A list of all the vitamins and minerals
Vitamins are chemical compounds that are indispensable for the body. They play an important role in the growth, recovery and proper functioning of the body.
They are also vital for good health. Vitamins come naturally from the food we eat. The body does not create enough vitamins by itself. Vitamins were discovered in the first half of the last century, starting from 1906. The name vitamin was conceived after discovering that foods contain certain substances that are essential for maintaining good health. The word is a combination of the Latin word vita (meaning life) and amine meaning nitrogen-based compounds. Later researchers learned that not all vitamins contain nitrogen, but by then the term ‘vitamin’ came into general use.
Thirteen types of vitamins
4 fat-soluble vitamins:
The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K.
They are found mainly in food fat and are stored in the body’s fibres.
9 water-soluble vitamins:
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B11 (folic acid), B12 and vitamin C
These vitamins are found in liquids that are in foods. The body cannot effectively store these water-soluble vitamins (with the exception of vitamin B12) so a surplus leaves the body via urine.
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements: the differences
Vitamins and minerals have more in common than differences. Both are indispensable for many processes in the body. The major difference between the two is a chemical difference. Vitamins are derived from the living nature and can even be produced by certain plants or animals while minerals come from non-living nature and must be absorbed from the ground by plants or from food or water by animals.
Minerals and trace elements, just like vitamins, are substances that the body cannot produce. They are needed – in addition to other reasons – to regulate enzymes and hormone. The difference between the minerals and trace elements is the quantity required by the body. Human beings need more minerals than trace elements.
It has never been proven that all minerals and trace elements are essential, in other words, absolutely necessary for the functioning of the body. What we do know is that the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride and phosphorus are essential. Essential trace elements are iodine, iron, chrome, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium and molybdenum.
Good healthy is a sum of many factors. It has to do with lifestyle, eating habits, regular physical exercises and relaxation. We have to eat, but we usually eat too much and make the wrong choices. We have to exercise, but we don’t exercise enough. We need to relax, but we allow ourselves too little of that. Eating healthy gives you the basis for sufficient vitamins and minerals. Healthy foods are characterised by quantity and variety.