Whether it is children, adolescents or adults – a varied diet is the basis for our fitness, our health and our well-being. With a balanced diet we can supply our body with all the essential nutrients every day.
In the course of our life we go through various phases and situations in which our body has an increased need for minerals, trace elements and vitamins. Special life circumstances such as stress, physical strain, growth among adolescents and children, increasing age or pregnancies can change or increase our nutrient requirement. A good nutrient supply is also crucial for concentration, energy balance, immune system and the body’s defences.
A balanced diet means being adequately supplied all essential nutrients. In particular, fresh and unprocessed foodstuffs also contain many nutrients which can often be lost due to industrial or also private processing. On the other hand, certain forms of preparation improve the absorption of nutrients (e.g. absorption of beta-carotene with fat). But not everyone has the time or leisure to deal with all foodstuffs in depth.
Here we are providing you with a brief overview of important nutrients for the whole family, which you will find again as ingredients in the Doppelherz system of family products.
The polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids which are contained in cold-water fish such as herring or salmon are part of a balanced diet. But many of us do not eat fish very often or do not like it. In the meantime, there are also non-animal sources for long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids such as the microalgae Schizochytrium sp., which has a particularly high content of unsaturated fatty acids. The consumption of omega-3 fatty acids is also no longer necessarily associated with unpleasant fish taste today.
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in many areas of the human body. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) provide their share for a healthy heart and support the normal heart function. The fatty acid DHA also contributes to the preservation of a normal brain function among infants as well as the elderly, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding it contributes to the normal development of the eyes and brain in a foetus and among breastfed infants. Our normal visual function is also supported by the sufficient absorption of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, because it is a constituent of the photoreceptor cells and the retina.
Among other things, our body requires magnesium to preserve our performance, our nervous system and for normal energy metabolism. The nutrient is among the minerals and just like calcium is belongs to the group of electrolytes. The magnesium content is distributed in many areas of the body such as bone tissue, muscles and somatic cells. As with many nutrients, with magnesium it is also the case that our body cannot form the bone and muscle mineral itself. Every day we excrete certain amounts of magnesium via sweat and urine – that is why the magnesium balance must be regularly replenished.
In addition to vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, the B vitamins also include biotin and pantothenic acid (among others). The B vitamins have various tasks and play an important role in the production of energy in the body. The vitamins B1, B2, B12 and B6 contribute to the normal energy metabolism of our somatic cells. Pantothenic acid supports normal mental performance. The vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12 and biotin also contribute to the normal function of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 also has another role: it also contributes to the formation of red blood cells.
Each of the B vitamins works closely together with another B vitamin. That is why it is important to ingest the entire B complex in sufficient quantity via food. The B vitamins are contained in many foodstuffs, but very sensitive to processing. During industrial preparation, but also due to private processing at home, vitamins can be lost due to heat, long storage periods or certain preparation methods.
Vitamin A is among the fat-soluble vitamins, and like most vitamins it must be absorbed via food. Vitamin A is directly present in animal-based foodstuffs such as egg-yolk, mackerel and salmon. In plant-based foodstuffs such as carrots, bell pepper or kale, the vitamin is contained in precursors such as beta-carotene. Then the body converts this precursor into vitamin A as needed. Vitamin A supports the normal function of the immune system and contributes to the preservation of normal mucous membranes. In addition, vitamin A provides a contribution to the preservation of normal vision and contributes to normal iron metabolism.
Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system and protects the cells against oxidative stress. Like many vitamins, it is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body for a long time. That is why it is best to take it distributed throughout the day. A large amount of vitamin C is especially contained in the skin of fruits. So you should eat the skin if it is possible. Be careful with long cooking times: if vegetables are cooked too long, the vitamin can be flushed from the food.
This vitamin is known to many people as the “sunshine vitamin”. It is involved in countless regulatory processes in the body and therefore has a key function. Our body requires vitamin D for the preservation of normal bones, muscle function and the function of our immune system. In Germany the sun is unfortunately not high enough in the sky between October and April. This means that our skin cannot absorb enough rays of sunshine (UV rays), and subsequently not enough vitamin D is formed in the body. The vitamin is contained in foodstuffs such as fish, eggs and avocado – but unfortunately these foodstuffs are not consumed in sufficient amounts here in this country.
Vitamin E contributes significantly to keeping our somatic cells healthy and productive. For example, it is a constituent of dried apricots or high-quality vegetable oils. If vitamin E is lacking in the body, cells can be adversely affected through the attack by aggressive oxygen compounds. The vitamin is stored in the cell walls and exerts its positive effects there. So the cells are protected against oxidative stress.
Our body cannot produce the trace element itself and also does not have a large reservoir. So zinc must be absorbed regularly with the food intake. Various foodstuffs such as milk products, meat, fish and eggs contain the trace element. Zinc controls the function of more than 200 enzymes, which are involved in virtually all important reactions in the cells. It contributes to strengthening the body’s defences and protects the cell components against oxidative stress. Normal formation of antibodies is also linked to sufficient zinc. In addition, zinc contributes to the normal function of the immune system. The trace element also supports the normal vitamin A metabolism.
Selenium is also among the trace elements and contributes towards protecting the cell components against oxidative stress. Our body also cannot produce selenium itself. That is why we should supply our body with good sources of selenium such as meat, fish, eggs, lentils or asparagus. Selenium contributes to the normal function of the immune system.