Nowadays, it is very common that people are complaining of lack of energy, tiredness, and exhaustion and for which your physician gives you some laboratory test. Sometimes this test does not satisfy you for their symptom. Thus, knowing the importance of vitamins and minerals for health is necessary.

Without knowing any diseases, might those symptoms be caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals? Have you ever noticed that sometimes we feel weak or while walking on the road we see some people unable to walk correctly or stand appropriately for a long time? Sometimes we get ill very soon. All this happened due to a lack of proper nutrients in our body. To know all this, then you are in the right place.

This topic of the importance of vitamins and minerals for health will help you know the most basic few importance of vitamins and minerals.

Before starting with the importance of vitamins and minerals for health let’s start from the basic understanding of what these are.

A vitamin is an organic compound that contains carbon. Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions. The term vitamins are derived from the word vitamin. basic vitamins and minerals help to form cell function growth and development. Not eating enough vegetables, fruits whole grain dairy food may increase your health problems. This are the substance which helps our body to develop and grow naturally.

Types of vitamins:

13 types of vitamins are there which our body needs and they are as follows:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B (vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, biotin, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid).
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

You can have all your essential vitamins from the food you eat regularly. Each vitamin has a specific task.

If you have a low level of specific vitamins, you may have some health problems. The best way to avoid all this deficiency and get enough vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with various foods.

Basic Vitamins are designated by selected letter as in vitamin C, vitamin D though they have a chemical name such as folic acid and niacin.

Bio chemist separates them into two groups:

  • The water-soluble vitamins and
  • Fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins travel freely through the body, and excess amounts usually are excreted by the kidney. Our body needs water-soluble vitamins in frequent, small doses.

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s cells and are not extracted as easily as water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are not consumed as water-soluble vitamins, although adequate amounts are needed. If you take too many fat-soluble vitamins, it could become toxic[1].

The basic ABC’s of vitamins:

fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A plays a vital role in our body’s smooth function, including normal visual function, immune system health, even healthy bones, and teeth.

Sources of vitamin A—People can obtain vitamin A through dietary sources, including animal sources of vitamin A such as

  • Carrot.
  • Beef liver.
  • Fish liver oil.
  • Sweet potato.
  • Cereals.
  • Black-eyed peas.

Vitamin B serve as coenzymes, which are biochemical cofactors or participants in a broader range of chemical reaction in our body. It keeps our body energized.

Sources of vitamin B—

  • Egg
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Meat, fish
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Clams

Vitamin C is a well–known antioxidant nutrient; vitamin C supports the immune system and is involved in tissue growth and repair due to its role in forming, repairing, and maintaining cartilage. Its makes skin, ligaments, and forming tissue.

Sources of vitamin C

  • Broccoli.
  • Green and red peppers
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Winter squash
  • Cabbage

Nutrients are grouped into two significant classes they are :

  1. Micronutrients and
  2. Macronutrients.

Micronutrients are those types of nutrient which are needed by the body in minute amount while macronutrients are those types which are required by the body in the large amount.

Classification of micronutrient vitamin:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, K.
  • Water-soluble vitamins: Thiamine( B 1 ) , Riboflavin(B 2), Niacin(B 3), Pantothenic acid (B 5), Pyriodoxine (B 6), Biotin(B 7), Folate(B 9), Cabalamine (B 12)

All about Minerals:

Minerals are solid substances that are present in nature and made of one element or more or combined. Ordinary rock salt in our kitchen is a chemical compound called rock salt, a mineral formed of sodium. The minerals are inorganic, crystal clear solid[2].

Any minerals can be identified by their physical properties such as hardness, streaking, crystalline, and cleavage. Calcium is the most common mineral in an adult’s human body, and mostly it is found in our bones. The importance of vitamins and minerals for health is necessary and important for ones understanding.

macro minerals are:

Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Phosphorus.

Trace elements are:

Sulfur, Iron, Chlorine, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Molybdenum, Iodine, Selenium.

Some primary health benefits like zinc can help to improve immune function. Iron can prevent anemia vitamin A helps for eyesight. In contrast, folic acid deficiency can give birth to an infant with a neural tube defect, and iodine deficiency can lead to low brain fetal development.

So, vitamins and minerals perform hundreds of roles in our body. It can be from healing wounds to our immune system. They help us to convert food into energy.

Seven essential vitamins and minerals deficiency diseases and its symptoms[3]:

Vitamin/MineralDeficiency/ diseasesSymptoms  
Vitamin Avision lossvision poor  
Vitamin B1Beriberiwill affect muscles
Vitamin Cscurvyblood will come from        Gums  
Vitamin DRicketeffect bones  
Calciumeffect bones /toothweak bones  
Iodinegoiterneck glands get swollen  
IronAnemia 

How to incorporate basic vitamins and minerals in our food

vitamin c in oranges

Just knowing the importance of vitamins and minerals for health is not enough its equally import for us to know who to include it in our daily life style.

It is a very accurate and real fact that people love to lead a happy and healthy life. For that, we need to know our requirements very well.

Food and drinks are the two essential parts of our diet. Vitamin and minerals are essential nutrients that our body needs in a large or small amount so that our different parts of our body can work properly.

Balance diet should have varied vitamin and minerals supplement. Already you read about fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamin food. Now you will know about the mineral, which includes calcium and iron.

Food like fish, nuts, milk, and dairy foods are minerals that help us build strong and give us energy.

How we can improve our health by food intake

vitamins and minerals via pills

It is always good habits to incorporate more and more of those nutrients into our daily diet. We can get it through food; it is not acceptable to take medicine or other supplement-packed food. If we can bring fresh and purely natural food, it is always advisable.

