Vitamins contribute to good health by regulating the metabolism and assisting the processes that release energy from digested food. They are considered micro nutrients because the body needs them in relatively small amounts compared with nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water.
Enzymes are essential chemicals that are the foundation of human bodily functions. As coenzymes, vitamins work with enzymes allowing all the activities that occur within the body to be carried out as they should.
Minerals are needed for the proper composition of body fluids, the formation of blood and bone, the maintenance of healthy nerve function and the regulation of muscle tone, including that of the muscles of the cardiovascular system. Like vitamins, minerals function as coenzymes, enabling the body to perform its functions. Because all enzyme activities involve minerals, minerals are essential for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.
Minerals are often found in multivitamin formulas but they can also be found as single supplements. When mineral supplements are taken with a meal, they are usually automatically chelated in the stomach during digestion. This means the minerals are bonded to protein molecules and transported to the bloodstream, thus enhancing their absorption.
Herbs are any plants that are conducive to maintaining or regaining health. All plants were given to man for food or medicine and are amongst nature's greatest treasures and their medicinal benefits have been known for centuries.
Many herbs contain powerful ingredients that, if used correctly, can help heal the body. They do perform many healing functions, but they must be used appropriately, not indiscriminately. As a general rule, most of the bitter-tasting herbs are medicinal herbs. The pleasant-tasting herbs are potentially less toxic and can be used more often. All plant roots and bark are naturally fungicidal and bactericidal. Certain herbs should be used only for healing purposes and not for extended periods of time.
The use of herbs is a rich part of the legacy of our ancestors and the knowledge and awareness of them should be a part of our responsibility to personal health maintenance.
Health and Natural Lifestyles
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