Vitamins and minerals are vital and are broken down into trace elements that are needed in very small amounts by our body cells. These organic compounds are involved in the maintenance and repair of damaged tissue. There are 13 essential vitamins and numerous minerals that the body needs to function properly and maintain good health. Both vitamins and minerals perform hundreds of functions in the body.
The word vitamin is a combination of the Latin words “vita” and “amino”, meaning life and nitrogen. In 1884, Casimir Funk discovered substances involved in the growth and maintenance of the body and called them vitamins.
Learn more: Vitamin-B
We humans cannot live without vitamins and minerals because they are very important nutrients and besides, our body cells cannot make them on their own. Therefore, we should take the necessary amount through the food we take, vitamin capsules, etc. Vitamins are found in staple foods such as meat, leafy vegetables, and fruits.
Interesting facts about vitamins and minerals
There are more interesting facts about vitamins and minerals listed below.
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There are two types of vitamins. According to their solubility, vitamins are divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, while B and C are water-soluble vitamins.
Learn more: How Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E Work
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The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. Other food sources include egg yolks, chicken breasts, beef, liver, fish, cod liver oil, mushrooms, soy milk, cow’s milk, cheese, and grains.
Vitamin A is found in large amounts in green leafy vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, ripe yellow fruits, nuts, oranges, guavas, milk, liver, broccoli, and watermelon.
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Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is abundant in tomatoes, broccoli, chestnuts, cashews, beef, lamb, mangoes, and grapes.
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Vitamin A deficiency is one of the main causes of night blindness and affects the immune system, which can lead to death from some infectious diseases.
See also: Vitamin A deficiency
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Minerals are essential nutrients for all living cells in the human body. They are required in large quantities and are found in plant and animal food sources. The most important minerals are calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
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Phosphorus, along with calcium, is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and the immune system.
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Tocopherol is the scientific name for vitamin E, which is found in potatoes, pumpkins, guavas, mangoes, milk, nuts, and seeds. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that helps repair damaged cells, and their deficiency can lead to heart disease, hemolysis, and infertility.
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Vitamin A is an important vitamin that plays an important role in our vision. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to serious illnesses, infections and preventable blindness in children.
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Foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, kiwis, citrus fruits, and kale, are good foods for a healthy respiratory system.
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Mineral deficiency is caused by a lack of essential minerals in food. This type of nutritional deficiency can cause a number of health-related problems, including anemia, goiter, weak bones, tenderness, hair loss, and decreased levels of certain hormones.
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Our body is able to synthesize a certain amount of vitamins. Vitamin B3 is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, vitamin D is synthesized when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and vitamin K is synthesized by bacteria living in the gut.
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Onions, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, fresh fruit, dairy eggs, seafood, and iodized salt are good sources of sodium and iodine.
Explore more: Food Materials and Sources
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Our bodies need certain amounts of vitamins and minerals every day, along with other essential nutrients. The daily intake of these nutrients varies by species, body needs, and individual lifestyle.
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In 1929, English biochemist “Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins” won the Nobel Prize for discovering vitamins.
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Like other macro and micronutrients, the cells of our body store large amounts of minerals in our bones and muscles and circulate them through the blood to the tissues.
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Sodium is an essential mineral for regulating blood pressure and blood volume, and plays an important role in proper nerve and muscle function.
Also read: Difference between vitamins and minerals
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Calcium, the most important natural mineral found in a variety of food sources such as raspberries, dates, milk, eggs, pomegranates, almonds, wheat and soy, is essential for health.
bones, teeth and the immune system.
These minerals should be included in our daily diet and must be balanced in our body. If any of the minerals are found deficient, it can affect the other minerals, which results in severe mineral and other nutritional deficiency disorders.
Vitamins can be found in both plant-based and animal-based food products. Vitamin deficiency may cause some diseases and overdose of vitamins also causes diseases.
Also Refer: Vitamins – Types, Sources & Significance
The vitamins and minerals are necessary as they play a vital role in maintaining proper vision, proper functioning of cells, tissues, organs, healthy immune system, growth and development of cells, healthy skin, healthy bones, teeth and gums, the production of blood cells, etc.
This article concludes an introduction to Vitamins and Minerals, along with their amazing facts. To know more about Vitamins and Minerals, their types, sources, functions and other related topics and important questions, keep visiting our website at BYJU’S Biology.