Key to healthy living


Sun Jul 24 2011 10:31:32 GMT+0400 (Arabian Standard Time) Oman Time

Singer Robbie Williams put his faith in that idea after being laid low by food poisoning while touring with Take That recently. He upped his fresh fruit and vegetables, insisting that a medley of melons, carrots, apples, peanuts and root ginger was delivered to his hotel room while he was recovering.

Rich in vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients, these foods should form part of a healthy diet. Vitamins can be divided into two main groups: fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, found in foods such as animal fats and vegetable oils, dairy products and oily fish, and water-soluble vitamins B and C, found mainly in fresh fruit and vegetables.

By consuming green and bright-coloured fruits and vegetables, along with lean chicken, meat and dairy, most people should get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins and minerals.

The problem is busy lifestyles that make it easy to skip meals or turn to convenience food. If you have been ill or are approaching your later years, you may have a smaller appetite.

This is where supplements help, by ensuring that you get the RDA of essential nutrients. Nutritional supplements are available from supermarkets, health food shops and pharmacies, as well as specialist online and mail order retailers.

Those that combine multi-vitamins and minerals are intended to deliver nutrients in the right balance to maintain health but there are specific supplements designed for when there is a greater nutritional requirement. For example, folic acid is often taken by women in the early stages of pregnancy and B12 by vegans whose diet may be lacking in this vitamin.

Vitamin D is found in fish, cereals, eggs and dairy foods and is also produced by the skin in response to sunlight.

People who don’t get much sun, including the elderly, those with restricted mobility and women from ethnic groups who cover their bodies can be prone to vitamin D deficiency and may be advised to take vitamin D supplements.

As well as maintaining general health, vitamins and other key nutrients can play a role in preventing or helping manage disease, including Type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle-related disease.

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