Many of us know the fact that vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients and are needed for healthy functioning of the human body but very few actually possess adequate knowledge about them. Vitamins and minerals are needed in certain amounts for proper functioning of the body, some in higher amounts than others. So, let’s start by outlining each one of them:
•Vitamins are organic (contain carbon atom) compounds and can be broken down by heat, air, acid, storage and cooking processes. Vitamins are obtained from living organisms such as plants and animals. Human body cannot produce vitamins, therefore they need to be obtain through external resources. Vitamins are divided into two categories: water soluble (can dissolve in water – vitamin C and B) and fat soluble (can dissolve in fat – vitamin A, D, E and K). All vitamins are needed for human body.
•Minerals are elements made as a result of inorganic process and they hold to their structure. Minerals are obtained from soil and water. Only some minerals are needed for body functioning, such as potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, sulphur, chromium, copper, iodine and phosphorus. Minerals have a much simplified chemical composition than vitamins. They can be divided into two categories: macro and micro. Macro minerals are needed in higher amounts compared to micro minerals that are required in much smaller amounts.
Now that you have a little better knowledge about both of them, you can distinguish the difference between the two. All vitamins are needed by the body, where only certain minerals are essential for human functioning. Some minerals like lead can cause severe damage to almost every organ in a human body. Every needed mineral and vitamin play a unique role in body’s functioning. Vitamins lose their nutritional value quite easily while minerals hold it structure strongly.
A lot of vitamins can be found in vegetables and fruits, and minerals can be obtained from fish, meats and dairy products. We would like to stress that it is important to get adequate amount of daily requirements of essential minerals and vitamins. However, it is also imperative to understand that excessive intake of certain vitamins or minerals can lead to misbalance and misalignment of body functioning. Therefore, consumption of vitamins and minerals need to be closely monitored especially if attained through supplemental nutrition.
Vitaliy Siverskyy, the beFitness nutritionist
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