients.You may know these better as Vitamins C and B and also folic acid.

So…what are minerals?

Minerals help vitamins do their work basically! They also aid in enzyme function and detoxification. One of the most important minerals is Magnesium and many people are deficient in this mineral as the earth and soil in which the vegetables we consume are becoming less and less nutrient rich. Magnesium is also known as "nature's tranquillizer," it is a muscle and nerve relaxant and if you suffer from cramps, muscle twitching or spasms, it may be worth considering taking as a supplement. Other important minerals are, for example, calcium, iron, zinc, and all provide essential functions in the body - when your body begins to display symptoms of any description, it may be worth investigating vitamin or mineral deficiencies as this is very often the case.

You probably sit at home watching the television, reading magazines or listening to the radio seeing the vast array of different dietary supplements that are on the market these days. How can you possibly choose what is right and what makes a "good quality" purchase?

Reading the back of the packet shows the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of the particular vitamin or mineral. Next to this figure is the amount that the dosage within the packet contains. This demonstrates how much you are getting and how close it is to the RDA.

Depending on your age, requirement and your current state of health there are various supplements that are multivitamin or multimineral formulations available on the market. Be aware that cheaper brands don't always provide the best quality and it is also worth looking at these to see if one table contains exactly what you need rather than taking numerous tablets.


You must not rely on the information in this blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediately medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information from this blog.


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  • "I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to Andrea. When I first saw her, I felt that the only way that I would be able to cope with my future was to resign from my job, which I love, and to stay at home full time because I just felt that I wasn’t performing well as result of feeling constantly totally exhausted and I seemed unable to cope with even minor levels of stress. As a result of her time, dedication and perseverance however, I now feel 10 years younger and am looking forward to what the future might bring both professionally and personally. Thank you for giving me my life back. "