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Vitamin and Minerals Facts for Kids

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Last updated date: 05th Mar 2024
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Facts About Vitamins and Minerals

Before learning about vitamins and minerals, let's understand nutrients.

Nutrients provide nourishment to our bodies which is essential for development, growth, and good health. There are six types of basic nutrients- carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. But the main focus is on Vitamins and Minerals.


Vitamins are nutrients found in foods such as vegetables that are needed for physical and mental development. They are what keep us healthy!


Minerals are substances found in the earth or absorbed by animals or plants that humans eat to develop the body properly. 


Vegetables - High in Vitamins


Vegetables - High in Vitamins


Types of Vitamins

Our body requires several different kinds of vitamins to function well and fully develop. Each vitamin has a different role and comes from a different food source. 

Vitamins are divided into two categories- water-soluble and fat-soluble. 

Fat-Soluble Vitamins are dissolved in the fat and stored in the body for later use. These are Vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

Water Soluble Vitamins are dissolved in the water present in the body and they help to provide energy. These are Vitamins B and C.


Types of Vitamins, Sources, and Functions

Vitamin name

Food source

Functions

Vitamin A

Tomatoes, Carrots, Milk, Eggs

Healthy eye vision, good skin, strong bones

Vitamin B

Green vegetables, Meat, Eggs, Cheese

Maintain energy, and improves memory

Vitamin C

Orange, Lemon, Strawberry

Improves eyesight, makes skin healthy 

Vitamin D

Eggs, Cheese, Mushrooms

Growth of bones, helps with concentration and memory, improves heart health

Vitamin E

Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pumpkin

Maintains hair health, repairs damaged skin

Vitamin K

Green vegetables, Fish, Pomegranate

Strong bones, heart health, and brain function


Types of vitamins and their Food Sources


Types of vitamins and their Food Sources


Why Do We Need Vitamins?

Vitamins are essential for the human body, and they have several benefits.


Benefits or Uses of Vitamins :

  • Maintains skin and hair health.

  • Reduces stress.

  • Improves heart health. 

  • Improves eyesight.

  • Keeps the bones strong. 

  • It helps in brain function (memory, concentration).

  • It helps to avoid diseases and infections.


Deficiency of Vitamins

It is not just important to eat vitamin-rich foods but also to eat them correctly.

 

When the body doesn't get enough of the right vitamins, it fails to function correctly. 

Such diseases caused due to the lack of vitamins in the body are called deficiency diseases.


The lack of each vitamin causes a specific deficiency disease. Let’s learn about the diseases and their symptoms. 


Deficiency Diseases of Vitamins

Vitamin 

Deficiency disease

Symptoms

A

Night blindness 

Loss of vision

B

Beriberi

Weak muscles and bones

C

Scurvy

Bleeding gums in teeth, extreme muscle pain, and weakness

D

Rickets

Bones become soft and bent

E

Anaemia

Weakness, chest pain, headaches, and pale skin

K

Deficiency bleeding

Lack of blood in the body to repair wounds.


Vitamins keep a Healthy Body


Vitamins keep a Healthy Body


Types of Minerals

Just like vitamins, minerals are also needed for the functioning and development of muscles, bones, heart, and brain. 

It is essential to consume minerals from different food sources.

Minerals are of two types- Macro minerals & Minor or Trace minerals. 

Macro minerals are needed in large amounts. They are - Sodium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, and Chloride.


One of the essential minerals is calcium. It plays a significant role in developing bones, muscles, brain function, circulation of blood, and much more. Calcium should be consumed in the right amount from its respective food sources.


Food Source of Calcium


Food Source of Calcium


Minor minerals are necessary for small quantities. They are - Iron, Copper, Zinc, Iodine, and Fluorine. 


Minerals make up a Healthy Body


Minerals Make up a Healthy Body


Types of Minerals, Sources, and Functions

Mineral Name

Food Source

Functions

Sodium

Salt, Cheese, Milk

Maintains body-water balance and strong muscles

Phosphorus

Fish, Beans, Mushrooms, Almonds

Maintains energy in the body

Calcium

Milk, Cashews, Almonds

Strong, healthy bones and muscles 

Magnesium

Honey, Chocolates, Green vegetables

Provides energy and strengthens the body’s muscles and bones

Potassium

Fruits, Spinach, Rice, Mushrooms

Proper functioning of muscles

Chloride

Salt, Milk, Peanuts

Maintains balance of liquids in the body

Iron

Beans, Eggs, Green vegetables, Meat

Provides energy and helps in brain function

Copper

Fish, Nuts, Seeds, Chocolate

Bone strength, heart health, and repair of wounds

Iodine

Milk, Cheese, Salt, Fish, Eggs

Promotes physical growth and brain functioning

Zinc

Peanuts, Chicken, Almonds

Repair of injuries and strong bones


Deficiency of Minerals

Just like vitamins, the lack of minerals also causes problems in the body. 

These are caused as we do not consume enough minerals required for proper body development.

Each mineral has its specific deficiency: calcium deficiency, Zinc deficiency, Iron deficiency, and more. 


Interesting Facts

  • Sunlight is the critical source of Vitamin D.

  • The very first vitamin, Vitamin A, was discovered in 1913. 

  • Kiwis and Strawberries contain twice as much Vitamin C as Oranges.

  • Milk is a universal food containing all nutrients, including minerals and vitamins.

  • Vitamins D and K are the only vitamins the body can make. 

  • Iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency seen in the world.


Conclusion

Vitamins and minerals should be included in our food every day. Without these nutrients, we could face several physical problems or diseases in the body. 


They are essential for bodily functions like developing strong bones and muscles, healthy skin and hair, proper eyesight, repairing wounds, and many more. 


Each type of mineral and vitamin should be equally essential and consumed correctly.

FAQs on Vitamin and Minerals Facts for Kids

1. Which is a crucial vitamin?

Vitamin D is the essential vitamin that is needed. It performs many functions in the body and is the most important one overall.

2. Is it possible to have an excess quantity of vitamins and minerals?

Yes! Vitamins and minerals need to be consumed in just the right amount, not less, not more. It is even possible to have an over quantity of these nutrients which can cause problems in the body. 

3. Is there a best time of the day to eat vitamins?

Yes! The morning time! This is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be full of healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals.