Vitamins and Minerals

The two substances every human body needs are vitamins and minerals. Many people think the substances are the same, but they are different, though both are necessary to keep the body functioning properly, strong, and healthy.

Vitamins are organic substances, meaning they are made by plants and animals. Minerals are inorganic, which come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants and eaten by animals.

Both vitamins and minerals come from the foods, but some foods have more vitamins or minerals than other foods. For example, a mineral called calcium is needed in larger amounts than another mineral, iron, which is a trace mineral because you only need small amounts of it each day. In addition, there are some vitamins found in certain foods though not in other foods, such as Vitamin A, which comes from eating carrots, it is not found in milk, which contains Vitamin D.

All vitamins and minerals support and boost the body's immune system, which protects the body from foreign substances. They also support normal growth and development and help cells and organs do their jobs. Eating the right foods is important to receive the needed vitamins and minerals for the body.

In addition to the proper amount of vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), the body also needs the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and calories (macronutrients). Some vitamins turn the macronutrients in the body into the energy the body needs. The macronutrients and the micronutrients work together to keep the body strong and healthy. All vitamins and minerals have specific functions and can be found in a wide variety of food products such as vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, and more.

Vitamins are divided into two categories- fat soluble or water soluble depending on whether they dissolve best in either lipids (another term for fats) or water. The fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body, but the water-soluble vitamins need to dissolve in water before they are absorbed by the body, and they cannot be stored. The water-soluble vitamins can pass through your system and be lost when a person pees. A fresh supply of water-soluble vitamins is needed each day.

In all, there are about 13 essential vitamins needed for the human body, four are fat-soluble and nine are water-soluble. There are different scientific names for vitamins, but most are referred to by using the letters of the alphabet and numbers such as Vitamin C, several different Vitamin B types, and Vitamins A, D, E, and K. There are guidelines that have been determined by special medical groups that recommend specific amounts of vitamins for people based on their age and needs.

The two types of minerals can be divided into macrominerals or microminerals (trace minerals). Minerals cannot be broken down or changed by your body and can form part of the structure of bones, teeth, nails, muscles, and red blood cells. There are several minerals the body needs including calcium, potassium, salt, iron, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, chromium, fluoride, iodine, selenium, manganese, sulfur, and molybdenum. As with vitamins, the amount a body needs may depend on many conditions such as age, health, and other conditions.

In summary, the body needs the correct amount and combination of all vitamins and nutrients.

A: Lipids
B: Vitamins
C: Minerals
D: Nutrients

A: Vitamins
B: Carbohydrates
C: Protein
D: Fats

A: 13
B: 9
C: 4
D: 17

A: Vitamin G
B: Vitamin A
C: Vitamin K
D: Vitamin D

A: Micronutrients
B: Lipids
C: Carbohydrates
D: Protein

A: Copper
B: Iron
C: Calcium
D: Coal

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