Nutrition – Nutrients Needed to Survive

The body needs a variety of things to survive, some it needs in larger portions than others. The body uses these essential resources to create energy, build strong bones, and enhance eyesight.  Nutrients are important for staying healthy, able, and mentally stable.  In fact, some nutrients can even help build a smarter and better working brain! 

Vitamins are organic and present in natural food. Vitamins are organic because they contain carbon. These help cells grow, develop and function normally. There are a total of 13 vitamins which are important and are required by the body.

Minerals are defined as inorganic resources and contain no carbon.  Minerals can all be found on the periodic table and are essential for the body to function correctly.  They also have a lot to do with growth and development. Macrominerals are required in large sums while microminerals (also called trace minerals) are only required in small amounts. 


The most important nutrients the body needs include (in alphabetical order):

·         Calcium (and Vitamin D): Calcium builds strong teeth, strengthens bone and strengthens muscles. Additionally, calcium helps with blood clotting, blood pressure, hormone secretion, and nerve signaling. Calcium is essential to prevent osteoporosis. Calcium is considered one of the macrominerals in that it is required in large doses. Roughly 1000 milligrams are required a day and can be attained from: milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, spinach and rhubarb.

·         Choline: This is in the family of the Vitamin B and helps build an important neurotransmitter, Acetylcholine.  This neurotransmitter helps the brain and nerve system function properly, including the memory and muscle movement.  Choline has a hand in converting food into energy.  Additionally, it helps a fetus properly develop.  The body needs roughly 550 milligrams per day to remain healthy. Choline can be found in: beef, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chocolate, eggs and milk.

·         Chromium: This mineral is only required in small doses (trace mineral), however, is required for the body to properly produce insulin, and break down sugars…which means it also helps create energy from food.  Only about 35 micrograms of Chromium is required per day and can be found in: broccoli grapes, and whole wheat products (bread, muffins, pancakes, waffles).

·         Copper: An essential mineral that helps create red blood cells, enhance metabolism, strengthen the immune system, and improve sensitivity of the nervous system.  Copper is also an antioxidant.  900 micrograms of copper should be taken in each day.  Copper is present in: cashews, crab meat, liver, oysters, and semi-sweet chocolate.

·         Fluoride: This is a micromineral and less important than other resources, however, helps build stronger teeth, keep the teeth white and the bones less brittle.  Only 4 milligrams are needed a day, and it is present in chicken, grapes, normal tap water and sardines.

·         Folic Acid: Also sometimes called folate and folacin, and is crucial for the proper development of a pregnancy, helps prevent birth defects, enhances the development of the brain and the spine. This vitamin also can help reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer, as well as assisting in cell creation. 400 micrograms are required each day. This vitamin is found in most commercial flower, and therefore present in cereal.  It is also found in asparagus, orange juice and spinach.

·         Iodine: This is a trace mineral and is important for thyroid hormone development and maintaining the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR).  It also regulates body temperature and assists with muscle function. Iodine is key in growth and development as well. The body needs 150 micrograms per day, which can be found in baked potatoes, milk, tuna and shrimp.

·         Iron: This is an extremely important resource to the blood and muscles (produces hemoglobin and myoglobin), bringing oxygen to the cells in both areas. This is considered a mineral and also helps with the production of neurotransmitters and hormones.  8 milligrams are required a day and can be found in: beef, cashews, oysters, prune juice, raisins, and tofu.

Survival Multivitamins: Nutrient Necessities

These are some of the most reliable and best multivitamins for an emergency and survival, which we recommend on amazon:

Rainbow Light, Men's One Multivitamin, 150 Count

Rainbow Light, Women's One Multivitamin, 150 Tablets

·         Magnesium: This resource is considered a macromineral and assists with blood clotting, blood pressure, cell signaling, metabolism, muscle contraction, and strengthening bone and teeth.  400 milligrams are required per day and is present in: almonds, bananas, brown rice, oat bran and spinach.

·         Manganese: This is a trace mineral that helps develop bones, energy and heals wounds. Only 2.3 milligrams are essential a day and can be found in: brown rice, green tea, oatmeal, pecans and pineapple.

·         Molybdenum: Helps produce enzymes and speeds up metabolism and digestion.  45 micrograms are needed a day and can be collected from: black beans, nuts, and split peas.

·         Phosphorus: Produces stronger bones and teeth.  This macromineral is a part of DNA and RNA composition. Phosphorus also assists with creating energy from food and sorting nutrients during digestion.  A full 700 milligrams are needed each day to remain healthy.  Phosphorus is found in: Beer, carbonated sodas, chicken, eggs and salmon.

·         Potassium: This is a macromineral and is necessary to maintain a steady pulse (heartbeat and circulatory system), helps create neurotransmitters, and provides smoother muscle function.  Potassium helps balance liquids in the kidney and helps prevent dehydration.  2,000 milligrams of Potassium is required each day.  Potassium is present in: artichokes, baked potatoes, bananas, plums and raisons.

