According to The World Health Organization (WHO), they are called micronutrients because they are needed only in minuscule amounts, these substances are the “magic wands” that enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth, development and health. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins are organic substances that we ingest with our foods. They work in tandem with minerals or on their own as catalysts, substances that help to trigger other reactions in the body, influencing the health of nearly every organ in the body. They play a large role in metabolism, enabling enzymes to break down, and get energy from essential macronutrients (link to other blog) such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are also important for growth, mental alertness, resistance to bacterial infections, and digestion. Vitamins work in tandem with minerals as well In addition they can be used (with the guidance of your health professional) in high doses to combat diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, impaired immunity, nerve degeneration and other chronic health problems.
Below is a list of all vitamins:
- Foliate (Folic Acid)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B Complex
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Minerals are the ugly-step-cousin of vitamins. It isn’t often that you hear someone say, “Did you get your Minerals today?” YET they are just as important to the function of your body as the ever-popular vitamin. They work in conjunction with vitamins, enabling your body to perform vital tasks such as energy production, growth, and healing. Specifically targeted at:
- Keeping blood and bones in top form
- Maintaining healthy nerve function
- Regulating muscle tone and the cardiovascular system
Minerals are divided into two groups based on the amounts the body needs. Bulk minerals include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus – all of which we need in significant quantities. We only need a small bit of Trace minerals (boron, chromium, copper, germanium, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, sulfur, vanadium, and zinc), but they are equally as essential.
How much do we need???
Vitamins and minerals were once incredibly prevalent in our food supply. With depleted top-soil and modern farming techniques it is a challenge to get our daily fill, BUT it is possible. CLICK HERE for a guideline on quantities (food source info questionable).
For a fabulous list of quality food sources for vitamins and minerals, as well as supplement info - CLICK HERE for an extensive list.