Without asking or consult a doctor, we should not take any medicine. By eating a healthy, balance diet, we get our vitamins and minerals to work properly. Sometimes pregnant women take some extra medicine or added vitamin and minerals for folic acid.    

Basic Vitamin deficiency varies from person to person. Some lack gives some symptom, and some are not for example[4]:

  • Feel weak
  • Losing your hair
  • Vision problems
  • Pain in joints
  • Lack of sleep
  • Sometimes plenty of sleep.
  • Can feel dry eyes
  • Many have depression
  • Gums bleeding

Nine importance of vitamins and minerals for health[5] (Food list)

Beans and lentils-these include iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Beans and lentils are high in fiber and a good vegetable source of protein.

Nuts-these are high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. It can lower cholesterol levels.

Dark greens leave –these include calcium, copper, iron, potassium, zinc it is calories.

Salmon-these include calcium, phosphorus, potassium; fish are also high in protein.

Mushroom-these include copper, selenium, and zinc. Low in calories.

Whole grains-these include iron, selenium, phosphorus, which are high in fiber.

Yogurt-these include calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Beef and lamb-these include iron, phosphorus zinc.

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder-these include iron, magnesium, zinc, calories, and more minerals.

(References: collected from U. S Agriculture Research service food data central).

The deficiency of one or more nutrients can cause diseases or disorders in our bodies. When any conditions occur due to lack of some nutrients over a long period is called deficiency diseases.

Nine importance of vitamin and minerals (how must should you take?)[6]

Reference from Harvard Health Publication.[7]

(recommended amount daily RDA or daily A 1)

Vitamin AM :900 mcg, W :900 mcg.    
Vitamin B 1M :1.2 mg, W :1.1 mg.    
Vitamin B 2M 1.3 mg, W :1.1 mg.    
Vitamin B 3M :16 mg, W :14 mg.  
Vitamin B 5M :5 mg, W :5 mg.  
Vitamin B 6M :1.3 mg, W :1.3 mg.   For 31-50 yrs. Old  
Vitamin B 12M :2.4 mg, W: 2.4 mg.    
Vitamin CM :90 mg, W: 75 mg    
  
Vitamin D31-70: 15 mcg  
Vitamin EM: 15 mg  
M: Male, W: Women

Dosage of MINERALS one should intake:

Calcium31-50 age: M- 1000 mg, W- 1000 mg.   51-70: M- 1000 mg, W- 1200 mg 71 +M :12000 mg, W 12000 mg.    
Chloride14-50—M/W 2.3 g 51-70—M/W 2.0 g 71+—-M/W 1.8 g.  
Chromium14-50 M: 35 mcg 14-18 W: 24 mcg 19-50 W: 25 mcg 51+ M: 30 mcg  
CopperM: 900 mcg, W: 900 mcg.    
FluorideM: 4 mg W: 3 mg.  
IodineM: 150 mcg W :150 mcg.  
ZincM: 11 mg W: 8 mg.  
M: Male, W: Women

Five most essential vitamins and minerals for immunity booster for our health

To avoid unwanted infections (which is especially like our COVID 19). We should make some simple changes in our daily diet plan. Among them, nutrition plays an important role.

Eating a well-balanced diet and to stay our body hydrated, and help our immune system. Now we will learn which food can help us to get those vitamins and minerals in our diet.

Let us know about the science behind this vitamins A and immunity.

There are two primary dietary sources of vitamin A.

  • Carotenoids (found in plant foods)
  • Retinoids (found in animals’ foods)
  • Animals foods like—Beef liver, Egg, Salmon, Cow milk

1: The science behind vitamin D and immunity

Vitamin D also plays a vital role in strengthening our immune system. Now the question may arise how we can get vitamin D.

There are few sources of food for vitamin D. sunray is the best source of vitamin D. it will be useful if you can have sun exposer of 3 to 4 days per week. For 15 minutes. Sunbath can be taken in the morning, and late afternoon is the best time without damaging our screen. And food sources are:

  • Cod liver oil
  • Sardines
  • Beef liver
  • Mushroom
  • Eff yolks
  • Milk and its products.

2: The science behind zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that must be consumed in your diet.

Vitamin E, folic acid, iron, selenium, and zinc are essential food supplements that directly boost our immune system. According to the VSDA nutritional recommendation, all adults should take not less than 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fresh fruits per day.

Sometimes people can take vitamin D in the form of tablets.

Vitamin C is known as a cold remedy; it has been noticing that people who do physical exercise more or those exposed to an always cold environment if they intake 250 mg/day to 1g per day of vitamin C are beneficial[8].

When we get ill, the doctor also recommends that we drink more fluids and take plenty of rest, and we should always rest.

A lack of adequate sleep also decreases our immunity system. So, it is always advisable for adults to sleep for 7 to 9 hrs per day.

A healthy way to strengthen your immunity system are:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintain weight
  • Sleep properly

So, it is always advisable to consume the following vegetables daily in our diet plan so that you can get rid of all unwanted health-related problems some or the other way.

  • Citrus fruits
  • Red bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Spinach
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds

CONCLUSION

Older adults did not get enough nutrients from foods, so sometimes doctors prescribe some medicine for them. Still, the fresh food you eat is loaded with nutrients that are necessary for our good health, such as essential vitamins and minerals. 

Note: getting too many vitamins and minerals has side effects too. Too much vitamin C or zinc could cause nausea, stomach cramp also. Talk to your doctor about any supplements you are taking; the doctor can only help you to keep doses in a safe range.