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Last updated April 15, 2017, originally published May 10, 2016
By A. Weinberg, Contributing Columnist
A man has got to always be prepared. If you have ever wondered
which supplements and vitamins you would need to survive if you were
stranded somewhere, we've got the list.
And if you don't think that you will ever be stranded on a deserted
island, you're wrong. In a sense, every one of us who chooses to eat in
a way that forbids us to eat a whole category of foods is isolating
ourselves. With Atkins, the forbidden foods are carbohydrates, for
example. In a dietary sense, we are on a deserted island with only a
limited range of foods available to eat.
We at Mangoboss started to wonder, which vitamins and supplements
really are the essential of the essential. Which supplements do you
actually need to stay alive which are not easy to come by on a deserted
So, imagine. We sincerely hope this situation never occurs. Maybe you
are sailing off the coast of some Caribbean island, and your boat breaks
down. You arrive there, and there is nothing but some tropical fruit and
abundant sunshine (luckily). But the regular food you would usually
get is lacking. If you are lucky, there are a few small mammals
wandering around that you can hunt, or maybe some fish. But who
knows. The fruit will perhaps provide you some vitamin C, and the sun
rays with vitamin D.
But if you can't find anything else, your body will break down from
malnutrition pretty quickly. Some people choose to limit their diets
extremely, even if they are not on a deserted island, and can miss out
on the right quantity of vital vitamins and minerals.
Here is a list of supplements you should take on a dangerous boat ride,
or perhaps give to a friend on an extreme diet.
1. Vitamin B12 (along with other B vitamins)
Vitamin B12 is an absolutely essential part of feeling good. If you are
going vegetarian, it's one of the first things they tell you to get enough
of. Luckily, vitamin B12 is also available in other kinds of products, such
as cheese, eggs, tofu, and fortified bran cereals.
Vitamin B12 is the vitamin responsible for keeping your mood up and
your brain sparky.
Without B12, you are liable to become irritable and depressed, and it
even affects such things as mental abilities, and the capacity to see.
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is common in 20% of
industrialized populations, particularly in the elderly.
A 2015 study by Dr. A. Belghith from UC San Diego examined side
effects of the deficiency. He and his colleagues looked at 99 patients
with vitamin B12 deficiency.
A total of 89% had functional anemia syndromes, 88% digestive
syndromes, and 67% neurological disorders. This demonstrates what
extreme side effects not taking it can potentially have.
Luckily, vitamin B12 is present in many everyday products you buy at
the supermarket, even if you're vegan or have celiac's disease. You just
have to read the labels.
You can also of course eat foods rich in Vitamin B12 such as liver,
mackerel, sardines, salmon and eggs. Certain cereals also are fortified
with Vitamin B12.
2. Vitamin A
If you are wearing contacts or glasses right now, pay special attention
to this next supplement. Vitamin A promotes good vision.
Viitamin A has even been shown to be so powerful as to prevent
blindness in young children.
Vitamin A has other benefits too, such as maintaining a healthy immune
system and cell growth. In a 2015 report, E.M. Wiseman from The
Center of Nutrigenomics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
elaborated on the dangers of not taking enough vitamin A.
As well as ocular issues, Vitamin A deficiency can also lead to a weak
resistance to infections (which in the context of surgery, can even lead
to death), and the breakdown of metabolism and cell growth.
Vitamin A is vital in key developmental periods, such as infancy,
childhood, pregnancy, and lactation, so the youngins and pregnant
ladies should make absolutely sure to get the correct amount.
The average overall dosage for most is 700mcg/day for women and
900mcg/day for men. Luckily for us, this vitamin is found in a lot of
There are two common types of vitamin A: "Preformed vitamin A"
(retinol), which is found in animal products, and "pro-vitamin A"
(usually beta-carotene), which is found in plants.
You can find preformed vitamin A in: milk, eggs, meat, cheese, and
cream. You can find pro-vitamin A in: pink grapefruit, cantaloupe,
apricots, pumpkins, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli,
and green leafy vegetables.
If you are North American or have watched U.S. advertisements, you
probably remember those “Got milk?” commercials that encouraged
people to consume dairy for better calcium intake and healthier bones.
It's true that healthy bones is one of the mineral's major benefits, but it
also has others, such as stabilizing blood pressure and even regulating
The more serious dangers of calcium deficiency are bone-related.
According to a 2016 study by Maoquing Wong from the school of
Public Health at the Harbin Medical University, chronic untreated calcium
deficiency can cause osteomalacia, osteopenia, rickets, and
osteoporosis. All things you definitely want to avoid.
But you don't have to chug milk to do it, if that's not your thing.
