ARTICLES & GUIDES

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

What It Is?

  • Vitamins are organic substances made by plants and animals, which are then eaten by humans.
    • There are 13 vitamins: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins
    • (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6 ,vitamin B12, and folate).
    • You can get all your vitamins from the foods you eat, but your body also makes vitamins D and K.
  • Minerals are inorganic substances that are not made by living things.
    • Minerals are found naturally in soil and water and are absorbed by plants, which are then eaten by people and other animals. Examples of minerals are iron, calcium, and potassium.
    • People obtain minerals from both the plant and animal products they eat. 

Where Is It Found?

Vitamins and minerals are found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Beans and peas
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Fortified foods (such as breakfast cereals and soy beverages)
  • Fruits
  • Meats and poultry
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grain foods (such as brown rice and whole grain breads, cereals, and pasta)

What It Does?

The human body needs the right “mix” of nutrients for good health. That not only means getting the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat (as also called macronutrients), but also the right amount of vitamins and minerals (also called micronutrients). Micronutrients help your body use macronutrients and support many body processes, including:

  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Brain function
  • Digestion
  • Growth and development
  • Heart function
  • Hormone production
  • Immune function
  • Metabolism of drugs and toxins
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nervous system function
  • Protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism
  • Red blood cell formation
  • Reproduction
  • Taste and smell
  • Vision
  • Wound healing

 

“Factsheets Vitamins and Minerals.” Accessdata.fda.gov, www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/interactivenutritionfactslabel/factsheets/Vitamins_and_Minerals.pdf

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