Vitamins, minerals and supplements
Vitamins and minerals are the essential nutrients that your body requires in order to properly function. Normally, most people will get all of the nutrients they need from a balanced diet. v Taking vitamin or mineral supplements for a prolonged period of time may cause harmful effects. Consult your doctor if taking supplements for a long period of time.
What types of vitamins are there?
There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.
You need these vitamins for your body to function properly. However, your body stores fat-soluble vitamins in the liver and fatty tissues for future use so you do not need to eat foods that contain them everyday. Because these stores of vitamins and minerals can build up over time, taking too much of them can be harmful.
Fat soluble vitamins are:
Your body does not store water-soluble vitamins so you need them more regularly.
Any excess of water-soluble vitamins are expelled when you urinate so as a generalisation, these vitamins are not normally harmful. Even so, large amounts of water-soluble vitamins can still be harmful.
Water-soluble vitamins can be found in seeds and grains, fruit and vegetables. Because the essential vitamins are easily destroyed by heat they can be lost during the cooking process. Boiling the vegetables is particularly destructive to the water-soluble vitamins. Steaming or grilling is the best way to cook vegetables without destroying the water-soluble vitamins.
Water soluble vitamins are:
What are trace elements?
Trace elements are similar to essential minerals but they are required in very small amounts - see Essential minerals table below.
What are essential minerals?
Your body needs minerals for the following mains reasons:
- Building strong teeth and bones
- Controlling the cells body fluids
- Converting the food you eat into energy
Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for minerals and trace elements
|Dietary element||RDA/AI (mg)||Category||High nutrient density|
|Potassium||4700 mg||is a systemic electrolyte and is essential in coregulating ATP with sodium.||Legumes, potato skin, tomatoes, bananas, papayas, lentils, dry beans, whole grains, avocados, yams, soybeans, spinach, chard, sweet potato, turmeric.|
|Chlorine||2300 mg||is needed for production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and in cellular pump functions.||Table salt (sodium chloride) is the main dietary source.|
|Sodium||1500 mg||is a systemic electrolyte and is essential in coregulating ATP with potassium.||Table salt (sodium chloride, the main source), sea vegetables, milk, and spinach.|
|Calcium||1300 mg||is needed for muscle, heart and digestive system health, builds bone, supports synthesis and function of blood cells.||Dairy products, eggs, canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, tofu, thyme, oregano, dill, cinnamon.|
|Phosphorus||700 mg||is a component of bones (see apatite), cells, in energy processing and many other functions.||Red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, bread, rice, oats. In biological contexts, usually seen as phosphate.|
|Magnesium||420 mg||is required for processing ATP and for bones.||Raw nuts, soy beans, cocoa mass, spinach, chard, sea vegetables, tomatoes, halibut, beans, ginger, cumin, cloves.|
|11 mg||is pervasive and required for several enzymes such as carboxypeptidase, liver alcohol dehydrogenase, and carbonic anhydrase.||Calf liver, eggs, dry beans, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, scallops, red meat, green peas, yoghurt, oats, seeds, miso|
|18 mg||is required for many proteins and enzymes, notably hemoglobin to prevent anemia. Dietary sources include red meat, leafy green vegetables, fish (tuna, salmon), eggs, dried fruits, beans, whole grains, and enriched grains.||Grains, dry beans, eggs, spinach, chard, turmeric, cumin, parsley, lentils, tofu, asparagus, salad greens, soybeans, shrimp, beans, tomatoes, olives|
|2.3 mg||is a cofactor in enzyme functions.||Spelt grain, brown rice, beans, spinach, pineapple, tempeh, rye, soybeans, thyme, raspberries, strawberries, garlic, squash, eggplant, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric|
|0.900 mg||is required component of many redox enzymes, including cytochrome c oxidase.||Mushrooms, spinach, greens, seeds, raw cashews, raw walnuts, tempeh, barley|
|0.150 mg||is required not only for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine and to prevent goiter, but also, probably as an antioxidant, for extrathyroidal organs as mammary and salivary glands and for gastric mucosa and immune system (thymus):||Sea vegetables, iodized salt, eggs. Alternate but inconsistent sources of iodine: strawberries, mozzarella cheese, yogurt, milk, fish, shellfish.|
|0.055 mg||a cofactor essential to activity of antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase.||Brazil nuts, cold water wild fish (cod, halibut, salmon), tuna, lamb, turkey, calf liver, mustard, mushrooms, barley, cheese, garlic, tofu, seeds|
|0.045 mg||the oxidases xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, and sulfite oxidase||Tomatoes, onions, carrots|
Pages in category "Vitamins, minerals and supplements"
The following 48 pages are in this category, out of 48 total.