·         Selenium: This is a trace mineral and often considered a supplement.  Selenium provides better thyroid hormone regulation, is an antioxidant, and helps remove harmful cells from the body.  Being a trace mineral, only 55 micrograms are required per day and can be found in: crabmeat, noodles, pork, salmon and shrimp.

·         Sodium Chloride (also called Salt):  Salt is found in large quantities in most meals.  Salt helps with fluid balance and nerve signal transmission. It is also essential for proper blood pressure and aides in digestion.  Your body needs 500 milligrams of this mineral each day, to be found in: Chicken noodle soup, hot dogs, pickles and white bread.

·         Vitamin A (retinoic acide, retinol, retinal): This vitamin is imperative for strong and accurate vision. It will build healthy red blood cells and strengthen the immune system.  Vitamin A helps build stronger bones and regulates cell growth (as well as cell division).  It even helps reduce the risk of some cancers.  To avoid deficiencies, the body must absorb 900 micrograms a day, which can come from: baked potato, butternut squash, carrots, cantaloupe, eggs and mango.

·         Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamin): Thiamin is water-soluble, and is known to help with metabolism.  Thiamin also creates healthier brains, hair, muscles and skin.  The body requires an estimated 1.2 milligrams a day to avoid deficiencies. Thiamin is in: Cantaloupe, pecans and white rice.

·         Vitamin B2 (also called Riboflavin): This vitamin has a hand in helping with digestion, metabolism, iron absorption, and preventing migraines.  It also promotes healthy brain, eyes, hair, muscles, and skin.  Only 1.3 milligrams are required a day and it is present in: almonds, cereals, cheddar cheese, eggs and milk.

·         Vitamin B3 (known as well as Niacin): This vitamin helps improve the hair, skin, nails and red blood cells.  Additionally, it is known to help with creating energy, improving the health of the liver, and lowering the risks of high cholesterol and heart disease. Roughly 16 milligrams are needed a day and it is present in: cereal, chicken, coffee, peanuts and salmon.

·         Vitamin B5 (also called Pantothenic Acid): Provides stronger metabolism, creates neurotransmitters, manufactures hormones and has a hand in red blood cell production. Only 5 milligrams are needed a day.  Vitamin B5 can be found in: avocados, chicken, eggs, mushrooms, whole grains and yogurt.

·         Vitamin B6 (sometimes called pyridoxamine): This is an important vitamin in producing serotonin (a super important hormone that helps the body regulate appetite, mood and sleep).  Vitamin B6 also helps boost healthy cognitive functioning and even helps produce red blood cells. B6 is essential and 1.3 milligrams must be taken in each day.  B6 is present in: baked potato, banana, chicken, and spinach.

·         Vitamin B7 (also Vitamin H), also known as Biotin: Provides cell growth and is important for a properly functioning metabolism. The body requires 30 micrograms per day.  This vitamin can be found in avocado, eggs, salmon and whole grains.

·         Vitamin B12: this is an important player in a healthy metabolism, specifically of fatty and amino acids. B12 is important as well for cell creation and development.  It has been suggested that B12 can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 2.4 micrograms are required a day.  This vitamin is found in: beef, cheese, claims, eggs, mussels, salmon.

·         Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid): This vitamin is absolutely one of the most important.  Vitamin C can lower the risk of some cancers (breast, esophagus, stomach, mouth).  Vitamin C produces collagen (helps with healing), and has a wonderful effect on the immune system (generously boosting the strength of the immune system, helping the body fight sickness).  Vitamin C is an antioxidant.  90 milligrams are essential each day, to be found from: broccoli, citrus (like orange juice), grapefruit, red peppers, strawberries and tomatoes.

·         Vitamin E: Protects the integrity of cells membranes and lipids. It is known to improve balance (coordination), strengthen muscles (especially in weakness), and assists with numbness and the sensitivity of the nervous system.  This is a common deficiency, especially in America.  15 milligrams are needed each day and Vitamin E is present in: almonds, avocados, canola oil, and hazelnuts.

·         Vitamin K: This is not the same thing as Potassium (common mistake, since Potassium is represented by the letter K on the periodic table).  Vitamin K is fat-soluble and aids in healing wounds (coagulation and clotting as well), bone development, and reduces the risk of unwanted clots.  Basically, Vitamin K contributes to proper coagulation.  The body needs 120 micrograms a day and it can be attained through: broccoli, cheese (swiss), kale and parsley.

·         Zinc: Last and considered a trace mineral, Zinc builds cells, enzymes and proteins. It additionally helps Vitamin A work its magic in the liver and produces a stronger immune system.  Zinc is required in 11 milligram doses each day and is found in: beef, cashews, oysters and turkey.

Check out the different types of MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat).

Also useful, are our guides:

How to grow your own survival garden and preserve your own emergency survival food

How to pack and preserve your own survival seed bank

Purchasing MREs Guarantees Necessary Nutrients During Emergency

Here are the best two MREs we have found, which we recommend on amazon:

MRE (Meals Ready-to-Eat) Select Your Meal, Genuine US Military Surplus Meals (Beef PattyJalapeno Pepper Jack)

Genuine U.S. Military Surplus Ready to Eat Meals (12 Packs)

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