Episode 3. Minerals, vitamins and water for good health – Apples & Berries
Food Culture

Episode 3. Minerals, vitamins and water for good health


Various minerals as an inorganic substances needed by the human body for good health. Every mineral during the metabolism process affects in a certain way the development of human body systems and organs.
An organ is a part of an organism which is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function.
Metabolism is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.
The need in minerals depends on many factors: age, climate, type of activity. There are so called mineral depots or places for storage of minerals, for example skeleton system whence salts come in the blood. As a result of it the amount of minerals in the blood is quite constant, even if there is a deficiency of minerals in food.

The role of minerals

Speaking about the role and value of certain minerals the most studied ones are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), natrium or sodium (Na) and potassium (K).
Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus are base elements for the skeleton system; moreover calcium and magnesium are extremely important for cardiac or heart and skeleton muscular system, and phosphorus for nerve system. Nerves are long thin fibres that transmit messages between your brain and other parts of your body.
Iron as a part of blood haemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood of vertebrates.
Natrium or sodium and potassium regulate water balance and keep acid-base balance of the human body.
The need in minerals covers entirely if food or diet consists of different products of animal origin and vegetative origin. An exception that is not included in this general statement is sodium chloride or kitchen salt. There is not enough amount of sodium chloride in the products therefore it is added to food. With a biting deficiency of sodium chloride in the human body as well as constant excess of it serious disorder may happen to the organism.


Water is one of the main parts of other components of human body; all the most complicated vital processes of the human body proceed in solutions as a liquid mixtures and liquid mediums as the substance in which an organism lives.

Objective of efficient nutrition

The most important objective of efficient nutrition is the proper combination of all the food as nutritional substances in everyday diet. It is better to achieve the highest productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. All the nutritional substances are to be intaken in the amount that completely cover all the outlay in quantitative and qualitative relation.


The processes of oxidation (connecting with the oxygen) of different nutritional substances (proteins, carbohydrates, fats) keep running in the human body constantly. The process of oxidation entails heat creation and heat release. This heat is necessary for all vital processes. It is used for heating during the process of breathing out the air. It is used to keep body temperature; thermal energy maintains muscle system activity. The more muscle movements are being done by the human body the more oxygen the human body consumes, therefore the more outlay the human body produces. To cover all the outlay the human body needs more food.

Quantitative and qualitative relation

Quantitative (the amount of something)
The need in certain amount of food is denoted as heat energy units that are called calories.
Large calorie is the energy (heat quantity) needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water through 1 °C, equal to one thousand small calories and often used to measure the energy value of foods
Combustion or the process of burning 1 gram of proteins or carbohydrates releases 4,1 calories and 1 gram of fats releases 9,3 calories.
Adults whose work or a way of life is characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise need 3000 calories on average. For those who perform hard physical activity 5000 calories are needed on average.
Children from 1 to 16 years need 1000 to 2400 calories on average.

Qualitative (describing the quality of something)
The qualitative food compound depends on type of activity, age and climate that a human body lives in. An average daily protein consumption for an adult is 100 grams who is busy with light or moderate physical activity. For those who perform hard physical activity this index shows 130-160 grams on average.
In hot climate or workshops the need in proteins increases, because in this type of environment proteins decay becomes greater in quality.
An average daily fat consumption for an adult is 70-100 grams (depending on type of activity). In cold climate this index may raise up to 150-160 grams.

Vitamins consumption

Vitamin C consumption is about 50 milligrams daily; hard physical work and for the north and subtropical population 100 milligrams daily. Vitamin B1 2-3 milligrams daily, vitamin B2 2 milligrams, vitamin A 2 milligrams.

Minerals consumption

It is recommended to consume minerals in the following quantities. An average daily Calcium consumption is 0,8 grams for adults, for children is 1 gram. Phosphorus 1.5 grams. The need in iron is not that much.
Daily need in sodium chloride or kitchen salt is about 10-15 grams. If a person experience hard physical work or some sports activities sweating a lot the need in sodium chloride increases up to 20-25 grams. Sodium chloride exudes slowly and steadily along with the sweat. Also the same amount of sodium chloride is necessary if vegetative products dominate in the everyday diet.

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