Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that you body needs to develop and function normally. The best way to get adequate vitamins and essential minerals is to eat a balanced diet from a variety of foods. Vitamins are organic substances that are made by plants or animals. Whereas minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water. These minerals are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Your body needs larger amounts of certain minerals, such like calcium, to grow and stay healthy.
Therefore calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium, are minerals. For instance, vitamin D or vitamin E or vitamin C, and you know vitamin C coming from oranges. Oranges make vitamin C out of chemicals they get out of the soil. Humans produce vitamin D from sunlight shining on your skin, and there is a chemical reaction that allows you to produce vitamin D. Generally, vitamins and minerals are important catalysts in different kind of chemical reactions that are going into your body and therefore they support your health. It is critical to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals.
There are thirteen essential vitamins your body needs. They are vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyroxidine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).
The four fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. These are stored in the body’s fatty tissues. The other nine vitamins are water-soluble and therefore must be replenished regularly. They are regularly removed from the body in your urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver.
When you eat a balanced, healthy diet, you are already getting enough amounts of the essential nutrients your body needs to function at its best level.
There are seven of the minerals your body needs and are classified as major minerals. These are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and sulphur.
Other minerals that are important are fluoride, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, selenium, molybdenum and chromium. These minerals play important roles in maintaining blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte balance, and bone health. Minerals help making new cells and delivering oxygen to cells. Hence, contributing to normal muscle and nerve functioning. Minerals are found in abundance in foods. With specific minerals being found in certain foods. Therefore, when you eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods from the five food groups, you will have adequate mineral from your diet.
Two minerals of particular importance are calcium and iron. Unfortunately, many people do not eat enough foods that contain iron or calcium.
Calcium is necessary for the formation of strong bones and teeth from birth through young adulthood. Therefore, calcium continues to be important throughout life for the maintenance of bone density to prevent osteoporosis. Calcium is found mostly in the milk group foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. However, certain foods are fortified with calcium during the manufacturing process. Therefore, calcium-fortified juices and cereals also provide ample amounts of calcium. Small quantities of calcium can be found in tofu, greens, and legumes.
Iron is part of haemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle cells. Hence, iron helps to transfer oxygen from the lungs to working cells throughout the body. Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide. This may result in fatigue, weakness, pale skin, lips, tongue, palms and mouth, and anaemia. Iron is found mainly in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, greens, and dried fruits. Breads and cereals are enriched with iron during the manufacturing process; therefore, enriched breads and cereals also are good sources of iron. If you eat a vitamin C source and an iron source at the same meal, you can double the amount of iron absorbed