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Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients because they perform hundreds of roles in the body. There is a fine line between getting enough of these nutrients (which is healthy) and getting too much (which can end up harming you). Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals you need.
What Are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds the human body needs but doesn't produce enough of on its own; getting them through food or supplementation is necessary. Without, vitamin deficiency may result and can seriously impact our overall health.
There are two categories of vitamins our bodies need: water-soluble, and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins B and C are found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Because they break down easily in water, our bodies flush water-soluble vitamins out through urination, this requires we provide ourselves with an ongoing daily supply.
Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are absorbed by stored body fat and can be stored for later use. Although our bodies need this type of vitamin less often, overconsumption can be dangerous. These are found most abundantly in naturally fatty foods, such as oily fish, dairy, beef. Vegetarian and vegan-friendly sources include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, although in much lower concentrations than in animal-based options.
What Are Minerals?
Minerals are inorganic and found in water and soil. They can also be divided into two categories. Macronutrients, which our bodies need over 100 mg each day of, include potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. The amount of "trace minerals," or micronutrients, the body needs is significantly less, under 100 mg per day. These include zinc, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, selenium, and molybdenum.