Vitamins and Minerals for Optimal Health
Most of us know that the body needs vitamins and minerals for optimal health and that vitamins and minerals can be found in everyday foods, but do you know the difference between vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins are organic substances made by animals or plants and are either fat soluble or water soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) dissolve in fat and can be stored in the body. Water-soluble vitamins (C and B-complex vitamins) dissolve in water before the body can absorb them. Minerals are inorganic substances that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. The body needs more of some minerals, like calcium, and less of others, like the trace minerals copper, iron, and zinc.
Vitamins and minerals both boost the immune system, support development and growth, and help cells and organs do their jobs properly. In order to get all the vitamins and minerals the body needs, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables and the right amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. If you’re considering becoming a vegetarian, you may want to speak with your doctor about how to plan healthy, balanced diets.