Calcium is also available in abundant quantities in dark leafy greens,
such as spinach and kale, as well as in turnips, collard greens, orange
juice, soybeans, enriched breads, grains, and waffles, cheese, yogurt,
milk, and sardines. Take your pick. The average amount of calcium a
day most of us should be consuming is 1,500 mg a day.
If you are a meat-eater, you know that great "food high" you get after
chowing down on beef or chicken. That "high" is your body thanking
you for the protein.
It is essential to get enough of it, but if you want to cut down on meat,
can't eat it for health reasons, or are vegetarian or vegan, there are still
ways to get the sufficient amount.
If you are an athlete or very active person, you'll also want to keep a
close check on your protein intake. It is key in building muscles, as well
as regulating the balance of water in the body, and balancing your
Protein can also help in weight loss, regardless of how active you are,
given that it fills you up more than refined carbohydrates.
Those who have hypoglycemia also know that protein can be key to a
good mood, since it keeps blood sugar levels stable. If you are deficient
in this key macronutrient, you may feel weak, develop skin rashes or
brittle or thinning hair, and experience difficulty sleeping (since
serotonin is made up of certain amino acids).
You could also be losing weight, but be losing strength simultaneously,
as a protein deficiency will break down muscle.
So, how much protein should you probably be consuming? A 2008
study by Robert R. Wolfe from the University of Arkansas determined
that the recommended daily allowance of protein for those over 18 is
0.8 grams per day. In other words, a 190-pound person would need
68.4 grams of protein per day. You can get your protein quota from the
obvious sources, such as meat, dairy, eggs, and fish.
However, if you are vegan, you can also consume beans and rice
(together, to form a complete protein), soy, or pistachio nuts.
5. Vitamin K
Remember when you skinned your knee or got cuts as a kid? Probably
when you were little, it felt dramatic, like you were hemorrhaging and
going to die. But your mom knew it was okay, as long as you were
getting a good dose of vitamin K. This key ingredient helps blood
coagulation and clotting. If you don't get enough of it, you bleed and
bruise more easily. Vitamin K has also been shown to promote bone
and cardiovascular health. In 2016, K. Maresz, the scientific coordinator
of the Health and Science Foundation in Krakow, Poland, discovered an
important function of vitamin K2. Although, as previously mentioned,
calcium deficiency can cause bone deterioration, an overdose of it may
raise the risk of heart disease and is connected to an excess deposit of
calcium in the blood vessels. Vitamin K2, however, is associated with
the inhibition of arterial stiffening and arterial calcification, meaning
that an increased intake could lower calcium-associated health risks. If
you need more vitamin K in your diet and love vegetables, you're in
luck: It is present in spinach, broccoli, and kale, as well as in dried basil,
sage, and thyme. The recommended dosage for women over 19 is 90
micrograms, and for men, 120 micrograms.
6. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is often an ingredient marketed in beauty products, for nice
skin or hair growth. However, this super vitamin has even more
necessary health benefits, including blood circulation and protection
from free radicals.
Vitamin E deficiency can cause catastrophic results, such as dysfunction
of the central nervous system, anemia, retinopathy, neuromuscular
problems, and neurological problems.
A 2016 report by Dr. A. Azzi and researchers at Tufts University reveals
more of its superpowers: As well as possessing antioxidant
mechanisms, it has been shown to affect cell signal transduction, in
vitro and in vivo. This can slow down the progression of nonalcoholic
steato hepatitis, decrease inflammation, and strengthen immune
You can find vitamin E in healthy foods such as almonds, nuts,
sunflower seeds, tomatoes, whole grains, wheat germ, and spinach.
Most adults should take 14-15 milligrams per day.
Iron is necessary for all humans. The function of this mineral couldn't
be more critical --- to produce hemoglobin, a protein that helps red
blood cells deliver oxygen to the body. Anemia is the main issue for
anyone lacking iron, along with feeling tired or out-of-breath.
You should also take extra precautions if you are pregnant. A 2010
study from Dr. R.D. Baker from the Nutrition American Academy of
Pediatrics confirmed that iron deficiency in a pregnant parent can have
a long-lasting detrimental effect on the neuro-development of the 0-3
Get the iron you need from meat, especially organ meats such a liver,
eggs. Vegetarians and obtain iron from soybeans, cereal, pumpkin,
beans, lentils, or spinach at the grocery store. The average dosage for
women is 18 mg, and for men, 8 mg.
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Is Better for Strength /Celebrity Workouts /Foods That Strengthen
Erectile Performance/ Fatty Foods Linked to Male Baldness/ Prostate
Cancer Linked to Fatty Diet / Soy Foods Reduce Sperm Count
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