Essential Vitamins and MineralsYour healthy foods guide
Welcome to your ‘go to’ resource for all things related to essential vitamins and minerals in food, also called nutrients. Here you will find details of the nutrients your body requires to function effectively and how and why vitamins and minerals help ensure your body develops normally.
Our society is more health conscious than ever before, so, even if we have a good diet that includes adequate vitamins and minerals, it’s still good to be aware of the value of these nutrients and their benefits to our health and well being.
We also provide information about vitamin deficiencies as well as helping to point you in the direction of healthy foods. Many people will know the vitamins or minerals they’re searching for but may be unsure as to what foods the nutrients can be found in, or more specifically, where they can find these vitamins and minerals in a naturally high quantity without the need for using additional supplements.
Our pages contain comprehensive details of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain a healthy diet, their benefits and the unique role they play in maintaining your health.
You may also find our companion web site calories-in-foods.com of interest. Here we provide lots of information about calories in foods and nutrition to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
VitaminsAnd how the body uses them
What are vitamins?
The dictionary definition of the word ‘vitamin’ tells us it is a noun and it represents “any group of organic compounds that are essential for regular growth and nutrition. These are required in our diet in small amounts because they cannot be created by our bodies”. So, vitamins are organic substances, meaning that they are made by plants or animals. They are essential nutrients that your body needs and derive from different sources in differing quantities and fall into two essential categories; fat soluble and water soluble.
Fat Soluble Vitamins – Vitamins A, D, E and K Did you know? These dissolve in fat and are stored in the body for long periods of time. These vitamins are, unsurprisingly, found mainly in fatty foods like diary foods and animal fats. They will also stay in the foods they’re in when cooked. You don’t need these vitamins every day. Your body stores them in the liver and fat tissue until needed. Taking too much of these vitamins can be harmful.
Water soluble vitamins – vitamin C and B-Complex Vitamins Did You know? These must dissolve in water before they can be of benefit to the body. Consequently, these vitamins cannot be stored in the body. Water soluble vitamins that do not dissolve are not used and are lost when they pass through the body, generally during urination. The B-Complex Vitamins are found in many foods, like eggs, fish, milk and cereal grain. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits. Because these vitamins cannot be stored, it is necessary to have a new supply of them every day These vitamins are easily lost during food storage, preparation or cooking.
The body requires vitamins for the following reasons:
- To help your body grow and develop
- To help your bones stay strong
- To boost and maintain your immune system
- To help in the development of cells that carry oxygen around the body
- To help the efficiency of your vital and non vital organs
- To help your blood to clot when required, thus preventing a constant bleed and allowing the wound to heal
Here is a list of vitamins, each linking to relevant nutritional information and foods related to that vitamin.
Check out the relevant pages and start to compile your own shopping list of the foods you’re interested in that contain the vitamins you require.
Essential MineralsAnd how the body uses them
What are Minerals?
Minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic elements that derive from the earth and water. They are absorbed by plants or by animals that consume them. This site contains pages that cover the essential dietary minerals and the foods that they can be found in. In order to stay healthy, your body requires different amounts of each mineral; for example, a large amount of calcium is required to give you strong teeth and bones. Also covered on this site, are ‘trace minerals’ so called because your body requires less of them. Listed below are two short lists of essential minerals and trace minerals plus a list of some of the benefits of the essential minerals that the body needs in order to function properly.
Essential minerals that we require more of:
The human body requires minerals for the following reasons:
- To help maintain the nervous system
- To help in the production of hormones
- To help regular cell function in the body
- To aid in the formation of blood cells
- To assist in a consistent metabolism
- Minerals are important for strong bones
- They are vital for healthy teeth
- To help wounds heal adequately
- To aid the efficiency of vital organs such as the kidneys
- To help keep the elasticity in arteries, tissues and veins
- To help maintain a healthy level of insulin, which aids your metabolism
Each minerals benefits us in a different way. To learn exactly what each mineral can do for you please check out our dedicated pages. Below is a list of the minerals that we cover on this site, so just click on the one that you are looking for and you will be taken directly to a list of foods that are high or rich in that mineral:
- High and low sodium foods