What Are Vitamins and Minerals and Why Are They Important?

What Are Vitamins and Minerals and Why Are They Important?

May 27, 2013

Vitamins and Minerals are among those important elements that must be consumed, in right amounts, on regular basis, in order to have well grown and developed body supplemented with strong immunity.

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are organic substances made by plants and animals. Vitamins fall into 2 categories:

  1. Fat Soluble Vitamins: These Vitamins are found in foods such as animal fats, butter, lard, vegetable oils etc. These vitamins are stored in the body in different organs and are made available when required. These vitamins, because of their storage characteristics, need to be taken very carefully in right amounts. Over dosage of these may prove harmful. Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K.
  2. Water Soluble Vitamins: Unlike fat soluble vitamins, these are not stored in the body. Thus you need to consume them more frequently. Over dosage of these, mostly, doesn’t pose any harm. Any extra vitamins in this category get eliminated through urination. But, this doesn’t mean that no check is required on their consumption. After all, everything in excess is always bad. These Vitamins are broadly 9 in Nos. (8 B’s and one Vitamin C).

Why Vitamins are Important?

Their importance can be realized from a simple fact that there are large no. of diseases that are attributed to deficiency of certain vitamins. For instance,

Vitamin A deficiency – results in – Night Blindness, Hyperkeratosis and Keratomalacia.

Vitamin B1 deficiency – results in – Beri-beri

Vitamin B6 deficiency – results in – Anemia

Vitamin C deficiency – results in – Scurvy

Vitamin D deficiency – results in Rickets

So every vitamin has a certain role in our body. In order to keep our body well maintained, vigorous and in proper working condition, consumption of these in right amounts is must.

Do you have to have a deep knowledge of each Vitamin Source?

Not really. Nature has already done a lot in this respect. Nature has made seasons and then different fruits, vegetables and other products for every season. You just need to take the benefit from nature intelligence by just including each variety of food made available in every season. By following this simple rule, I am sure, you will never be deficient in any of the vitamins. Conversely, if you feel uncomfortable with something in that season, try to investigate the reason. If that item has something extremely important, consider finding alternate to suffice the need for that element.

What are Minerals?

Minerals are the inorganic substances that come from soil and water, absorbed by plants or eaten up by animals. Consumption of minerals is must, mainly on account of following reasons:

  • Minerals aids in building strong bones and teeth
  • Minerals help in controlling the fluids inside or outside cells.
  • They turn the food we eat into energy.

For instance,

Calcium: a common electrolyte. Important for bone, teeth and muscle health, neutralize acidity, maintains digestive health.

Magnesium: Required for processing ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) and related reactions.

Phosphorus: Required component for Bones.

Potassium: a common electrolyte (heart and nerve health)

Among these, there are other minerals that are responsible for certain important functions inside our body. Besides, some elements are required in fractional amounts in relation to vitamins and minerals, these are called Trace elements. E.g. include iodine and fluoride.

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