Food contains vitamins and minerals that our body needs but are not produced by our bodies. So, Vitamins are the organic nutrients that perform numerous functions in the body and these have to be taken in the right amount for a healthy body. Minerals are solid chemical compounds which are found in nature in pure form and help us to grow and develop. These are essential for the human body to function properly. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals may lead to diseases and disorders; also overdose can cause abnormalities in the body. A balanced diet consists of sufficient amounts of vitamins as well as minerals to keep us fit and healthy.
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Now, we will explain each of the two important Nutrients one by one.
Vitamins are found in natural foods which are important for the normal growth and maintenance of the body. These are organic compounds and vitamin is the word originated from Latin words- Vita and amine meaning life and Nitrogen, respectively. Vitamins help in the generation of energy as they utilize carbohydrates and fats appropriately in the form of a catalyst. Vitamins are essential for the human’s survival and the human body cannot produce most of them by its own, only vitamin D and vitamin B3 are known to be produced. Major sources of food that contain vitamins include meat, fruits and leafy vegetables.
Two kinds of vitamins are as follows:
Fat Soluble Vitamins- Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble vitamins that can dissolve in fats and oils. These are absorbed along with fats in the diet and can be stored in the fatty tissues of the body. Main sources of these vitamins are plant and animal food as well as dietary supplements.
Water Soluble Vitamins- Vitamin B and Vitamin C are water soluble vitamins that dissolve in water and can be absorbed quickly by the body. These are carried to different body’s tissues but the body cannot store them. The examples of Vitamins belonging to this group includes a variety of foods such as: cereal grains, meat, eggs, milk, fish, poultry, legumes and fresh vegetables (these contain Vitamin B-complex groups and. Citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, kiwis, and broccoli are food sources of vitamin C.
Minerals are considered to be inorganic solid substances having a definite chemical composition and with its intake, it helps in the proper functioning of the human body. These help in keeping muscles, bones, heart and brain to work normally.
Two kinds of minerals are found to be known including macrominerals and trace minerals.
Macrominerals are the elements required in larger amounts which include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium potassium, sulphur and chloride.
On the other hand, trace minerals are required in small amounts and some examples include manganese, iron, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, selenium and fluoride.
People often intake supplements of vitamins and minerals to fulfill the requirements of their bodies. However, if a proper diet with a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals is included regularly, then it may be helpful. Also, reducing specific minerals may be needed in some diseases, for example chronic kidney disease requires avoiding food that is high in potassium.
Below is the vitamins list that highlights the importance of vitamins and the sources of food containing them. All vitamins, be it water soluble or fat soluble, play an important role in proper functioning of the body. Also, deficiency diseases related to each of them are highlighted below.
Below is the minerals list highlighting their functions, sources and deficiency diseases.
1. How many types of Vitamins are known?
Ans. Different types of vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K that fall in the fat-soluble category of vitamins and Vitamin B and C that fall in the category of water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin B can be further classified in Vitamin B1 or thiamine, vitamin B2 or riboflavin, vitamin B3 or niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B7 or biotin, folic acid or folate, and vitamin B 12 or cobalamin.
2. What are the functions of Minerals?
Ans. Different minerals help our body grow, develop, and stay healthy. Our body uses minerals to perform various functions including building strong bones, transmitting nerve impulses, maintaining healthy hair, immune system and even in making hormones or maintaining normal heartbeat.