Your Complete Guide on Vitamins and Minerals
Every ingredient we carefully include in our diet, we do it with one goal in mind: meeting our body’s requirements in vitamins and minerals. This leads us to a never-ending journey of learning about foods, the composition of each one and the list of the vitamins and minerals in it.
Each vitamin or mineral has a special function, a special role, and a special name that we sometimes barely know how to pronounce. These details make it even more challenging for us to remember the essential information about vitamins and minerals, to allow our bodies to benefit from it as much as possible.
In this situation, what will help you memorize information about vitamins and minerals the most is having a guide, with classified types of each one, the differences between the types, and the major differences between vitamins and minerals as well.
For this reason, we decided to create a complete guide on vitamins and minerals, with everything we know so far about the classifications of each one. We are sure it will help you on the short and long run and will be a great starting point for you to deepen your research in the nutrition, vitamins and minerals world.
Vitamins and Minerals: Spot the difference
For a beginner in the universe of nutrients, there may not be any big difference when it comes to vitamins and minerals. After all, they are both considered micronutrients found in the food we consume.
However, for someone looking to deepen the knowledge about each one, it is essential to start by noting the key difference between the two: vitamins are organic micronutrients. Their structure can change due to specific factors like acids, heat or air. As for minerals, they maintain their original structure, no matter the circumstances they undergo.
What does this information change in your eating habits? What seems to be only a small detail will give you a good hint on how to plan and prepare your meals, only if you could analyze the information to conclude that you can easily get the minerals your body needs from different foods, since they are not affected by any factors. While, on the other hand, it is more challenging to get the vitamins your system requires from foods. Thus, you should always be aware not only of the foods you are including in your diet, but also of the methods of cooking you use for each one and how you mix those ingredients.
On top of that, the way you store those ingredients can play a major role too. Since air can also modify the structure of vitamins contained in the food, you should constantly make sure to store each ingredient adequately, so you can still benefit from its nutritional value later.
Additionally, these two components-vitamins and minerals, should not be viewed as independent elements in your food. In reality, these micronutrients interact based on the types of each one, which can either contribute to your body absorbing more of the two elements, or one blocking the other, thus cancelling the positive value it could supply your body with.
This is way we should try to stay aware of our foods and informed as much as we can.
The major types of vitamins you need to know
Besides the fact we mentioned above on how vitamins can change their structure depending on some factors, we believe it is crucial to make the distinction between the two major types of vitamins. These are:
· Vitamins soluble in fats:
Vitamins soluble in fats are usually transported to your body with the help of proteins. This type of vitamins chooses your lymph channels located in the intestinal walls as a medium to supply your body with their nutritional value.
These vitamins are mainly: vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They can mostly be found in oils and foods loaded with fat and are stored in the liver and fat tissues. These organs release the four types of vitamins depending on your body’s needs.
Fat-soluble vitamins play a major role in building and strengthening the bones, maintaining the cells in good health, which consequently protects your vision, and being an antioxidant, vitamin E can also protect your body from unstable molecules.
Yet, despite their valuable input to your body’s nutrition, this type of vitamins must not be consumed in excess, as it can have a reverse effect of damaging your body and organs if a toxic level of storage is reached.
· Vitamins soluble in water:
On the other hand, vitamins soluble in water, like vitamin C, biotin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid and niacin, for instance, can easily be found in the watery foods you consume. And thanks to their unique characteristic of being soluble in water, they can swiftly break into your bloodstream to circulate and be absorbed by the body. In the case of an excessive consumption of some vitamins soluble in water, your kidneys will then regulate it and flush the excess out of your system through the urine.
Vitamins soluble in water can make all the difference when it comes to producing collagen in the body, which consequently promotes a healthier skin, and stronger teeth and bones.
Moreover, this type of vitamins helps your body extract energy from foods and produce it, which can define your levels of activity during the day.
The major types of minerals you need to know
Now that you acquired all the basic knowledge related to vitamins, its time for minerals.
The major types of minerals you probably know of already are: calcium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and chloride.
Just like fat-soluble vitamins, your body also stores minerals. However, they do not break into your system through the same channels.
Rather than that, each mineral of those we mentioned above has a unique way and pace of reaching your bloodstream. And while some circulate easily in the body through your bloodstream, others cannot do the same without the help of a transporter agent that also contributes to the absorption process.
Even though minerals can mainly be extracted from some foods, there are people who choose to consume supplements to ensure a healthy intake. The issue with this solution is that it should always be under the supervision of a health expert. Why? Simply because an excess in minerals would not only cause great imbalances in your system, but it could also affect the impact of another mineral by blocking it. This alone can lead to a deficiency in the body, that can potentially lead to more serious damage.
Also you can find more about disadvantages of multivitamins
Finally, learning about vitamins and minerals is a journey that never ends, and can bring numerous advantages to your daily life. Building a deeper knowledge when it comes to minerals and vitamins will allow you to make healthier food choices, adopt healthier methods for cooking and preparing your meals, all while resting assured your body is still getting everything needed for a healthy functioning and development.
Despite how the differences you make in your eating habits cannot be seen immediately, you will be at ease knowing you are taking good care of your body. And, eventually, you will start noticing the positive transformation your body will be going through. This can include a stronger immune system, reduced fats, healthy bones, a healthy body structure, good vision and even a glowy skin.
The outside change you are seeking to make in your body starts within, through nutrition. It is therefore a great decision to learn about minerals and vitamins as much as you can.
For more detailed information, we highly recommend the National Health Service as a trustworthy source for the knowledge you are seeking!