Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients required for normal growth and development of the body. These nutrients are found in food. Each vitamin and mineral has a unique role in maintaining health.
Vitamins are organic compounds. There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble vitamins that are stored within the fat tissue in the body and water-soluble vitamins that are not stored in the body and need to be replaced often.
This fat-soluble vitamin is important for maintaining healthy skin and good vision. Since it has antioxidant properties, it is essential for the immune system. Vitamin A can be found in liver, milk, cheese, carrots, apricots and broccoli.
This group consists of 8 vitamins: B1, B2 (riboflavin), B3, B5 (panthothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid) and B12. B-complex vitamins are required for proper red blood cell formation and have important role in metabolic processes. Sources of these vitamins are beans, peas, whole grains, milk, yogurt, eggs, leafy green vegetables, fish and seafood.
Vitamin C is required for normal cell tissue regeneration. It promotes wound healing and helps the body to fight infections. Foods rich in this vitamin are: citrus fruits, tomatoes, sweet pepper, kiwi fruit, broccoli and sprouts.
This vitamin is needed for development of bones and teeth, muscle strength and healthy skin. It is also required for absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D can be found in egg yolk, fish, milk, liver and fortified cereals.
Vitamin E act as antioxidant and it is important for maintaining function of the heart, skin, circulation, liver, eyes and nervous system. It is also involved in formation of red blood cells. Sources of vitamin B are nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, wheat and oats.
This vitamin is required for blood clotting. Rich
sources of vitamin K include spinach, broccoli, cabbage, soybean oil, milk and
Minerals are inorganic elements that body requires in trace amounts. Calcium is important for development of bones and teeth, and healthy functioning of the heart and muscles. Chromium promotes the action of insulin to regulate blood sugar. Copper helps in blood cell formation and is needed for the nervous, cardiovascular and immune system functioning. Iodine is required for normal thyroid function and energy production. Iron is important in blood production. Magnesium is required for energy production, use of calcium and regulation of potassium levels. Molybdenum is needed for breakdown of proteins. Potassium has a vital role in healthy kidney, heart and nervous system function. Selenium is antioxidant that keeps artery and tissue elastic. Zinc is important for the immune system and growth.